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The Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center (APJCC) is a Los Gatos community center that offers summer day camp, year-round preschool, and many other programs for kids and families.


The APJCC Preschool follows a developmental philosophy. This means we follow developmentally appropriate practices in a play-based program that helps children grow in all developmental areas - social, emotional, cognitive, language, and motor development.

Our summer camp, Camp Shalom, emphasizes having fun, developing new skills, and making friends. Kids can choose a traditional day camp experience with daily games, arts & crafts, swimming, singing, and a variety of other activities such as science and nature, field trips, theme weeks, and more. Or they can choose from a variety of specialty camps in areas such as circus arts, cooking, dance, LEGO engineering, STEM, and sports including basketball, martial arts, parkour, soccer, and tennis.


Some of the things that make our preschool and camp programs special are the warm and welcoming atmosphere, the quality of our staff -- many of whom have been with the JCC for many years -- and the focus on non-academic areas of child development, especially during the summer.

We're proud that our day camp is accredited by the American Camping Association (ACA), which certifies summer camps for quality and safety. And we're proud of our licensed preschool, license #430709398.

In the APJCC Preschool, the child/teacher ratio follows state licensing requirements for the various age groups: for 18-month-olds it's 1:4, age 2 years 1:6, age 3 years 1:8, and age 4 years 1:9. At Camp Shalom, our counselor to camper ratio is 1:8, except in our preschool camps where the ratio follows the same state licensing requirements as our preschool.

Our philosophy is that play is the work of children, and that children learn valuable lessons through a play-based, experiential approach. By interacting with peers and by finding creative solutions to challenges, children learn to self-regulate (regulate their emotions and behavior by themselves), practice good decision making, make friends and bond with others.

At the APJCC Preschool, each day we offer a combination of free play and organized activities. Activities are designed to enhance children's skills in all areas of development, including physical, social, emotional, language, cognitive, and spiritual. We offer a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, weather permitting. A typical day includes experiences such as art, sensory activities, building or playing with manipulatives, singing, storytime, and a group project, as well as snack and lunchtime. Children also enjoy a weekly music class with our music specialist, and gym class with our movement specialist. Children who are at school for the full day (rather half day) also have naptime.

At Camp Shalom, the preschool-age program is similar to our regular APJCC Preschool program that was just described. For grades K-8, a typical day starts with an allcamp song circle, followed by a variety of activities with the child's age group, which might include sports, art, cooking, science, lunch, and children's choice electives, as well as daily swimming in our heated pool. Every week has a special theme, and the children also enjoy weekly field trips to fun locations around the South Bay.


We work with children to help them regulate their own behavior. The emphasis is on finding solutions to challenging behavior. When necessary, we reach out to parents to involve them in finding a solution.

At the APJCC Preschool, each class has two teachers, a senior teacher and a junior teacher. Senior teachers are required to have, at a minimum, 24 college credits in Early Childhood Education/Child Development and at least 175 days of early childhood teaching experience within the past 4 years, or an Associate's Degree or higher in Early Childhood Education/Child Development and at least 3 units of supervised field experience. Junior teachers are also required to have college credits in Early Childhood Education or Child Development. All teachers have completed a fingerprint scan and background check, and are carefully selected for their warmth, enthusiasm, and caring attitude toward children.

At Camp Shalom, all our camp counselors have experience working with children. Our preschool counselors are licensed preschool teachers from the APJCC Preschool. Camp counselors for the K-8 age group all have experience working with children, are at least 18 years old, and are carefully selected for their warmth, enthusiasm, and caring. All camp counselors complete a week-long pre-camp training session, and have completed a fingerprint scan and background check. All staff are certified in CPR and first aid. And at the swimming pool, American Red Cross certified lifeguards are always on duty, and counselors are in the water with the children at all times.


We welcome everyone. Our camp and preschool programs are grounded in Jewish values and traditions, and welcome families from all backgrounds. You don't have to be Jewish to participate in camp, preschool, or any Jewish Community Center program. The main focus of our programs is on producing well-rounded, happy children.


We look forward to seeing you at the JCC.

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