The Youth Centre of the Jewish Community of Estonia has been organising the Lehaim spring camp since 2004. The camp welcomes children and teenagers from Estonia aged 7–18. As the spring school break only lasts for one week, the camp programme of activities is spread over 5-6 days. Informal classes are meant for various age groups and for the entire camp. This is not just leisure, but also extensive creative and educational activities that require thorough preparation. The activities are conducted in groups supervised by madrichim and also in creative workshops taught by specially invited specialists. How successful the camp session is, depends on preparation, which starts three months before. Madrichim have regular meetings on the Community premises, prepare for future classes on the topics to be covered in the camp, suggest various ideas for evening events. Directly before the spring break, the whole team that is going to work in the camp leaves the city to go to the site of the camp activities for 2-3 days without the children. This is where last preparations take place, and supplementary lectures are read by specialists proficient in the topic the camp focuses on this time.

From the Jewish Community’s perspective, two aspects are extremely important: the result (how the camp activities went) and the process, in which 25 young volunteers come to the Community Centre every day to expand their knowledge in Jewish studies. So, intensive and fascinating work on the preparation of camp activities is of no less significance than the result!

The camp is financially supported by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.