Our Philosophy

large group of teens in white shirts hanging onto eachothers shoulders while sitting down and watching a performance outside.

Want to spend your summer in sunny California, making friends with people from all over the world, while sharing your joy for Judaism and the environment?

JCA staff not only make the difference in children’s lives by creating camp magic, they experience the camp magic! Experience activities like nature, pioneer living, ropes course, animals, martial arts, dance, to all camp programs like Color War, Israel Day, Fourth of July carnival, and unforgettable experiences like Shabbat under the stars and camping trips in Malibu.

Building long-lasting friendships and community are at the core of what we do, which starts with “Cabin Centric Camping,” making our counselors one of our most important ingredients to a successful camp experience. At JCA, the staff experience is just as meaningful as the camper experience, so we have multiple senior staff dedicated to Staff Care: time off, social time, mental health support, days off guidance, and more!

Over 100 fantastic staff people make up our summer staff community. While our focus is on the campers, camp provides a fantastic social experience for all of the staff as well. As a result, camp positions are very competitive, and we suggest that staff apply early.


Learn more about working at camp in our Staff Frequently Asked Questions.

JCA’s 10 Core Jewish Values

Trustworthiness – EMUNAH

Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends and country

Do not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus/Shemot 20:17)

Respect- KAVOD

Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements

Honor your father and mother that you may long endure on the land that Adonai your God has assigned to you. (Exodus/Shemot 20:12)

Responsibility – ACHRAYUT

Do what you are supposed to do • Persevere: keep on trying! • Always do your best • Use self-control • Be self-disciplined • Think before you act — consider the consequences • Be accountable for your choices

If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when? (Hillel, Pirkei Avot)

Fairness – TZEDEK

Play by the rules • Take turns and share • Be open-minded; listen to others • Don’t take advantage of others • Don’t blame others carelessly

Justice, justice you shall pursue. (Deuteronomy/Devorim 16:20)

Caring – CHESED

Be kind • Be compassionate and show you care • Express gratitude • Forgive others • Help people in need

Love your neighbor as yourself. (Leviticus/Vayikra 19:18)

Community – KEHILLAH

Show Respect • Do your share to make your community better • Cooperate • Get involved in community affairs • Stay informed; vote • Be a good neighbor • Obey laws and rules • Respect authority • Protect the environment

Do not separate yourself from the community. (Mishna, Sanhedrin 2:5)

Kindness/Warmth/Positivity – SEVER PANIM YAFOT

Smile, and the world smiles back at you! • It is the demeanor of how you should do something • Put on a smiley face when you do things• Optimism • Don’t give up • Believing in yourself and your abilities • Thinking of others •

We respect all Jews and all peoples and greet every human being with sever panim yafot – a warm, cheerful and pleasant countenance. (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

Role Modelling – DUGMA EESHEET

Be consistent in your teachings • Set a good example • Model positive choice-making • Apologize and admit mistakes • Stay true to your word, don’t be hypocritical • Never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself

Keepers of the Earth – SHOMREI ADAMAH

In the Torah, God instructs us that the earth is God’s – not ours, and that we are to tend it. • Keeping in mind the future, we must be excellent stewards of the Earth• Build a connection between the land and our everyday lives • Garner an appreciation of the Earth’s resources, to prevent us from taking those resources for granted.

All of us – KULANU

Be inclusive • Value each and every individual for who they are • Respect and embrace our differences and backgrounds • Create a sense of belonging for each person.

Each of us is created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God (Genesis 1:27)
“For my house shall be a house of prayer for all people.” (Isaiah 56:5)

teens sitting in folding chairs outside watching a performance on a basketball court.

a positive Jewish living experience

Build lifelong meaningful relationships