General Information

History

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.)

Mission

Camp Massad’s Mission: 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.

Registration for all Camp Massad programs: Mishpachon (Family Camp Day), Shoresh Day Camp, Regular Camp, and Leadership Training (Ma’alit, Michinah and Machshirah) is ongoing; however, it is best to register early to take advantage of fiscal savings and to secure a spot at the magical, wonderful and one-of-a-kind Camp Massad!

Hebrew, Judaism, and Israel

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 Yisrael 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

Geveret B. (Leona Billinkoff) was an integral person in creating Camp Massad; a Hebrew speaking Jewish camping experience. She served as “eemah” (camp mother) and administrator at Camp

leona billinkoff

Massad (1953-1978), the first and only Hebrew-speaking summer camp in Western Canada, founded on Labour Zionist principles and fostering Jewish culture

through music, dance and skits. 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!

A celebration of the lives of Leona and Alex Billinkoff Z”L was held Sunday August 24, 2014 at Camp Massad camp grounds in Sandy Hook. A dedication took place and those in attendance shared memories and stories of the wonderful Leona Billinkoff and her husband Alex.

Leona Billinkoff Obituary as published by the Winnipeg Free Press

Read Mrs B: The Mother of All Camps. Written by Al Levine (Madrich 1968-69, 1971-75, 1980) on the occasion of the 1992 Camp Massad alumni reunion.

Camp Massad honoured the late Leona Billinkoff on her 90th birthday. Below are articles that capture the celebration of this one-of-a-kind eemah!
Read the article from the Winnipeg Jewish Review
Read the article from The Canadian Jewish News
Read the article from the Winnipeg Free Press