What makes great advice?

We’re in the midst of studying the story of Bilam and Balak. As we look at their experiences of awe and wonder, we paused to notice the role advice plays in this story and in our own lives.

We asked our students to give us advice on this scenario:

“I want to have a sleepover with all my friends this weekend, and my parents won’t let me. What can I do?”

They offered lots of advice, some quite helpful and some quite humorous:

  • Bargain with your parents. Offer to do more chores in exchange for having the sleepover.
  • Trade: Give up TV time in exchange for having the sleepover party
  • Escape: Jump out the window, call all your friends, wake them up, and go camping!
  • Reschedule: Work with your parents to choose another weekend
  • Compromise: Have the sleepover with fewer friends
  • Annoy: Follow one of your parents around the house until you annoy them into letting you have the sleepover
  • Threaten: Tell your parents you won’t do chores or homework until they let you have the sleepover
  • Be extra nice & ask again later: help with everything, no fighting with your younger sibs, and then ask again later
  • Write it down: In a written letter or card, you can make sure to get your words just right, and that’s harder with talking.

Then, they reflected on that advice and developed some ideas about what makes good or bad advice:

Great Advice:

  • Keeps everyone calm. No one yells or screams as you implement the advice.
  • Effective, gets everyone something they want.
  • Allows you to communicate with words, tone, and volume that other people can listen to and helps you get what you want.
  • Keeps everyone safe.

Bad Advice:

  • Not safe
  • Gets you in trouble
  • Isn’t good for someone else


November School's Out Camp Days!

November is here! As the leaves start to change and the cold bites us a bit more, we look forward to the warmth, fun and excitement of our November “Schools Out” camps here at Makom Community! We will have two action-packed camps on Tuesday November 8th and Friday November 11th Also! Stay tuned to learn abouat our awesome half day camps on November 21st and 22ndIn the meantime, check out the fun stuff we have planned for Nov 8th and Nov 11th! Looking forward to having your kids with here with us!  To register for these camps visit www.makomcommunity.org/camps. 

For more information about our upcoming camp days, please be in touch with our Camp Coordinator, Carlee Pons. carlee@makomcommunity.org or call (484) 278-1335.

Tuesday November 8th –DINO DAY! A Day at The Academy of Natural Sciences $70 + $15 

9:00 Arrival 

10:00 Dino Themed Snacktime Learning 

11:00 Trip to The Academy of Natural Sciences & Picnic Lunch at Sister Cities Park! 

4:00 Snack 

4:30 Science Projects-Dinosaur Excavation and Bubble Making 

5:00-6:00 Games and Pick-up 


Friday November 11th-“The Swamp at Makom Community” Shrek Day! $70 

*Children are encouraged to wear/bring pajamas or comfy clothes and stuffed animals/pillows if they wish for our movie time. Please make sure to bring regular clothes for the playground.  

 9:00 Arrival 

10:00 Fairytale themed Snacktime Learning 

10:45 Shrek Themed Projects with Creature crafts, Candy house building and more! 

12:15 Lunch 

12:45 Movie Time! Shrek 

3:30 Play at Taney Park  

5pm-6pm Shrek Group Games, Free Play and Pick-Up 


Save the Date—Winter Break Camps December 27-January 3 

Stay tuned for more information about our half-day camps in December! Can’t wait to spend winter break with your AWESOME kids. 



Now Hiring!

As Makom Community grows, our staff is growing, too! 

This year, we are thrilled to welcome Gaby Marantz as our afterschool coordinator. We're saying a fond l'hitraot, farewell, to Sarah Fleischman as she gets ready to start a new job in non-profit development in September.

We're hiring for two positions:

Camp Coordinator and Substitute Teachers

The camp coordinator will get to work in the afterschool enrichment program every day, plan and promote our camp days, and be the primary parent contact person for all our camp programming. This position will average 25 hours a week. 

