One idea that has been drilled into my head for the last four years is that no Jewish community is an island—or at least no community should be. Rather than hoarding our intellectual property we should be sharing it, collaborating with other Jewish organizations and learning from one another in order to create the best possible educational experience for our children. What I find unique about the Nadiv program is that it is one of the first national initiatives to begin building those bridges between Jewish organizations, recognizing that religion schools (that’s what we call it in my neck of the woods) and Jewish camps both have a lot to teach each and learn from each other when it comes to innovative and successful Jewish programming for kids.
My position as Nadiv Educator is pretty unique. I am only one of six Jewish educators who split their time between working in a school and working at camp and only one of two in this pilot that works in supplementary Jewish education. While there have been challenges, they have been minimal and hardly noteworthy. The benefits and opportunities for growth for the camp, the religion school and for me as an educator have been far more numerous.