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Commonpoint Queens to Oversee Sababa Camps, Offer Specialty Surf and Beach Based Programs

Heidi Salter | October 28, 2021

Commonpoint Queens has added Sababa Beach Camps to its diverse portfolio of programs, as the human services organization will oversee and manage operations for their day camp in Queens and residential camp in Virginia.

A recipient of the Foundation for Jewish Camp Incubator Grant, funded by the Jim Joseph and Avi Chai Foundations, Sababa Beach Camps was founded in 2014 and operates out of Rockaway Beach. What sets Sababa apart from other camps is its specialty programming that focuses on surfing, sailing, scuba, and seaside media. With truly unique specialty programming, the staff has built a stellar reputation for their commitment to helping young people grow their best sense of self, build meaningful relationships, immerse themselves in passionate pursuits, and stoke their innate spiritual flame. The program was so successful that they grew their offerings to include a sleepaway program – Sababa Beachaway – which launched in 2018 out of Virginia Beach.

“Together we know that more campers and families will benefit from the Sababa way of life that teaches us to slow down, take deep breaths, ride the wind, catch a wave, go with the flow, and take a deep dive!” said Sababa Camp Co-Director Lynn Lancaster. “Joining the Commonpoint Queens camp family will strengthen our national program and allow us to spread our Sababa message 365 days a year,” added Sababa Camp Co-Director Danny Mishkin.

“The Sababa camps have built an incredible reputation in the camp community not only for their program offerings, but their approach to providing an engaging and enriching summer experience for young people,” said Larry Gottlieb, Board Chair of Commonpoint Queens. “We are thrilled for this addition and the special opportunity that it presents for our community to learn so many new skills in a fun, unique setting.”

For over 50 years Commonpoint Queens has provided both traditional and specialty summer camp programming for families across New York City and Long Island, including but not limited to Island Quest Day Camp at the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds, Camp Poyntelle sleepaway camp in Pennsylvania, Explorer Day Camp, and most recently, Explorer Day Camp at the Queens County Farm Museum.

“This new partnership is the epitome of creative collaboration. Sababa, a Jewish summer teen surfing program seeded by UJA-Federation and the Jim Joseph Foundation, and Commonpoint Queens, a valued and trusted partner of UJA-Federation coming together to ensure the future of this innovative Jewish program for teens,” said Hana Gruenberg, Managing Director of Jewish Life for UJA-Federation of New York. “Both organizations’ willingness to think flexibly and creatively will ensure that hundreds of Jewish teens will be able to access the Sababa surfing and sailing programs for many years to come.”

“We are so proud of the program that we’ve grown and look forward to partnering with Commonpoint Queens and UJA-Federation of New York, two leaders in innovative Jewish programming in the tri-state region,” said Sababa Camp Board Chair David Manheimer. “It’s been wonderful to welcome so many families from Queens and Long Island into our programs these last couple of years. To partner with two of the most reputable organizations in this community will be a game changer.”

“We have seen such amazing growth in our camps division over these past couple of years with the launch of Island Quest and our partnership with the Queens County Farm,” said Danielle Ellman, CEO of Commonpoint Queens. “The possibilities that exist for not only our current camps, but for our high school and other youth programs, to collaborate and learn the Sababa way is something we can’t wait to see!”

You can learn more about Sababa Camps and their speciality programming at www.sabababeachaway.org, and learn more about Commonpoint Queens summer programs at  www.commonpointqueens.org/camp.