The substiute teachers will support the afterschool and camp learning and have the opportunity to become regular teachers as our enrollment grows and we add additional school pickup locations. This is a more flexible schedule. 

Makom Community is an exciting place to work where our staff gets to dream, create, play, and be a part of an INCREDIBLE community. Interested? Click here for more information:

Camp Coordinator

Substitute Teachers

Summer 2016: Camp August 22 through 26

Looking for fun activities for your child(ren) during the weeks between when their camp ends and school begins? Makom Community is your answer August 22 to September 2! We have two weeks of incredible activities that will have your child exploring the city while immersed in a wonderful Jewish environment. Each day will include a field trip, healthy snacks, friends, and of course FUN!  


See below for detailed information about each day including schedules, admission fees, and transportation details. Our weekly rate includes a discount. Daily drop-in rates are also available. Register at www.makomcommunity.org/camps  


We are considering adding another camp day on Tuesday September 6. If that is something you are interested in, please email Sarah Fleischman, Camp Coordinator. sarah@makomcommunity.org 


Monday, August 22 – Food Science Day 

Does your son or daughter love food? How about science? Our first week of camp will kick off with a day full of science and baking. We will explore how different foods and liquids interact with each other and with nature to create some delicious snacks and projects including solar s’mores, chocolate cake alamode, and lava lamps. 


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack  

10:30 Solar Oven Building  

11:00 Cakes? Volcanoes? YUM. 

11:30 Baking project  

12:00 Lunch 

12:30 Play at Greenfield and Make Solar Oven Smores 

2:00 R & R (Read and Relax!) 

2:30 Homemade Ice Cream 

3:30 Snack – Chocolate Cake ala mode 

4:00 Sink a Marshmallow  

4:30 Make Lava Lamps  

5:00 Games and Pick Up 


Tuesday, August 23 – Franklin Institute ($25 admission) 

After spending a day doing our own food science experiments, we will learn about other types of science with a trip to the Franklin Institute. We will also bring back a favorite experiment, mentos & soda eruptions.  


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, and Snack 

11:00 Franklin Institute 

12:30 Lunch  

1:15 Franklin Institute 

4:00 Snack 

4:30 Summer Science Experiment  

5:00 Games & Pickup 


Wednesday, August 24 – Adventure Aquarium ($35 admission) 

We are getting out of the city today as we explore life under the sea at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden. We will take PATCO to and from the aquarium where we will see sharks, penguins, and more! 


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack 

10:45 PATCO to Aquarium  

11:45 Lunch 

12:30 Aquarium 

3:30 PATCO to Makom Community  

4:30 R & R (Read and Relax!) 

5:00 Games and Pickup 


Thursday, August 25 – Dilworth Plaza Farmer's Market/Art 

Today, we will explore the parks and landmarks around City Hall. Our campers will play in Love Park and on the giant game pieces in front of the Municipal Services Building. We will walk to the farmers market in Dilworth Plaza to buy fresh fruit for smoothies. After enjoying lunch in the plaza, we will play in the sprinklers before returning to Makom Community for an afternoon of art projects.  


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack 

10:30 Make Playdough 

11:30 Play on Giant Game Pieces 

12:00 Walk around Dilworth Plaza Farmer's Market 

12:30 Lunch  

1:00 Play in sprinklers 

3:00 Snack  

3:30 Reading Time 

4:00 Playdough Project 

4:30 Art Project 

5:00 Games & Pickup 




Friday, August 26 – Rittenhouse Relays/Dilworth Plaza 

Our week will conclude with relay races in Rittenhouse Square and a family Shabbat celebration complete with fresh challah. After relays and lunch in the square, we will cool off with a run through the sprinklers back at Dilworth Plaza. Upon our return to Makom Community we will have ice cream sundaes and welcome Shabbat with a Pre-Shabbat dance party. Families are invited to join us for our family Shabbat celebration beginning at 5:30pm. 


