B’nai B’rith International and The Koby Mandell Foundation have announced a partnership to provide 100 Gush Katif youngsters an exciting 10-day camp experience this summer.Since 2002, The Koby Mandell Foundation has operated Camp Koby, a therapeutic camp for Israeli children suffering from the trauma of terror and other crises, offering a much needed respite from the campers’ everyday pressures. Since 2005, the foundation has operated overnight or day camps for children of Gush Katif, who were uprooted in the 2005 “Disengagement” and live today in temporary housing. This year’s camp will feature a five-day day camp and three days of camping and touring in northern Israel. The B’nai B’rith-Koby Mandell Foundation collaboration was fostered by the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem.
Since 2003, B’nai B’rith has provided a traditional summer camp experience for Israeli children whose families have been touched by terrorist attacks or wars in Israel through its Camp Passport program, which brought children to B’nai B’rith camps in the United States.
“B’nai B’rith International is committed to assisting Israeli children in need and is honored to partner with The Koby Mandell Foundation for this vital program,” B’nai B’rith International President Dennis W. Glick said. “We have been proud to bring 69 children to the United States over the last seven years for a camping experience, and now 100 children who will have this amazing experience at camp in Israel.”
The 2010 Camp Koby-B’nai B’rith program will be fun and exciting, where Gush Katif kids can escape the everyday pressures of life. Professional therapists will be employed in part of the program to guide children in expressing their emotions and anxieties through art, drama, music, and other forms of play in a safe, constructive, creative, and natural way.
Camp activities will include swimming, hiking, arts and crafts, drama, kayaking, carnivals, and more. Up to 100 children in first through eighth grades will participate as campers. American teenagers from Camp Nesher of the New Jersey Y Camps will volunteer as counselors. The camp is scheduled to take place July 25-August 3 on Kibbutz Ein Tzurim near Kiryat Gat.
“This is an incredible camp for kids who really need a break from their circumstances,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “I cannot think of a better way to honor Koby than through this camp filled with fun, friendship, and life.”
Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell established The Koby Mandell Foundation in 2001, several months after their 13-year-old son Koby was brutally murdered by Palestinian terrorists near their home in Israel. The Koby Mandell Foundation provides emotional support to people who have lost an immediate family member to war, terrorism, or tragedy in Israel, while also strengthening Jewish identity and pride among American Jews. Each program offers a unique combination of therapy and fun activities, in a supportive environment to help participants learn to cope with their grief, heal from their pain, and grow beyond previous limitations.
For more information about the summer 2010 Camp Koby-B’nai B’rith program or to assist with funding, contact Rhonda Love at email@example.com.
Media interested in tours of the camp should contact Alan Schneider, Director, B’nai B’rith World Center at +972-2-625-1743 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or The Koby Mandell Foundation Executive Director Reuven Angstreich at +972-2-648-3758 or e-mail at email@example.com.