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For the Whole Michpucha (Family)

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Where oh where, can you take the whole family for vacation…and not just any vacation, but for a fun-filled, entertaining and active kosher getaway? One answer is go directly to Camp Yavneh, in Northwood, New Hampshire, a 30 minute drive from the Manchester NH airport.  This year, Yavneh family camp will be held from Wednesday through Sunday, August 24 – 28, 2011.

Camp Yavneh was established over 65 years ago in 1944 and has provided a Jewish camping experience to approximately 6,000 young people. In 2004 Yavneh introduced Family Camp, an opportunity for Jewish families to spend four days and nights together for fun and learning. The camp offers activities for most age groups and interests. Over the last five years, family camp has attracted a growing list of 200-250 “campers”  (50-60 families). One third of the families have attended for five years straight!

To get a glimpse into “family camp” we talked to Jody Fredman, camp program coordinator. We wanted to know about a typical day at camp …so here goes: (Tell us when you’re too exhausted!)

  • 6:30 - 7:30: Family Fishing
  • 7: 45:  T’filot (prayer) - Traditional or Egalitarian
  • 9:30 - 12:30: Kids’ camp time, and many choices for adults too such as:  scenic bike riding, yoga class, archery, art projects, boating, cooking or just relaxing
  • 12:30-1:30: Lunch
  • 2:00-5:30: Family Time. Entire families can choose from activities such as art projects, fishing, archery, swimming and boating, soccer game, challah baking and more!
  • 5: 35: Community flag lowering – “mifkad”
  • 5:45:  Dinner followed by Mincha/Ma’ariv
  • 7:00-9:00:  Family program such as Family Talent Show, camp fire with s’mores (Yumm) or other fun activities
  • 9:00:  Bedtime for younger children;  snack and activity, such as movie night or  karaoke for older kids
  • 9:30-11:00:  Wine & Chocolate adult social and/or a guest speaker. Babysitters available
  • Laila Tov (Good Night!).  Bet you’re ready to rest!

And how about: Adult Iron Chef competition judged on taste, appearance and Jewish content; Wine and cheese tasting; Sushi making classes, and even a special mini-Israeli program, complete with food (Eggplant Salad with Lemon & Olive Oil and Matbucha – Tomato & Pepper Salad) and activities.

Shabbos at camp was described as a peaceful, meaningful, enriching family experience complete with Special Shabbat meals. Scholars-in-residence and a staff of professional educators offer optional sessions on various topics. Since attendees are from diverse backgrounds,  the camp has both Orthodox and Egalitarian services. There is also a learner's minyan/service for those who would like to understand more about Jewish prayer. Three minyanim are available daily.

Of course, being food obsessed, we asked about the meals and menus. Check them out at CampYavneh/Food. The full camp breakfast was quite a “lure”, especially after a morning of fishing! 

About the Kashruth:
According to assistant camp director Jeff Weener:

“Camp Yavneh in Northwood NH maintains a glatt kosher kitchen with a full-time Orthodox Mashgiach who is approved by the Vaad of Massachusetts. Camp Yavneh is not directly supervised by the Vaad, however, the camp follows their standards. For any questions relating to Kashrut at Camp Yavneh, please contact Jeff Weener at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

This is Jeff’s 10th summer at camp. He manages all operational aspects of the camp as well as camp technology and the website. Jeff has an MBA from Babson College. We have discovered that Jeff is a serious foodie! He has shared his delicious personal recipe for Buffalo Wings with KosherEye.

For more information visit CampYavnehFamilyCamp.


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