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It’s proven that summers at Jewish overnight camp turn youth into spirited and engaged Jewish adults, laying the groundwork for strong Jewish communities. The Foundation for Jewish Camp aspires to elevate the field of Jewish camp, conferring proper recognition and granting appropriate support to expand the impact of Jewish camp across our North America, ensuring that camp is and continues to be a critical element of every young person's Jewish education.
Since inception, FJC has worked collaboratively with Jewish Federation and Foundation partners to change the perception of Jewish camp:
• to recruit new campers by raising awareness of and reducing barriers to Jewish camp;
• and work to ensure program excellence at Jewish camp.
Learn more about our community partnerships and the success we have seen!
How to begin (or deepen) your community’s camp work?
- Find out how and if your community institutions currently support Jewish camp. What strategies are in place to help recruit campers? What resources do your camps need to reach more children and continue to provide top-tier programming? What are your agency’s strategic priorities and how can Jewish camp help achieve these goals?
- Convene your local camps – engage both camp professionals and lay leaders early and often. Talk to your local camp professionals and lay leaders to learn about the opportunities and challenges that exist in both raising awareness of Jewish camp and strengthening the impact it can have on your community.
- Recognize how camp can complement your agency’s strategic priorities. Camp participation can help yield a higher return on your other investments (Congregational & Day Schools, Israel trips, Russian & Israeli engagement, PJ Library, etc.). A Jewish camp agenda will help you reach more families and add value by providing a twelve month engagement model.
- Utilize the Foundation for Jewish Camp –we are here to help. FJC has been privileged to play a special role in guiding philanthropic partners like you to invest in efforts which generate big, compelling returns. FJC embraces the broad diversity of brands in Jewish camp and works with communities to innovate new approaches to reach even more kids.
What are some specific ways that communities can support Jewish camp?
There are many ways for a community to deepen their Jewish camp agenda. Each community faces its own unique opportunities and challenges, and thereby should address their needs in different ways.
- One Happy Camper (OHC): Publicize incentives for first-time campers to generate trial. A successful OHC program is accompanied by a thoughtful marketing and outreach campaign (to synagogue members, Russian-speaking and Israeli families, PJ Library families, etc.). To date, over 40 communities partner with FJC to provide incentives of up to $1000 to encourage families to select a Jewish camp for their child.
- Scholarship: Financial aid to ensure all who want to attend camp can afford it and returning OHC recipients requiring financial support are able to in subsequent years.
- Evaluation: Help camps access evaluation tools, such as FJC’s annual Camper Satisfaction Insights study which provides important parent feedback.
- Capacity: Are there enough beds at your area camps to meet the demands of your community? What role can your agency play in expanding capacity?
- Community-Sponsored Jewish Camp Professionals: Create a new position dedicated to pushing the Jewish camp agenda forward. This professional becomes an expert on Jewish camp opportunities, identify new camper families, cultivate local camp champions, understand challenges camps are facing, and design initiatives to help local camps continue to excel and compete.
- Tactical and Strategic Consulting: Facilitate customized consultations for your regional camps in the areas of marketing, communications, recruitment, customer service, fundraising, board/lay leadership development, program development or other areas identified by your community and camps.
These are just some ideas to help you develop a local Jewish camp initiative. To learn more, contact the One Happy Camper team at the Foundation for Jewish Camp.
Rebecca Kahn, Director, Community Initiatives
The Foundation for Jewish Camp is proud to partner with these institutions as they work to raise the profile of Jewish camp in their community:
|Atlanta, GA||Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta|
|Boston, MA||Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston|
|Calgary, Canada||Calgary Jewish Federation|
|Chicago, IL||Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago|
|Cincinnati, OH||Jewish Federation of Cincinnati/The Jewish Foundation of Cincinnati|
|Cleveland, OH||Jewish Federation & Jewish Education Center of Cleveland|
|Colorado||Jewish Community Foundation of Colorado|
|Columbus, OH||The Columbus Jewish Federation|
|Delaware||Jewish Federation of Delaware|
|El Paso, TX||Jewish Federation of El Paso|
|Greater MetroWest, NJ||Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ|
|Greensboro, NC||Greensboro Jewish Federation, Temple Emanuel and Beth David Synagogue|
|Hartford, CT||Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford|
|Houston, Texas||Jewish Federation of Greater Houston|
|Indianapolis, IN||Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis|
|Los Angeles, CA||Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles|
|Louisville, KY||Jewish Community of Louisville, Inc.|
|Madison, WI||Jewish Federation of Madison|
|Middlesex County, NJ||Jewish Federation in the Heart of NJ|
|Milwaukee, WI||Milwaukee Jewish Federation|
|Montreal, Canada||Generations Fund/Federation CJA|
|Nashville and Middle Tennessee, TN||Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee|
|New Hampshire||Jewish Federation of New Hampshire|
|Northern New Jersey||Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey|
|Omaha, NE||Jewish Federation of Omaha|
|Palm Springs, CA||Jewish Federation of Palm Springs and Desert Area|
|Philadelphia, PA (also includes Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, and Chester counties)||Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia|
|Pittsburgh, PA||Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburg - Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future|
|Portland, OR||Jewish Federation of Greater Portland|
|Rhode Island||The Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island|
|San Diego, CA||Jewish Federation of San Diego County|
|San Francisco, CA (including the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma counties)||Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties|
|Seattle, WA||Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle|
|St. Louis, MO||Jewish Federation of St. Louis|
|Syracuse, NY||Jewish Federation of Central New York|
|Toronto, Canada||UJA Federation of Greater Toronto|
|Washington, DC||The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington|
|PJ Library - Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy|
|Harold Grinspoon Foundation/Western Massachusetts Incentives|
|Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana/Goldring Family Foundation|