Publications Revealed Newsletter
March 2014


Headlines from the World of Jewish Overnight Camp
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Overview for Los Angeles Early Childhood Centers  
Wednesday, March 26
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT

JData Tools for Schechter Network Schools 
Thursday, March 27
2:30pm ET/11:30am PT



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Note from the Director  

In this issue of JData Revealed we present findings from the Summer 2013 annual camp census. Eight headlines summarize key trends in enrollment, staffing, and budgets. In addition to overall growth in the Jewish overnight camp world, you will see a "Tale of Two Camps"---- a recognition that while many camps are growing, some are not.


The census is based on the 150 overnight camps that come under the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) umbrella. These camps have all met a set of criteria for inclusion. Included among these camps are all of those associated with JData's other camp partners: JCamp180, URJ Camps, National Ramah Commission, and JCC Association. Our partners' shared use of the database not only creates an efficiency for the camps but has led to a common conversation across the field concerning metrics and data usage.


This year, in response to frequent questions, JData added a section on top management salaries at camp. To date, 93 camps have provided this information. Our report on camp director compensation is now available on the JData website.


March 23-25 is the fifth biennial FJC Leaders Assembly, a time and place for camp leaders and stakeholders to learn, share, and network. Nicole Samuel, JData Manager responsible for camp, will be there and happy to speak with you about this year's data and beyond. All of us at JData wish FJC an inspiring and productive gathering.


Amy L. Sales, Ph.D.

Project Director
Senior Research Scientist
Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies   



Headlines from the World of Jewish Overnight Camp


Enrollment in Jewish overnight camps continues to grow at a steady annual pace


Summer 2013 continued the growth of previous years with a 2.6% increase in the number of campers at the 150 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps in JData. These camps served over 70,000 campers this past summer. 


Some of this growth comes from recently opened camps and other camps newly welcomed to FJC (Camp Cabri, Camp Kaylie, Gan Israel Toronto, Moshava Malibu, Yachad Camp Programs, and Yesh Shabbat). And some of the growth comes from increased capacity and enrollment within individual camps. Together these camps added over 1,400 new beds to the field's total capacity.


Behind these numbers, however, is a "Tale of Two Camps"---- those that are gaining and those that are losing campers. Between 2012 and 2013:

-    47% of camps experienced higher enrollments;

-    47% experienced lower enrollments;

-    6% remained about the same. 


 Capacity utilization is a "Tale of Two Camps"  


Capacity utilization is a key metric for Jewish overnight camps. It indicates how many of the camp's beds are used during the summer. Given that enrollments differ week by week and session by session, it is calculated as the average of a camp's weekly utilization.


In Summer 2013, average capacity utilization was 76% (up from 74% the previous summer). This means that, on average, one-fourth of a camp's capacity was unused. If all these camps operated at full capacity, they could engage close to 17,000 more campers. 



News from JData 

  • JData's list of partner communities continues to grow.
    This year Hartford, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Minneapolis began using JData to gather essential information on their local Jewish early childhood centers and schools. See JData national and community partners. Interested in having your community become part of the national database for Jewish education? Contact JData's Community Relations Manager, Mary Horrocks at  
  • JData continues research on the effect of size on Jewish day schools.
    In January, JData director Amy Sales presented the findings of JData's study of Jewish day schools in smaller communities to Federation executives and school leaders gathered at the Ravsak/PARDES conference in Los Angeles for a day and a half deep dive into common concerns related to size. The JFNA taskforce seeking collective action on behalf of Jewish education in these communities continues its planning. For its part, JData is beginning 2013-14 data collection from these schools so that the local communities and national taskforce can monitor key trends related to enrollment, staffing, and budget. An update on findings will appear in a future issue of JData Revealed.

JData is operated by Brandeis University with support from the Jim Joseph Foundation
and JData's stakeholders. 

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