Welcome to Jewish Scouting in the United States of America. Our mission is to promote Boy Scouting among Jewish youth, to help Jewish institutions and local council Jewish committees to provide Scouting opportunities for Jewish youth and to promote Jewish values in Scouting through program helps and the religious emblems program.
The NJCOS was formed in 1926 and is a committee chartered by the Boy Scouts of America to provide advice to the BSA on Jewish Scouting and to encourage Jewish youth to participate in Scouting. Our committee delivers assistance to Jewish Scouts, units and committees throughout the United States through four regional chairmen.
The NJCOS has established a program of religious Scouting emblems for Scouting programs based on age. The emblems introduce Scouts to Judaism in a gradually more comprehensive way as they become older:
- Cub Scouts in grades 1-3 earn the Maccabee emblem
- Cub Scouts in grades 3-5 earn the Aleph emblem
- Boy Scouts in grades 6-8 earn the Ner Tamid emblem
- and older Boy Scouts and Venturers earn the Etz Chaim emblem.
The NJCOS has also established an award for adults who provide outstanding service to Jewish Scouting known as the Shofar Award.
The committee sponsors Scout Shabbat which will be held on February 7-8, 2014 to provide an opportunity for Jewish Scouts and Scouters to show their pride in their faith by holding Scout Shabbat services and performing service projects for Jewish institutions.
The NJCOS is currently working on a program to make Jewish Scouting easier and more meaningful for Scouts. We are currently focusing on upgrading our website and making all of our assistance to Jewish Scouting web-based. We are preparing downloadable suggested religious services which will be suitable for all Jewish Scouts to use at meetings, on camping trips and in the home. As they become available they will be posted on our website.
We are also collaborating with other groups to develop modern guides to kosher camping and religious-observant camping, program helps to aid units in putting on Jewish programs.
The NJCOS sponsors several scholarship programs for Eagle Scouts who go on to college and conducts an award process for them annually.
Every four years the NJCOS coordinates a program of Jewish content at the National Jamboree now held at the Bechtel Summit. Insuring the availability of kosher food, religious services for all Jewish Scouts and programs of Jewish content is a key element of the Jamboree programming.
At this year’s Jamboree the committee sponsored an attempt to break the world Dreidel spinning record at which over 850 participants spun their dreidels together. As we progress in these areas the NJCOS also looks forward to building and maintaining close relationships with national and international Jewish organizations.