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack 

10:30 Make Challah Dough 

11:30 Relay Races in Rittenhouse Square 

12:15 Lunch in Rittenhouse Square 

1:00 Play in Dilworth Plaza Sprinklers 

2:45 Reading Time 

3:15 Ice Cream Sundae Snack 

3:45 Make Challah 

4:15 Dance Party/Freeze Dance 

4:45 Play at Greenfield 

5:30 Family Shabbat 

Summer Camp: August 29 through September 2

Sign up for both weeks, one week or even just one day! For more information visit the website (www.makomcommunity.org/camps) or contact our Camp Coordinator, Sarah Fleischman, at sarah@makomcommunity.org. We can’t wait to spend time with your child(ren) this summer! 


Monday, August 29 – Zoo Day ($35 admission) 

We have already met our underwater friends, and now Week 2 will kick off with a trip to the Philadelphia Zoo where we will meet some of the world’s most fascinating land animals. We will take the Philadelphia Phlash to and from the Zoo, a bus ride which will include a highlights tour of Philadelphia.  


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack 

10:45 Phlash to Zoo 

11:45 Lunch 

12:30 Zoo 

3:30 Snack 

4:00 Phlash to Makom Community  

5:00 Games & Pickup 


Tuesday, August 30 – Sister Cities Beach Party Day 

We will play beach games at Sister Cities Park and in the fountains to cool down. Back at Makom Community we will decorate beach balls, make ice cream sundae creations, and make sand art bracelets. We will wrap up the day with a beach blanket dance party. 


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack 

10:30 Beach ball decorating 

11:45 Lunch in Sister Cities Park 

12:15 Beach Games  

1:00 Play in fountains 

2:45 Ice Cream Sundae Snack 

3:15 Sand Art 

3:45 Beach Blanket Dance Party 

4:15 Play at Greenfield 

5:00 Games & Pickup 


Wednesday, August 31 - Philly Scavenger Hunt/Liberty Observation Deck ($20 admission) 

Our city kid campers are so proud of knowing their way around the city. We will begin the day by visiting the new Liberty Observation Deck and getting a beautiful panoramic view of Philadelphia. After pointing out some landmarks, we will test our knowledge with a scavenger hunt where we will find clues in different Center City attractions and get people to join us in song and dance.  


9:00 Arrive & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack 

11:15 Liberty Observation Deck 

12:15 Lunch at Liberty Place  

12:45 Philly Scavenger Hunt  

3:00 Movie 

5:00 Games & Pickup 


Thursday, September 1 - Yom Teva (Nature Day) 

We have explored the city, now we will explore teva, nature, with a whole day of nature activities, right here in Center City. We will have a nature scavenger hunt along the Schuylkill River Path, look for and create our own land art, and create our own stories about teva. 


9:00 Arrival & Games 

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, & Snack 

10:30 Nature Conversation – What are some things we look for in Nature? 

11:30 Nature Scavenger Hunt 

12:30 Lunch in Taney Park 

1:00 Play at Taney Park 

2:00 Land Art Project 

3:00 Snack  

3:30 Story time  

4:30 Leaf Rubbings 

5:00 Games & Pickup 


Friday, September 2 – Smith Playground ($5 bus fee) 

We will take the 32 bus to and from Smith Playground.  We will play on the giant slide, spin on the Apollo, and climb on the giant net climber. When we return to Makom Community each child will bake their own challah and we will welcome Shabbat with a Pre-Shabbat dance party. Families are invited to join us for our family Shabbat celebration beginning at 5:30pm. 


9:00 Arrive, Games & Make Challah Dough 

10:00 Welcome & Overview of Day 

10:30 32 Bus to Smith Playground 

11:30 Play at Smith Playground 

12:15 Lunch at Smith Playground 

12:45 Play at Smith Playground 

2:45 Make Challah 

3:15 Movie 

5:00 Dance Party/Freeze Dance 

5:30 Family Shabbat 



June 23 Camp

June is here, and the end of school is right around the corner! Crazy! Are you looking for enriching day camp activities on June 23rd and 24th (the Thursday after school is over)? Send your kids to Makom Community! We have amazing outdoor Philadelphia adventures planned!  


