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Saturday, October 31, 2020

Sweden’s Only Jewish Camp Reverses Decision to Close This Summer

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(JTA) — Sweden’s only Jewish camp has reversed its decision to close this summer.

Glamsta, a 111-year-old summer camp located in Stockholm’s archipelago, said last month that it was nixing its 2020 sessions due to the coronavirus pandemic. But on Friday, Stockholm’s Jewish community said it would allow a smaller group of kids to participate this summer following new guidelines from the Swedish government.

Kids living in Stockholm who were born in 2005 will be allowed to do a sleepaway session, as they are the last age group that would be allowed to participate in the camp. The total number of campers and staffers will not exceed 50, the maximum allowed by the Swedish government.

Those campers represent a fraction of the 370 kids who had signed up to participate this summer. Stockholm’s Jewish community, which runs Glamsta, is also offering a day camp for kids who live in the capital.

The camp plays an integral role in Sweden’s small Jewish community of 15,000. For many children, especially those living outside Stockholm, it is the only time of the year that they are surrounded by other young Jews and learn about their heritage.

Many Jewish institutions in Sweden have been closed since Mid-March, though the country as a whole has taken a lax approach to combating the coronavirus by allowing most businesses to stay open. Dozens of Jewish summer camps in the United States have nixed sessions this summer due to the pandemic.

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