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Kayitz Kef

Hebrew at Camp

The Areivim Hebrew at Camp/Kayitz Kef program gives American Jewish youth the ability to converse in Modern Israeli Hebrew and to own contemporary Israeli culture as part of who they are. Hebrew provides rich and authentic content for one’s Jewish identity without necessarily requiring religious commitment. Kayitz Kef is at the forefront of a movement to inspire a new generation united by passion for Hebrew, Israel, and worldwide Jewish connectedness. 

The Areivim Philanthropic Group is delighted to announce that it has finalized an agreement with Brandeis University to transition Areivim's Kayitz Kef/Hebrew at Camp Program to the Consortium for the Teaching of Hebrew Language and Culture at Brandeis University.

Areivim's Kayitz Kef program has been partnering with Jewish day camps and overnight camps in North America to deliver Hebrew immersion experiences for campers since the summer of 2013. Kayitz Kef currently supports over 25 camps in providing quality Hebrew immersion programs that teach campers to speak and understand Modern Israeli Hebrew.

The Kayitz Kef program will be run by the Brandeis Consortium as one of its hallmark programs under the oversight of Professor Vardit Ringvald, Director of the Consortium. Kayitz Kef will continue to be led by Sharon Schoenfeld, National Director of Kayitz Kef.

For over 10 years, the Kayitz Kef program has given American Jewish youth the ability to converse in Modern Israeli Hebrew and to own contemporary Israeli culture as part of who they are. Hebrew provides rich and authentic content for one's Jewish identity.

A 2020 research study shows that campers in Kayitz Kef programming have deeper connections to Israel than other campers attending the same camp.

Areivim has provided grant funding to support Kayitz Kef through August of 2026.

Funders of the Kayitz Kef program through Areivim include The Steinhardt Foundation for Jewish Life, The Marcus Foundation, The Koum Family Foundation, and the Libitzky Family Foundation.


For more information about Kayitz Kef programs, please contact Sharon Schoenfeld at or at 929-900-4001.

To discuss funding opportunities, please contact Talia Lefkowitz at or David Gedzelman at

The Program

  • Hebrew at Camp launched in 2013 with 1 camp and 17 campers. In 2023, the program provided services to 17 day camps and 9 overnight camps in North America reaching over 1,500 campers. By 2026, Hebrew at Camp will be offered at 34 day camps and serve over 2,000 campers.

  • Campers experience between 120 and 200 hours of Hebrew immersion over the course of the summer. This is an intense content program with serious impact that gets real results.

  • The camper retention rate for Hebrew at Camp has been 64%.

  • Hebrew at Camp is guided by the proficiency approach to foreign language acquisition, recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages as the gold standard in foreign language instruction.


Hebrew At Camp delivers transformative changes to the Jewish camp experience:

  • Deep Connection to Israel and Israelis: Camper interact with charismatic Israeli role models in an authentic and engaging way, creating a stron emotional connection with the life and culture of Israel.

  • Real Hebrew Knowledge: Campers learn to express themselves and communicate in Hebrew through the Proficiency Approach to foreign language acquisition and are soon enjoying the full range of camp activities in Hebrew. An independent evaluation of the project has shown that returning campers are able to regain the language ability achieved during the previous summer after only two weeks and are then able to grow to even higher levels of proficiency.

  • Transformed Perceptions of Hebrew Among Parents: Parents perceive that learning Hebrew can be fun and have even become inspired to learn Hebrew themselves.

  • Spillover Effect: Campers and counselors speaking Hebrew has an impact throughout camp, creating an Israeli cultural presence and engaging other adults and campers with Hebrew.

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For more information on Kayitz Kef, please contact Sharon Schoenfeld, Kayitz Kef National Director:


Phone -  (929) 900-4001


Email -

Download our brochure:

Kayitz Kef - The First 5 Years

“Becoming Connected to Israel through Hebrew: Promising New evidence”
Read the article from eJewishPhilanthropy here

The original report can be read here

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