In what might be a first in vocational training, a South Florida synagogue on Wednesday announced it will commence a Career Camp that trains children as young as five to be bakers, bankers and other heretofore adult jobs.
Rabbi Moishe Kievman, spiritual leader of Chabad Chayil in Miami says it’s never too early to start a child on a career path.
“Today’s American educational system has a misplaced emphasis on a broad, liberal arts type of curriculum,” said Rabbi Kievman. “Kids aren’t taught to focus on real world skills. It’s all about preparing them for standardized testing, not for life in the real world. We want to change that with Career Camp.”
Rabbi Kievman says that in addition to exposing children ages five to 13 to an array of vocational choices and giving them a little taste of each, Career Camp also features ample opportunities to have fun and just be kids.
“Career Camp has got bowling, pizza parties, trips, scavenger hunts and much more for kids to enjoy,” said Kievman. “After all, real life isn’t just all work and no play.”
Some child-rearing experts have posited that Chabad's Rabbi Kievman might be on to something.
“Kids are quite intellectually resilient and are able to process more information regarding rudimentary task training than previously believed,” said Margaret Elaine, a Miami-based author who has written on child-rearing issues for numerous publications. “I think Rabbi Kievman and Chabad have the right idea and that the kids will benefit both from the skills they acquire and the shared social interactions while learning them."
Parents too are jumping on board, fast tracking kids into the work world with skills learned in childhood.
“In Colonial America, young children learned how to milk cows, plow fields and plant crops,” proffered David Schorr, a Coral Springs teacher and parent of a soon-to-turn five-year-old daughter. “I think starting kids off in life with skills they’ll need to know is important. School is great, but it should be supplemented with learning real world skills.”
The Career Camp pilot program will take place during Winter Break, starting Dec. 23 and running through Dec. 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more information contact Rabbi Kievman at 305-770-1919. To register online visit chabadchayil.org/camp. The Career Camp will take place at Chabad Chayil, 2601 NE 211 Terrace, North Miami Beach, FL 33180.