Thursday June 23 Old City $70 + $5 

We are exploring Old City with a tour of theUS Mint, Franklin Square, the Liberty Bell, and the Once Upon a Nation Storybenches. You get all of these tickets for just $5 for SEPTA tokens!   

9:00 Arrive & Games  

10:00 Welcome, Overview of Day, Snack  

10:45 17 Bus to Old City  

11:30 US Mint  

12:30Lunch and play in Franklin Square 

1:30 Once Upon a Nation Storybenches 

3:00 17 Bus back to Makom 

3:30 Snack & Movie 

5:00 Games and Pickup  


This is the style of fun camp activities we have planned for the summer. We hope your child(ren) will join us in June as well as at the end of August. Check out the Makom Community website(www.makomcommunity.org/camps)for more information and to register! For more information, contact Beverly Socher-Lerner beverly@makomcommunity.org (484) 278-1335. 


Happy Summer! 

Fall 2016 Enrollment

What a journey our first two years have been! ­We have journeyed with our Avot v’Imahot (ancestors), explored the journey out of Egypt and explored what it means to live in a holy way. We have welcomed new friends from a variety of schools and neighborhoods; new staff members; and learned, played, and celebrated together.

Fall 2016 Enrollment Now Open!
Ready to join us this fall? Enrollment is now open for children ages 4-10 years old. Come play with us in the afternoons! We’re open Monday through Friday 3-6pm. Your child(ren) will explore Jewish ideas in a meaningful way that works for them among great friends and nurturing staff. We’ll learn Hebrew together and celebrate Shabbat and holidays, too. Flexible two to five day a week schedules are available. We recommend three to five days schedules so your child can get the most out of the Makom Community experience. Enroll today! Click here: www.makomcommunity.org/EnrollmentFall2016

Arrange a Private Tour
Curious about Makom Community and want to come visit? Reply to this email to arrange a private tour! We’d love to show you all the fun we’re having.

Summer Camps
Summer camp signup is still available, too! Looking for a couple days of great activities on 6/23-6/24 immediately after school ends? We have fantastic programming planned!

Then we’ll be recharging our batteries and planning fall programming over the summer until we resume camp again on August 22. We have camp from then until schools re-open in September.

Looking for other great summer camp options? Philadelphia is full of great Jewish summer camps that pick up from Center City. Check them out!

Be in touch anytime if you have questions about afterschool enrichment or camp days!

Hope to see you soon!


Perks of an Urban Jewish Education

What do a pear, a princess, and a fashion designer all have in common? They’re all on their way to the U.S. Mint and Constitution Center on a camp day field trip, and they’re getting ready for Purim, too!

Being a Jewish educator in an urban setting is a special journey. The city of Philadelphia is our classroom. Our students sit next to each other on a SEPTA bus comparing their favorite routes. And they understand, deep down in their kishkes, the beauty of the many kinds of people who make up this amazing city.

Before we head out to the Mint and Constitution Center, just before Purim, we stop to reflect on some of our context that means we don’t live in Shushan. Do we have a crazy king who lets his advisors create edicts without much oversight? No! Only way to undo an edict is another edict? No! A single governement advisor who has it out for a whole people just for being true to who they are? No! So let’s go learn about the systems in our country that we have instead…

Then we boarded a bus, rode it across town from our home base near Rittenhouse Square to the historic part of Philadelphia. Explored the mint and watched coins made, learned about the challenging journey the U.S. has had so far in creating a democracy with liberty as a core value, learned about the journey to the White House (a far better option than a king!), and had a picnic lunch.

Conversations that happen when the city is your classroom are amazing, between Z a 6 year old and G, one of our Makom Community staff members:

Z: What makes something funny?

