CAMP WORKS: The Long-Term Impact of Jewish Overnight Camp 2011

Sponsor(s): Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC)

Principal Investigator(s): Steven M. Cohen, Ron. Miller, Ira M. Sheskin, Berna Torr

Study Dates: Report issued Spring 2011 - data based on Jewish population surveys conducted between 2000 and 2008.

Key Findings:

"Camp Works" summarizes the results of secondary analysis of data relevant to the impact of attending a Jewish summer overnight camp on adult Jewish behaviors.

Utilizing the most recent National Jewish Population Survey (NJPS 2000-2001) and 25 local community studies completed between 2000-2008 - - which are archived at the North American Jewish Data Bank - -this report offers the fullest picture to date of the impact of Jewish summer camp. The basic question which framed the analysis was: "Does Jewish Camp Work?"

Based on a series of logistic regression analyses, the report demonstrates that summers at Jewish camp are an important part of the process whereby adults become and sustain a strong commitment to the Jewish community and to Jewish practice.

"The influence of summer camp on the ways in which adult Jews choose to engage with the community and the degree to which they associate with other Jews ... is striking, especially when compared to their peers who did not spend their summer months at Jewish camp."

Jewish summer camp attendance is strongly related to the likelihood of adult participation and identification. As adults, campers are:

 

"30% more likely to donate to a Jewish charity;37% more likely to light Shabbat candles;45% more likely to attend synagogue monthly or more; and

55% more likely to be very emotionally attached to Israel."

Sample:

Methodological Appendix - beginning on page 22 of the report describes the data sets used in the analysis, methodological procedures and statistical techniques used, and the total number of Jewish households and Jewish persons included in each study.

 

The 25 Jewish community studies include the results of 27,771 interviews, which represent 1,330,000 Jewish households and 2,765,000 Jewish persons.

Study Notes: Study results are summarized in the text, while detailed summaries of the statistical calculations are included in the Appendix Tables.

Data presented includes basic cross-tabulation comparisons of Jewish summer campers and non-campers in Appendix 3 (page 29), and summaries of predicted probabilities which highlight the impact of Jewish camp on a variety of adult Jewish behaviors, comparing the results of various models used for the logistic regression analyses (Appendix Tables 4 and 5, pages 30, 31).


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