For the VOSJCC’s other venture, the Summer Ulpan Camp, the JCC is working with the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s TIPS (Tucson, Israel, Phoenix, Seattle) Program to bring over four Israelis to run the camp. Bernstein said the federation is still searching for volunteers to house the Israelis.
Mornings at ulpan camp, according to Bernstein, will be held at the Jess Schwartz Jewish Community Day School lower and middle school campus, next to the JCC, and campers will be completely immersed in Hebrew – no English will be spoken.
"The kids will be doing regular kid activities, but they’ll be doing them in Hebrew," said Bernstein. "They may play on the playground in Hebrew, they may go on their field trips in Hebrew or go swimming in Hebrew."
Bernstein said the camp was initially suggested by Nammie Ichilov, head of the Jess Schwartz lower and middle school, after a number of Israeli parents voiced their concern that while living in America, their children were losing touch with the Hebrew language.
After a morning of Hebrew-only programming, the campers will join the Shemesh Day Camp in the afternoon.
"We didn’t want (ulpan camp) to be so intense that it didn’t feel like a fun summer for (the campers)," said Bernstein.
Summer Ulpan Camp runs July 6-30 and is $210 per week for VOSJCC members, $265 for nonmembers. Half-days are available. Campers must sign up for all four weeks.
To sign up for Ruach Masa, Summer Ulpan Camp or any other VOSJCC camp, call 480-634-4949 or visit vosjcc.org.