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2015-03-27 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2019 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


March 27, 2015  RSS feed
Front Page

Text: T T T

Hillel at Eckerd dives into new summer scuba camp

The camp is an outgrowth of the Eckerd College ScubiJews, shown on a dive to restore coral reefs. The camp is an outgrowth of the Eckerd College ScubiJews, shown on a dive to restore coral reefs. Eckerd College Hillel will offer a new unique, Scuba diving summer camp for middle and high school students.

The new weeklong, overnight camp, Tikkun HaYam: Repair the Seas Jewish Scuba Camp, will offer two sessions during the month of June. Eckerd Hillel, which is organizing the camp, is part of the Hillels of the Florida Suncoast organization,

The camp will be held at Eckerd College campus, located on the waterfront near the southern tip of St Petersburg.

During the 6-day, 5-night camp, students will receive an Open Water Scuba Certification from SSI (Scuba Schools International) along with learning the Jewish tenets of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzar ba’alei chayim (prevention of cruelty to animals), bal tashchit (preservation of natural resources) and Torah teachings about the sea.

Additionally, campers will gain exposure to a wide variety of marine conservation organizations.

Two sessions of the Tikkun HaYam camp will be offered for the inaugural summer camp season. Session 1 will be held from June 14-19 and is open to rising seventh, eighth and ninth grade students, with a limit of 15 campers. Session 2 will be held from June 21-26 and is open to rising 10th, 11th and 12th grade students, with a limit of 20 campers.

Campers must be able to demonstrate the minimum requirements for swimming proficiency to attend. Formal scuba diving instruction and certification will be provided by instructors from the Gulfport Dive Center (

Rabbi Ed Rosenthal, Hillels of the Florida Suncoast’s executive director, and avid scuba diver, will lead the camp, along with two Eckerd College Hillel student counselors/ certified scuba divers. Rabbi Rosenthal has been a certified scuba diver for the last 30 years and has a tremendous appreciation for everything under the water.

“As a rabbi, teacher, and scuba diver, I am incredibly excited to offer the Tikkun HaYam summer camp program to students in the greater Tampa Bay area Jewish community,” said Rabbi Rosenthal.

“This summer camp is a creative extension of Scubi Jew, also known as EC Environmental Divers, an Eckerd College student club created by Hillel that is now one of the largest and most popular student clubs on campus,” he said. “Scubi Jew’s efforts have regularly focused on coral restoration in the Florida Keys, coastal cleanups in Pinellas County, and manatee awareness in Crystal River, among other marine environmental issues.”

The camp, Rabbi Rosenthal continued, “will allow Scubi Jew students to share what they do on a year-round basis with local kids and hopefully inspire them to become more passionate about their Judaism and the marine environment.”

The cost for the scuba diving camp is $1,000 and includes participation in all scuba diving instruction and certification, other camp activities, use of all Eckerd College recreational facilities, all meals and snacks, and lodging in Eckerd College residence halls.

Registration deadline is May 15. A limited number of need-based, partial scholarships are available. For more information and registration, go to or contact Linda Wolf, Suncoast Hillels’ assistant director, at (813) 899-2788 or

Tikkun HaYam: Repair the Seas Jewish Scuba Camp is sponsored by Eckerd College Hillel, with scholarship assistance provided by the Jewish Federation of Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

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