G: What kinds of things usually make you laugh?

Z: I love surprises.

G: I think surprise is a great part of something being funny. Like when you expect one thing to happen, but something else does.

Z: How does that work?

Another student: Knock knock

Z: Who’s there?

Another student: Sticks out tongue and makes silly noises.

Both laugh uproariously. And now that we’re laughing, it feels like Purim. They all took home hand-made hamentashen to share with their families, folded inside a new understanding of the Purim story grounded in our time and place. Chag Purim Sameach—wishing you a Happy Purim from Makom Community!

Crossposted to the Center City Kehillah blog: www.centercityjews.org





February and Beyond: Spring and Summer Camps at Makom Community

Despite this morning’s freezing rain, spring is almost here! Amazing, right?! At Makom Community we’re gearing up for lots of AMAZING camp days coming your way soon, and registration is open for all of them, including summer camp!

We need six children signed up to make each camp days happen. Signing up sooner rather than later will help us know how many children to expect and let us tell you that camp is on! We always make that determination a week in advance so we can buy tickets for our outings. Sign up today! www.makomcommunity.org/camps

Half-Day Camps $40 (or $20 if you’re enrolled in afterschool enrichment)

Anytime the School District of Philadelphia closes for a half-day for conferences or professional development, we have camp! For the full calendar, click here: www.makomcommunity.org/calendar.

Full-Day Camps 9am-6pm $70

  • 2/26 Inside Out Camp Day and Trip to Philadelphia Art Museum
  • 3/22-3/26 Spring Break Camp including a trip to the Zoo, Franklin Institute, service project for the Mitzvah Food Pantry, and more!
  • 4/26
  • 6/23-7/1

Special Perelman Jewish Day School Camp Days

  • 3/22 & 3/31 Conferences
  • 4/21 & 4/26-4/28

If you’d like more information about any of these camps or are interested in coming for a tour before we open enrollment for Fall 2016, please be in touch!


Philly Area Jewish Summer Camps-- So many amazing options!!!

As we all prepare to spend the next few months bundled up, I want to remind everyone that it is never too early to begin thinking about camp. And as you begin to think about what your summer will look like, we hope that you will consider spending part of your summer at one of the incredible Jewish summer camps in our area, continuing on a Jewish journey and making lifelong friends. Each of these camps offers unique and wonderful programming. If you would like to talk one-on-one about finding the right camp for your child and family, I’d love to discuss it with you over a cup of coffee! I spent seven of the very happiest summers of my life at Jewish summer camp, and I would love to encourage you to share these amazing experiences with your child(ren).

We had visits from two of these camps during winter break (JCC Medford and URJ Harlam Day Camp). Ramah Day Camp will be coming to visit us during our spring break camps. Below is a note, information, and a discount for each one!

Looking forward to talking with you more about your amazing camp options for this summer! And looking forward to warmer weather, too!



P.S.- There are gaps between the end of school and when camps start and the end of camp and when school resumes. Makom Community runs full-day camps those days. Check out our calendar for more information: www.makomcommunity.org/calendar.

URJ Harlam Day Camp Information


During winter break, I had the great pleasure of Joining the Makom Community for one of my all-time favorite camp activities: S’more Making! It was truly an incredible (and quite messy…sorry about that ) time. I want to thank all of you for making me feel welcome in such a Kehilla Kedosha (sacred community).

Located at Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy Bryn Mawr, PA. Harlam Day Camp sits on a beautiful 35 acre wooded campus. The campus includes regulation athletic fields, all weather tennis courts, a new indoor gymnasium, art and dance studios, a pond, nature trails, a dining hall, picnic areas, an auditorium and more. Our fully developed program includes traditional camp programs (arts and crafts, sports, nature, swimming, drama, etc.) field trips to some of the most exciting places in the greater Philadelphia area, overnights and camping trips, special guests and of course, a weekly Shabbat celebration. Above all else, Harlam Day Camp is a deeply Jewish experience. With local clergy as part of our summer faculty, staff from Israel, and mission that is focused on building Jewish identity, Judaism is felt in every part of our day. Transportation is available from the anywhere in the greater Philadelphia area.

