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  • Writer's pictureJCF

JCF Visitors Get Centered at the "Zen Den"

Earlier this month, we shared an update about four JCF Grant-funded initiatives happening throughout Southern New Jersey since late 2020.

One of those initiatives referenced was the new Zen Den at the JCC Camps at Medford.

On July 27th, a group of five JCF representatives visited the camps to check out the Zen Den as well as for a guided tour by Camp Director Sara Sideman.

Special thanks to Robert Elias (JCF President-elect) and his wife, Eileen (former ACHaD Director for the Katz JCC for more than 20 years); Andi Levin (JCF Board member and Grants Committee Co-Chair); and Suzanne Polikoff (JCF donor) for making the trip and joining Mike Staff (JCF Marketing & Communications Manager)! It was a great afternoon.

The Zen Den was made possible thanks in part to funding from:

  • A donation from the Levy Family Foundation Donor Advised Fund of the JCF, Inc.

  • A donation from Meditation 4 Leadership

  • And an additional contribution from Foundation for Jewish Camp

About the Zen Den

Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness have grown in popularity and practice in recent years, with practitioners of all ages gaining from the many health benefits of these activities.

To engage campers in these these lifelong practices, JCC Camps at Medford recently installed their Zen Den to serve as a standalone space in a quieter area of camp (which is no easy task, what with so many exciting activities happening at any given time throughout the grounds!). This new setup enables campers to take a pause and get centered from all of the exciting stimuli during a typical camp day.

And guess what? The campers love it!

During the JCF's visit, in fact, a bunk of girls entered the Zen Den, and each quickly and excitedly selected a mat to follow along with their instructor. For this lesson, they referenced a children's book that guided them on how to do a different yoga pose to look like each Hebrew letter. Very innovative!

It's exciting to see the Zen Den already making a positive impact on campers' lives, and the JCF is proud to support this initiative.

To round out the visit, our tour group took turns shooting arrows at the archery range with Jack, the instructor. Although we are no Olympic archers (yet!), we managed to at least get many shots on target and have some fun before wrapping up for the day.

Thank You JCC Camps at Medford!

Thank you to Sara and all of the JCC Camps at Medford campers and staff for making us feel so welcome and for treating us to a wonderful afternoon, and we hope to visit again sometime soon.

Enjoy your summer!


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