Yael Camp Warsaw (2023)

In Warsaw, a Moroccan, Georgian, and Ukrainian meet: Yael Camp unites youngsters from diverse backgrounds to explore and honor their Jewish heritage.

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170 children from 12 countries. In August of 2023, an extraordinary scene unfolded at the downtown Hilton in the heart of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. Young Jews, hailing from a dozen distinct countries across Europe, Africa, and Asia, gathered for the Yael Foundation’s annual summer camp. While they conversed in different languages and wore different clothes, it was clear that these kids shared many more similarities than differences.

What drew these kids together was the Yael Foundation, a renowned Jewish organization committed to advancing Jewish education worldwide, by strengthening Jewish youth’s connection to their Jewish identity and tradition. With a primary focus on strengthening young Jews’ connection to their Jewish roots and customs, the Foundation, established by philanthropists Uri and Yael Poliavich, operates across five continents, supporting over sixty Jewish educational initiatives. Annually, the Foundation’s summer camp brings together students from these institutions and programs, from places like New Zealand, Vancouver, Casablanca, and Brazil, to foster an empowering community and connect them to their heritage.

This year's venue was Warsaw, marking the camp's third consecutive year. Previously hosted at the Yael Foundation's headquarters in Cyprus, the camp’s growth has been remarkable – with attendance doubling each year. This year, the camp drew 170 children who participated in either the boy’s or girl’s camp. For some children, like those from remote locations such as Morocco and Georgia, it was their first interaction with their Jewish heritage.