Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Jewish Summer Camp Group Launches Campaign To Prevent Sexual Harassment, Abuse

(JTA) — The Foundation for Jewish Camp has launched an initiative to prevent sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct at camps.

FJC launched the Shmira Initiative in Baltimore Sunday at its biannual Leaders Assembly conference for camp professionals, lay leaders, educators and philanthropists.

The FJC is investing an initial $100,000 in the program.

“Our Jewish communal organizations must be safe places and safe spaces, and we have to ensure that harassment, abuse, gendered power dynamics — that becomes a thing of the past,” said FJC CEO Jeremy Fingerman in an interview with JTA on Monday.

The initiative will educate and provide resources to camp staff about preventing, identifying and reporting sexual misconduct as well as create a campaign to change camp culture around the issue of sexuality and gender expression.

“The #MeToo movement has emboldened victims of sexual harassment and assault to come forward and tell their stories, shining a new spotlight on crimes of child abuse,”  Marina Lewin, chief operating officer of Foundation for Jewish Camp, said in a Sunday statement. “Through the ‘Shmira Initiative,’ our camps and communities will be better equipped to address these issues head on, with immediate action in conjunction with parents and law enforcement authorities.”

Fingerman said summer camps provide an opportunity to teach future community leaders about issues surrounding gender and sexual misconduct.

“Summer camps are a prime place to begin to change gender norms, to create partners and allies for boys and young men,” he said. “Camps are developing the future leaders of our Jewish community — in some sense these camps are an incubator of what the next generation of what Jewish communal leaders will be, and our young people really have the power to shift culture and to influence change.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.