Social Justice: At Tavor, the value of social justice is central to everything we do. We act on this value by educating about injustices in society, and our power to change them. We believe in a more just world!
Inclusion of Interfaith Families
Camp Tavor strives to create an inclusive Jewish community, where families of all kinds, including interfaith families, feel comfortable, affirmed and fully included.
At Tavor, we provide opportunities for chanichinot (campers) to share their Jewish practices from home and engage with a variety of new Jewish experiences at camp. Our community members come from a wide range of religious and cultural communities. We ask community members to not make assumptions about the ways in which others are Jewish or practice Judaism, but instead to learn from each other and our rich and varied histories.
Camp Tavor values the inclusion of all members of our community, including trans* and gender non-conforming chanichimot (campers) and madrichimot (staff). We strive to uphold practices that affirm all gender identities and sexualities and align with our values.
Tavor houses all chanichimot (campers) in ohelim (tents) and tzrifim (cabins) according to their self-identified gender identity, including the gender identities of trans* chanichimot. We strive to create intimate, safe, and loving communities for all within living spaces at camp.
Tavor uses the practice of identifying the gender pronouns that each member of our community uses during introductions and as we get to know one another. By doing this we aim create more comfort and safety for community members of all gender identities. Leaders in the field of early childhood education and LGBT inclusion indicate that allowing children to identify their own pronouns in developmentally appropriate ways is empowering and a best practice to create a safe opportunities for development and growth.
For more information on terminology (including pronouns) from Keshet, “a national organization that works for full LGBTQ equality and inclusion in Jewish life,” please visit the Keshet website:
Tavor offers an all-gender bathroom for all chanichimot to use to shower or use the bathroom, because it’s important that all members of our community feel safe and included. All-gender restrooms provide access to safe bathrooms and changing areas for people of any gender identity and presentation.
Camp Tavor reaffirms our commitment to racial justice within the Jewish community and in the entire world.
At Tavor, we act on our value of racial justice by educating all chanichimot (campers) about racial injustice in our world today, and empowering them to create change in their communities. We create opportunities for chanichimot of color to process their experiences together, as well as learning with all chanichimot across race.
Judaism: Tavor is a place where chanichimot (campers) can center, explore, and fully express their Jewish identities through creating a Jewish community together.
Tavor embraces our core value of Judaism through exploring Jewish spirituality, cultivating a cultural Jewish identity, creating a connection with Jewish peoplehood, Hebrew, and Israel, and learning from more traditional aspects of Jewish faith.
At camp, we express this value through our daily and Shabbat activities:
- Zman Ruchani (spiritual time)—During this hour before Shabbat, chanichimot can choose from a variety of spiritual Shabbat preparation activities, including traditional Kabbalat Shabbat, reflective and meditative activities, storytelling, and more.
- Singing in Hebrew—The songs we sing every day at camp are in English and Hebrew. By learning, translating, and singing Hebrew songs together, we foster a connection with the Hebrew language for chanichimot (campers) of all Hebrew language levels.
- Learning about Jewish values—In all of our peulot (activities), Jewish values are at the core of our learning about the environment, kvutza (group) building, and more.
- Parshat HaShavua (weekly torah portion)—Every Saturday, Tavor chanichimot participate in an activity learning about the weekly Torah portion. We encourage re-interpretations of the story, and learn through acting it out and asking questions.
- Optional birkat hamazon (after-meal prayer)—After the Friday night meal, any chanichimot (campers) who would like to sing the traditional birkat hamazon can do so with a madrichol.
- Learning about Israel—Creating a connection to and responsibility for Israel is central to our education at Tavor, and we believe that learning about Israel’s complexities is one aspect of a full Jewish identity.
Zionism and Israel Education: Camp Tavor’s Israel and Zionist education seeks to create a connection to, and responsibility for, Israel and Jewish people. We are committed to education towards a just and lasting peace in Israel for all, and acknowledge the rich diversity in Israeli society and culture, including different groups of Jews and non-Jews.
Tavor teaches the educational values of Progressive Labor Zionism. We want to work towards the liberation of all people—this means a vision of Israel where all people have equal rights and self-determination, and Jews can create a safe and flourishing Jewish society. To accomplish this, we educate towards justice for all in Israel/Palestine, and across our North American Jewish communities.
We believe in a two-state solution, and offer political critiques of Israeli policies. More importantly, we believe in educating all members of society about the equality of human value. As an educational youth movement we believe change can come from educating one another and standing up for our social justice beliefs.
What does this look like?
Chanichimot (campers) at Tavor learn about the history of Jewish peoplehood, the history of labor Zionism, the plurality of cultures, religions, religious expressions, and people in Israel today, Palestinian narratives and the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and connection with our sister movement in Israel, HaNoar HaOved. We strive to bring honest and enriching content and inspire hope and action for the future, as young Jewish shapers of our own history.
We have a daily block of time for Israel education, called Shvil Yisrael (the Israel Trail), which consists of fun educational activities, sometimes in small groups and sometimes with all of camp (but always using active and creative methods!). We also incorporate education about Israel, as well as Hebrew language and Jewish value learning, into our education throughout the day. Tavor chanichimot (campers) also develop relationships with our shlichimot, who bring the perspective of those working for justice through our sister youth movement in Israel.
Socialism: Tavor educates towards a socially and economically just world based on the socialist value of shivyon erech ha’adam, or the equality of human value.
We draw from the experiences of chanichimot (campers), and educate to understand the economic disparities around us, and the ways they connect to gender and race-based inequalities.
Together, we envision a world where all people have access to the resources they need to flourish, through cooperative economics, self-determination, environmental sustainability, political democracy, and the equality of all people.
Hagshama (Actualization): At the core of all of our education is a call to act on our deeply-held values and beliefs, or hagshama (actualization).
We hope to inspire Tavor chanichimot to act on their values, at camp and in their lives at home. For chanichimot, actualization means making choices based on their values and always standing up for their beliefs. The actualization of Tavor’s values includes creating and shaping our current Jewish communities, living cooperatively, and shaping the future of Israel through our youth movement.
Many Tavor alumni have taken the value of hagshama and gone on to be leaders in Jewish social justice in their home communities and leaders of American Jewish social justice institutions. Others have acted on movement values and moved to Israel to take responsibility for the Jewish people there by educating towards justice in Dror Yisrael (the graduate movement of Habonim Dror in Israel).