In addition to providing superb science and technology programs, 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy West is a warm, immersive Jewish community. Our Jewish values increase our appreciation and aptitude for science and technology, and that understanding the principles of science and technology heightens our approach to Judaism. Our community promotes the idea that science and Judaism can not only co-exist, but naturally complement each other. Skills such as critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, flexibility, and perseverance define our experience in both areas.
Our core values are:
- Heritage (Moreshet) – We have a connection to a rich history of scientific and technological innovation by members of the worldwide Jewish community and the State of Israel. We see this tradition of innovation as a part of our Jewish heritage just like Shabbat and Rabbinic Texts. We maintain the Reform Jewish tradition of questioning everything and innovating to keep Judaism relevant.
- Curiosity (Sakranut) – We are curious about the world around us, from the mundane to the spectacular. We yearn to understand how and why things work, what makes people tick, how Judaism and science connect, what makes the world go around. (the world)
- Innovation (Chidush) – We strive to bring our creativity to life and make an impact on the world. We express our Reform Jewish sensibility (holding tradition while seeking the contemporary and relevant) by breaking new ground in the fields of science and technology to improve our world, solving important problems. (the work)
- Radical Acceptance (B’tzelem Elohim) – We celebrate the differences in each of us and the uniqueness we each bring to create this sacred and caring community. Being your authentic self while also striving to grow is the coolest you can be. Love of science and a recognition that each of us is created b’tzelem Elohim binds us together.
- Patience & Perseverance (Savlanut v’ Hitmadut) – We seek self-discovery through new pursuits and ideas, challenging ourselves to maximize our skills, talents in new ways. We promote grit, resilience and growth mindset, recognizing that our creations may not work right the first or even second time. We are patient with ourselves and with our fellow campers, as we explore, learn and work. (the self)
Campers learn how Jews throughout history have contributed deeply to the body of scientific knowledge, and their connection to Israel is strengthened through spirit of innovation present there. Our Israeli staff members (shlichim) also bring a personal connection to Israel, sharing their own stories, music, and experiences with our campers.
Our campers also grapple with big questions, like “Can the Big Bang and the Torah story of creation co-exist?”, “What does science teach us about Judaism and what does Judaism teach us about science?”, “What does Judaism say about space exploration?”, “If DNA and proteins are the building blocks of life, who built DNA?”, and “Are we playing God when we genetically modify food or organisms?” Judaism and the camp environment allow and encourage our campers and staff to ask these big questions. Campers may find some answers and think of even more questions, as they are guided by our staff and visiting Rabbis, Cantors and Educators to discover how they can live a life where science and Judaism both have meaning.
Campers leave with a sense of connection to the Jewish community, having built friendships with other Jewish children and having participated in camp’s vibrant Jewish life. At camp, they can experience what Judaism means to them.
6 Points Sci-Tech Academy West is operated by the Union for Reform Judaism, which represents 900 Reform synagogues and operates 18 summer camps across North America.