Jewish Families of Color Weekend

An intentional affinity space for Jewish families of color (JOC+*) to build community and rejuvenate in the stunning beauty of the Sierra Mountains. Join us to celebrate and center our multiracial Jewish community and cultural richness.


September 19 – 22, 2024
(Thursday – Sunday)


Multigenerational space open to families that include at least one person of color in their household; all ages; grandparents welcome as well as individuals who identify as Jews of color.

This special weekend is deeply aligned with our mission and our values around equity and justice; we do not want cost to be prohibitive, please see below for information about financial assistance.

Program Overview

For the fourth year, we are thrilled to offer an affinity space just for families with at least one person of color in their household. This weekend will celebrate multiracial Jewish community by centering JOC+* and offering dynamic workshops, discussions and other programming led by JOC+* guest educators on topics of interest and relevance to you.

Plus, all the classic Tawonga Family Camp offerings, like campfires with s’mores, a community shabbat celebration, talent show and more. 

We understand that the language of “person of color” may not capture the nuance of everyone’s identities. Our goal is to create a big tent while maintaining this weekend as a special affinity space. If you have questions about if this weekend is right for you or your family and would like to have a conversation, please reach out to Director of Equity, Inclusion & Justice Kiyomi Gelber.

Two father's kissing daughter during Keshet


Tawonga Blog – “2,435 Miles Away From Home, I Finally Found a Family that Looked Looked Like Mine”

Gabriela Orozco writes: “Tawonga’s Jewish Families of Color Family Camp gave me a special kind of magic — the strength, courage and community to continue existing in the world as my whole, uncompromised self. . . ”

The J. – “‘Breath of fresh air’: Camp Tawonga weekend for Jewish families of color coming up Aug. 25-28”

“It was a space where we could be ourselves without some of the concerns or worries or discomforts that can come from being a Jew of color in traditionally white Jewish spaces,” McCarty-Caplan, 41, told J.

Forward – “This California camp lets Jews of Color like me just be ourselves”

Jordan Daniels reflects on the powerful experience of joining Tawonga’s inaugural Jewish Families of Color Weekend in 2021: “Many stories written by Jews of Color, including myself, discuss our ‘othered’ experiences in Jewish spaces … But we also have stories of belonging — where we can just be — and with places like Camp Tawonga, they’re finally being written. I’m grateful to write this one.”


“I felt like this weekend was just so validating for me and my family and my kids. To be around other mixed kids and mixed people.”
– Weekend Participant 2021

“This whole weekend has felt like a breath, an opening of the heart.”
– Weekend Participant 2021


“If you are a blended multiracial family then this is the camp for you! As a person of color it was so beautiful to just show up as myself and not have to worry about whether I fit in. I recommend this camp to families with children of color and only wish it was in existence when I was little.”
– Weekend Participant 2022


“Camp Tawonga gave our family the rare gift of sacred space for community-building with other multi-racial families, authentic sharing, and a time to celebrate spirit in nature with multiracial Jewish families. This was a first for us, but hopefully, not the last!”
– Weekend Participant 2022


“Finally a place that looks like our Jewish family. Lots of fun, joyful, restful, and an amazing experience!”
– Weekend Participant 2022


What a welcoming, affirming and joyful weekend for my family. It was so thoughtfully planned and implemented. Tawonga was a place where I felt unique belonging as a child and teenager. Getting to see my own kids experience their own versions of that was truly delightful.”
– Weekend Participant 2023

Affinity Space Program Highlights

We hope to empower participants to co-create the experience with us! Please let us know if there is a workshop or offering you would like to be paid to contribute to the weekend. Below are some offerings you can expect to experience at the weekend, led by JOC+ family guest educators and program facilitators:

  • Fun and uplifting camp music and multicultural-themed songleading inclusive of many languages and including Spanish, Arabic, Ladino and cultures such as Sephardic, Mizrachi, African Jews and more.
  • Yoga and mindfulness practices.
  • Adult workshops facilitated by JOC+ educators focused on a range of topics such as an affinity space for people of color who do not identify as Jewish, a workshop on how to talk to your kids about race, a workshop for white allies and conversations/workshops about adoption experiences.

General Program Highlights

  • Activities – In addition to specialized programming, we’re offering all of our classic Family Camp activities, including yoga, arts and crafts, the challenge course, hiking, campfires and s’mores, boating on the lake, shabbat, stargazing and more!
  • Day Groups and Childcare – Morning day group childcare for kids two and older. Children will participate in activities outside and masked. For those with little ones under two, we will have some fun baby/toddler and parent activities to enjoy! Due to masking, distancing and staffing constraints as a result of COVID-19, we are unfortunately not able to safely provide childcare in the mornings for children under two. (Children under three pay a reduced price. Parents can enjoy evening childcare for all ages once the children are asleep.)
  • Shabbat – As a community, we celebrate Shabbat with singing, dancing and a delicious Friday night dinner followed by participatory, kid-friendly services in our beautiful outdoor sanctuary on Saturday morning.
  • Meals – Tawonga will serve tasty meals to families outside. Each family will have their own designated table and the kitchen will provide one tray per family at each meal. Free-flowing Peet’s coffee available daily.
  • Housing & Bathrooms – Each family will have their own cabin and will be assigned to a bathroom and shower. Read more about Tawonga’s location and facilities here.

Learn More – You can learn more about what to expect from a Tawonga Family Camp here and read our Family Camp FAQs here.

How to Sign Up

Registration is open starting in November. To register, families new to Tawonga can get started here. Returning families can click here.


Participants age 2+: $625 / Baby (under 2): $345

We do not want cost to be prohibitive for any families. Please explore our financial assistance options here.


Visit our Family Camp FAQs page for more information. Please reach out to Kiyomi Gelber at if you have questions about if this weekend is right for your family or if you have participated in the past and would like to be part of this year’s planning committee.

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