Be’chol Lashon Family Camp

Create your diverse Jewish community

Be’chol Lashon’s annual Family Camp retreat has been held at Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma, CA since 2004. This year, the program will be held on the last Saturday of Camp Be’chol Lashon.

Family Camp creates a welcoming environment for new members to celebrate Judaism, learn together, and continue to build the diverse Bay Area Be’chol Lashon community. The program includes a camper-led Shabbat service, adult workshops, and supervised activities for children.

Be’chol Lashon programming fosters a safe environment where individuals can express their Judaism. An atmosphere of inclusiveness while celebrating holidays or special events helps everyone feel part of the Jewish community. Be’chol Lashon activities are community-building, infused with teaching about Judaism, including the history of diversity of the Jewish people. Evaluations consistently indicate that participants “had a great time” at Family Camp and “enjoyed learning with new friends.”

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Passport to Peoplehood

Be’chol Lashon Family Camp reflects a more expansive vision of the Jewish people that coincides with the world-view of younger generations of Jews who have increased access to technology, and for whom being Jewish is one of many identities.

Be’chol Lashon created a new educational resource called Passport to Peoplehood (P2P) as a platform to discuss the historical racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of the Jewish people, and the increasing diversity of America in the 21st century.

Passport to Peoplehood strengthens Jewish identity by raising awareness of the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of Jewish communities around the world. P2P connects young people to their rich multicultural heritage, engaging with unique cultures while highlighting the shared universal values that connects all Jews. We highlight inclusion, diversity and connection as hallmarks of Judaism.

Passport to Peoplehood guides children and parents towards a better understanding of cultural competence to better navigate an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

Family Camp History

The initial programming in the San Francisco Bay Area was an outcome of research—a questionnaire and a series of focus groups. One of the main findings from the research was that ethnically and racially diverse Jews often feel isolated. Some had never seen another Jew who looked like them and they requested opportunities to get togther again. We broufht together the focus groups together at a seminal Hanukkah event in 2000 at the women’s building in San Francico. The result of this sucessful event was the founding of Be’chol Lashon.

The Bay Area Be’chol Lashon programs were launched with a speaker series at the San Francisco Public Library. The speaker series began the process of educating the general Jewish and non-Jewish communities about Jews of color. Community-wide holiday celebrations followed, such as Chanukah, Shavuot and Purim, attracting over 400 participants, half children. Overtime, the Bay Area participants requested more intensive community engagement. Therefore, Bay Area programs have included an annual Shabbaton Family Retreat to provide more in-depth opportunities to celebrate Judaism together.