Jewish Life + Values
Inclusive – Exciting – Joyful – Warm
At Camp Pembroke, campers experience exciting, inspiring Jewish daily life in a community that celebrates heritage, Israel and Jewish values. We call these philosophies and values Our 10 Jewish Commitments.
Eli and Bessie Cohen founded the three Cohen Camps 1935-1945 to connect young people to their communities. They envisioned trans-denominational, welcoming summer homes in which youth could explore their individual and collective Jewish identities and prepare themselves for their role in the larger Jewish community and the world. We continue this legacy today, every day, through Jewish music, learning about Israel, Israeli dance instruction, daily prayers in the Kosher dining hall, daily culture experiences, and special programs designed by our staff, including the very popular annual Israel Day. At Camp Pembroke, Jewish life is both personal and connected, thoughtful and fun!
Camp Pembroke is deeply committed to building an inclusive community. Our families reflect the breadth of the Jewish experience, including many interfaith families. Our approach invites each young person to explore how Judaism can inform and inspire their life in the ways most meaningful to them–with the joy that summer camp brings out!
Shabbat at Pembroke
Shabbat is a special time at Camp Pembroke…one that campers treasure and alumnae warmly consider one of the most memorable and life-changing parts of camp.
Dressed in blue and white, we welcome Shabbat each week with services in our Pine Grove, where the sunset filters through the trees as it reflects off the lake. After a traditional Shabbat dinner, the entire camp participates in an exuberant song and dance session.
Campers play a big role in helping to lead Shabbat evening and morning services. Shabbat has a completely different schedule than the rest of the week: afternoon activities bring in a variety of Jewish and Israeli-culture themes for all campers, and Shabbat ends with the songs, scents, and candles of Havdallah.
S-Team Project for Older Campers
At Camp Pembroke, we provide an environment that nurtures and encourages girls to speak their mind from a young age. As girls grow into young women, self-esteem becomes even more essential. Camp Pembroke has created a unique program, “The S-Team Project” for our oldest campers. We also call it “Chazak-Chazak,” or Strength-to-Strength.
The program provides an engaging series of speakers, activities and discussion groups exploring topics relevant to today’s Jewish young women. It draws on Jewish readings and teachings, among other materials, to spark conversation and reflection. Together, Camp Pembroke’s oldest campers consider body image, the place of women in Judaism and Israel, nutrition, and conflict resolution at camp and at home. Individually, each girl embarks upon her lifelong discovery of her own individuality and personal identity. She deepens her personal engagement with her own Judaism, and she finds her own path into her heritage and tradition.
Israel Teen Travel
Jewish life and learning at Camp Pembroke can culminate in an extraordinary experience, the Dor L’Dor (Generation to Generation) Israel travel capstone program for our oldest campers, an intensive four-week tour of Israel. Younger Pembroke campers relish the weekly Shabbat updates sent in by the Dor L’Dor travelers. This program and its teen role models help even our youngest campers discover the deep value in connecting with the historical, religious and cultural aspects of the State of Israel.