As a Makom Community member, we are also excited to offer you an extra $100 off of each session you are at camp. To register click here, and when asked how you heard of Harlam Day Camp, select “other” from the drop down menu and in the box provided type “MAKOM” to receive your discount. If you register before January 31st you will also receive our early bird discount of an additional $100 off each session!

If you are interested in learning more about our financial assistance programs, our referral discounts (for registered families), morning and after care, would like to set up a time to see camp, or have any other questions at all, please check us out at www.HarlamDayCamp.org, or contact us at 610-668-0423 or HarlamDayCamp@URJ.org.

Thanks again, happy new year, and remember to…THINK CAMP!



JCC Camps at Medford Information

Dear Makom Community Families,

We were honored to spend the afternoon at Makom on Tuesday and enjoyed a few hours of fun, camp-themed activities.  The JCC Camps at Medford loves getting to meet new Philadelphia Families!

We would be thrilled to have you join our camp family!  Join us at our Camp Open House on Sunday, April 17th for a tour.  Get the true camp experience- we will be offering a free bus from Rittenhouse Square at 11 AM to take you and your family out to camp!  Email Sara at ssideman@jfedsnj.org if you are interested in joining us! 

We also currently have a new camp family discount- $250 off per camper!  You can register online at www.jcccampsatmedford.org.

The JCC Camps at Medford, a day camp in Southern New Jersey for children ages 3 – 14, is located on a 120-acre shaded site in Medford, NJ. We enrich the lives of children by teaching values and life skills in a fun, safe, Jewish environment while creating lasting friendships and memories.

Our Summer Day Camp is divided into six age-specific programs:

Camp Hilltop for ages 3-6, Camp Shalom for ages 7-9, Camp Aaron for ages 10-13, Chaverim Travel Camp for ages 12-13, and Gesher/LIT Program for age 14

We are the premier day camp in Southern New Jersey

Our outstanding Burlington County camp facilities and exceptional staff make us the premier day camp in South Jersey. Each day camp program has its own facilities that are designed for the needs of that age group. Our campers enjoy outstanding facilities that include: several swimming pools designed for each age level (pools for older campers include water slides and diving board), a picturesque lake with fishing and boating, sports fields, water splash park, nature complex, art centers and much more. We have an amazing camper to staff ratio. Our mature and caring staff composed of counselors, activity specialists, and Red Cross certified lifeguards will provide your camper with an incredible summer camp experience.

Additionally, we provide safe, supervised transportation from at no additional charge.  We currently have three air-conditioned buses daily to and from Philadelphia, picking up at 8 stops throughout different area neighborhoods.

See our camp in action HERE!

We look forward to seeing you at camp this summer!


Sara Sideman, LSW

Assistant Director, JCC Camps at Medford

Winter: 1301 Springdale Road, Cherry Hill NJ 08003

(856) 424-4444 x1089



Ramah Day Camp Information

Ramah Day Camp is a fun, dynamic and enriching summer camp experience for children entering pre-kindergarten through current 7th graders. Our campers enjoy a summer of growth, exploration, excitement, friendships, learning, and lots and lots of fun! Located on a beautiful, tree-lined campus in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, Ramah Day Camp provides a full range of programming in a nurturing, safe environment that brings Judaism alive in fun and engaging ways. We are offering a $100 discount to Makom Community families who enroll for this summer.

We look forward to visiting Makom Community during spring break camp and getting to meet you! For more information, contact Eileen Graub EileenG@ramahpoconos.org

www.ramahdaycamp.org Check out our Virtual Tour: http://www.ramahdaycamp.org/virtual-tour/