History

הִיסטוֹרִיָה

Camp Massad was founded in 1953 just north of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by a group of Winnipeg educators and volunteers dedicated to the fledgling State of Israel and the revival of the Hebrew language.

Each new generation of “Massadniks” contribute their own experiences to the Camp and in so doing add to the Camp’s history.

Camp Massad is committed to enhancing Jewish life and a love of Israel and Jewish culture through creative programming, strong leadership and use of the Hebrew language. (Although Hebrew is the working language of the camp, the ability to speak or understand Hebrew is not a prerequisite for attendance.)

Photo: Soody Kleiman (centre), the first Camp Massad Counsellor and Leona Billinkoff (Right) who was the first camp Eemah (mother). Also pictured are Leona's husband Alex and their daughter Batya.

Mission

משימה

To create a dynamic summer camp experience that encourages the use of the Hebrew language, promotes pride in Jewish identity, and connects campers to their community and Israel in a safe, nurturing, inclusive, creative and fun-loving environment.

Since 1953, Camp Massad has offered unparalleled creative and interactive multi-age programming facilitated by an extraordinarily talented and energetic staff. Amenities at Camp Massad include a huge outdoor pool, basketball courts, tennis courts, an outdoor stage, play structures and close proximity to beautiful Lake Winnipeg. The clean, safe accommodations and facilities are distributed over 20 acres of private forest. Camp Massad is an accredited member of the Manitoba Camping Association (MCA) and qualifies for campers to apply for Sunhine Fund camper scholarships (financial assistance).

The unique family-like environment at Camp Massad respects children’s different abilities, makes everyone feel special, and fosters confidence, creativity, camaraderie and lifelong friendships.

Hebrew, Judaism and Israel

עברית יהדות ישראל

HEBREW (עברית): Camp Massad is the only Hebrew immersion residential camp in North America! The use of Hebrew as a daily language is an integral aspect of the camp’s character and one that distinguishes Massad from all other Jewish summer camps. Proficiency in Hebrew is not a prerequisite and non-Hebrew speakers are fully welcomed and integrated into camp life.

JUDAISM (יהדות): Daily creative prayer services (תפילות), blessings before and after meals (ברכות וברכת המזון), the welcoming and celebrating of Shabbat (שבת), Havdallah (הבדלה), simulation programs, philosophical discussions, and kosher food enhance campers’ understanding of their Jewish identity, faith, history, culture, and current Jewish issues.

ISRAEL (ישראל): Camp Massad instills in all campers a respect and love for Eretz Iisrael and its diverse peoples, cultures, history, and geography. Campers are educated and enlightened about Israel through ongoing use of the Hebrew language (עברית), song, dance, and unique programs and activities such as Yom Yisrael, Eurovision, and Rikudei Am.

Leona Billinkoff

גברת ב

Geveret B. (Leona Billinkoff) was an integral person in creation of Camp Massad and she served as “eemah” (camp mother) and administrator at Camp Massad (1953-1978). As “eemah” she supervised the kitchen, comforted homesick children, and developed programming. With the help and expertise of her husband Alex, she oversaw the growth of a ramshackle campsite in Sandy Hook, Manitoba to a self-sustaining entity with quality programming that is still thriving 60 years later. Without her Camp Massad would not be what it is today. Heydad Massad!

Bottom Photo: Alex (Left) and Leona Billinkoff (Right)