Center for Jewish Philanthropy (CJP) was excited to participate in Shemesh Summer Camp’s Arizona Spirit Day on Friday, June 9, 2023. The enriching experience served as a career day, where campers got the opportunity to learn about various Arizona businesses and organizations including CJP.

The overarching goal was to ignite the campers’ curiosity and inspire them to explore different career paths and learn about the different values needed to be successful. During this afternoon, Shemesh campers of all ages buzzed with excitement and energy as they rotated through a variety of hands-on activities or games to learn about different local businesses and nonprofit organizations. The event fostered a sense of community engagement and encouraged the young participants to think beyond traditional career options and about what skills are needed in professional careers.

Kaylie Medansky, senior director of Community Engagement at CJP, and Jennifer Starrett, director of Community Engagement at CJP, led sessions for the Kindergarten Shemesh groups during the afternoon. They shared about the work that CJP does in the community including funding organizations and programs, allocating camp and Israel travel scholarships, and hosting a variety of programs and events for specific demographics like newcomers, teens, young adults, families, women and business professionals.

Kaylie and Jennifer then taught a lesson about the importance of collaboration and working together using building materials. Campers were first asked to choose five Magna-Tiles or bristle blocks to build something all on their own. Next, they were split into small groups to use their combined blocks to build something even grander and bigger to reiterate the importance of collaboration and showcasing how much more we can accomplish when working together.

“It was fun seeing the kids work together to build some amazing creations,” shared Jennifer. “I especially loved when I overheard, ‘can’t we work together’ during the first part of the lesson, which really showed me how much we have to learn from the youngest in our community, too!”

Overall, Shemesh Summer Camp’s Arizona Spirit Day was a resounding success, leaving a lasting impression on both the campers and the professionals involved. It not only showcased the breadth of career possibilities but also inspired the campers to think outside the box, explore their passions, and consider how they can contribute to their local community. It was a day filled with inspiration, knowledge, and the realization that the future is full of endless possibilities for these bright young minds.

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