Slovaks find link to lost Judaism

Thirty children, ranging in age from 2 to 12, spent two weeks at the center in July, which combines camp activities with Jewish education.

They're introduced to simple Jewish prayers before and after meals, and are taught about Jewish festivals and traditions.

The camps offer Myers a way to attract assimilated Jews. Although Bratislava has an official Jewish community of just 400, hundreds more are thought to have abandoned their Jewish heritage or simply refused to acknowledge it publicly.

"In some ways, the camp is a centerpiece of our educational program," Myers said. "It is a very short commitment, it is fun and it is a non-threatening start to joining"

Many parents have now enrolled their children in kindergarten because they have gain faith in the program, said Myers, leading to the establishment of the educational center just yards from the heart of the Jewish community.

The center, which costs $60,000 a year to run, offers English lessons and will allow for seminars on Jewish themes. Myers wants to build a library, too.