More than 70,000 children attend Jewish summer camps across the United States each summer.
When they start the next school year, whether it's in a Orthodox or Conservative day school or in a public school, they come with a strong sense of their Jewish identity and a personal connection with Israel, its culture, and its music.
A 2011 study found that camp alumni show higher levels of Jewish engagement in everything from ritual observance to Jewish charitable giving to marrying within the faith.
Overnight (sleepaway) camp is a total immersion in Jewish life and is the usual subject of studies like this one, but day camps also play a major role in keeping Jewish connections alive during the summer months.
Notable among these summer day camps is Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, New York, which provides children who are entering grades K-8 with a camping experience in a setting of love, friendship, wonder and discovery, a setting where Judaism is integral to daily activities. Camps like this one are feeder camps for overnight camps when the children get older.
One of the most anticipated days in the Ramah camp calendar is the Zimriah, a songfest where all of the children, together with their counselors and staff, display their singing talents and command of Hebrew.
Last week, only a few weeks into the camp season, the Zimriah took place outdoors on the camp grounds.
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