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The JDC-Lauder International Jewish Youth Camp opened in 1990. Today 1600 participants from 30 different countries are creating the traditions of Szarvas every summer...

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The camp of JDC - Lauder, Szarvas, started in the summer of 1990. Many years, lots of changes, and many traditions. Szarvas has already turned to a keyword, a symbol, an unmistakable concept for Eastern-European, and especially for Hungarian Jewry. Today parents, who themselves were once campers or madrichim (group leaders), send their children to us, and together with them they re-live their unforgettable experiences. Many organizations and creative initiatives have leaders who learned the commitment to the Jewish community, as well as the importance of the maintaining of Jewish tradition in the Szarvas Camp.

Since 1990 we have covered lots of topics and had countless unforgettable programs, such as: exodus at night led by Moses, the wandering Jew, Café Dilemma, turn of the century dilemma ball and of course the always remaining evening unit programs, bonfires, talent shows. Those, who, today, are the leaders of the camp, used to be 7-year-old first-time campers, who have spent all their summers in Szarvas until the age of 18, gaining more and more new experiences. They experienced how does it feel to be part of an open Jewish community and with time they took on more active role in the camp's life. Many of the campers of recent years became madrichim and unit heads.

Today, they are those who prepare, lead and form the experience they themselves think of with much love and joy. Szarvas Camp is a Jewish children and youth camp that alloys the building of the community with personal development. Through exciting and interesting experiences, adventures and programs, the camper's experience how does it feel to be part of a group, while getting to know themselves, opening up and learning mutual respect with their peers. Our programs are based on the openness to the Jewish traditions and values that are communicated interactively, through arguments, conversations, games and above all through the principle of free choice.

Taking into consideration the age characteristics, our 12-day-long sessions are aimed to make friends, do sports, relax and experience Jewish community experiences. In the Szarvas Camp, apart from the permanent programs, the children can take part of different special activities according to their own interests. The regular programs are led by qualified leaders, while the special activities by professionals.For many children this two-week-long camp is their first real encounter of Jewish traditions.

The Mission of the Camp
The International Jewish Youth Camp in Szarvas creates a community that nurtures and strengthens the personal and community development based on entertaining education, in a safe, encouraging and varied environment, by qualified leaders and outstanding professional knowledge.

The Vision of the Camp
The camp tries to make Judaism it represents accepting and open for everyone. We help campers to live their own Jewish identity and ensure for them the possibility of finding the community. Through group experiences, learning and the possibility of experiencing Judaism everyone can take his/her next step in the journey of Judaism. We offer a variety of chances to experience identity, we show the possibilities of cultural, religious, folkloristic and community identity, but we leave it to everyone to choose for themselves.

The Goals of the Camp
Among our main goals is that all of our campers and our educational staff
- be an active and positive part of our community,
- be open to the world, to Judaism, to their environment,
- could sense how does it feel to be part of a group, get to know themselves, open up and learn to respect themselves as well as others,
- could try themselves on different, unknown field, lso that they can learn and develop,
- learn about Jewish traditions,
- make new friends and deepen their already existing relations.

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