Specialty Camps Accelerator

Specialty Camp Accelerator II: Request for Proposals

With the generous support of the Avi Chai Foundation, the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is establishing the Specialty Camp Accelerator II designed to provide expertise and support to a cohort of individuals, organizations and communities as they plan and implement their vision for new models of nonprofit, Jewish specialty overnight camps.  The FJC Specialty Camp Accelerator II will leverage the experience from the highly successful Specialty Camps Incubator Programs and will seek to “fast track” or accelerate the launch of potentially successful ventures by providing assistance during the early years and a platform for peer learning and support. 

The Accelerator will select new specialty camp proposals that possess a strong Jewish mission and that aim to weave Jewish culture, values, and learning throughout the elements of the program to attract new segments of Jewish children.  This approach has been piloted with the successful “acceleration” of the launch of Camp Ramah Northern California and URJ 6 Points Sports Academy West, which will open next summer.  Read more about our success with specialty camps. 

Specialty Camp Accelerator II will launch in September 2016 with up to 8 new overnight camps will be targeting to open for the 2018 camp season.

This program is restricted to new, overnight camps only; not specialty programs within existing camps.

FJC is available for conversations to help connect you to local funders in your region. We strongly encourage you to reach out to Michele Friedman, Director of New Camp Initiatives (Michele@jewishcamp.org) to discuss your plans. Camps accepted must demonstrate that they have secured matching funds in donations and/or pledges for start-up capital and deficit funding for the first 3 years of operation, based on their 5-year financial model.   

Download a PDF of the RFP

The Specialty Camp Accelerator provides training and support in all aspects of new camp development, including:

  • Design and implementation of the Specialty and Jewish programs
  • Refinement of the business model
  • Business and financial operations
  • Camper recruitment and marketing
  • Staff recruitment, hiring and training
  • Site identification
  • Fundraising strategies
  • Nonprofit management and board development

The Specialty Camp Accelerator seeks to work with high-capacity, experienced professionals who demonstrate:

  • Prior leadership experience and managerial skills.
  • Willingness to dedicate full time involvement in the new camp, and are available to participate fully in the workshops and other events
  • Long term commitment to the growth and success of the new camp venture
  • Openness to learning and sharing new ideas
  • Strong commitment to implementation of best practices in the field of summer camp
  • Interest in working in a collaborative manner with other camp leaders accepted to the Accelerator.


Guidelines for Eligible Proposals

Accelerator is for new businesses only in order to establish additional camps for the industry and community.

The basis for selection will incorporate current trends in the market as well as strong case statements provided by the applicants that demonstrate:

  1. Innovative camp programs and models that have the ability to attract new segments of the Jewish camp market.
  2. A mission that expresses a commitment to Jewish experiential learning and Israel education and infuses a Jewish vision throughout
  3. Research which makes a compelling case for the proposed camp and its marketability
  4. A plan that demonstrates that the camp will attract and retain between 300-500 campers over the course of the summer by the fifth year of operation.
  5. Camp can be located in an existing facility (college campus, boarding school, or available camp grounds), and will not require capital investment by FJC or the Avi Chai Foundation.
  6. A successful track record as a leader in either business ventures or in youth development programs.
  7. A business plan that provides strong indicators of success, significant growth potential, and long-term sustainability.


Proposal and Launch Calendar

Step One:  Proposal Submission – Due April 30, 2016

Your 5-page Proposal should include:

  • A description of the proposed specialty camp, including:
    • Mission
    • Jewish vision
    • Goals and objectives
    • Program design
    • Staffing structure
    • Site requirements
  • A description of your target market and a case for how your camp will fulfill an unmet need in the marketplace
  • Enrollment goals for the first 3 years of operation
  • Marketing and recruitment plan
  • A five-year budget for start-up and 3 years of operation, that demonstrates a sustainable business model
  • Projected access to the financial resources required to support the endeavor
  • List of key founding stakeholders including volunteers, committee members, board members, and their affiliations
  • A bio of the director who will be spearheading the project, including a summary of past experiences, key knowledge gaps, and a description of the key areas in which the individual will need assistance.
  • Three letters of reference

If you are selected to continue the process, you will be notified by June 1, 2016.

Step Two:  Financial Documentation

Those selected to proceed to Step Two will need to submit documentation regarding funds raised for start-up capital, and a report of funds already raised and/or pledged to cover anticipated deficits during for the first 3 years of operation.

Step Three:  Interviews with Selected Semi-Finalists

The above will be sufficient for the Selection Committee to determine whether to schedule an interview with semi-finalists.

Interviews at the Foundation for Jewish Camp offices in New York City will take place during the in early June 2016.


Announcement of Cohort:  Participants will be announced by July 1, 2016.

The Accelerator will launch with the first workshop and a welcome dinner in September 2016.

Download a PDF of the RFP


Please email proposals and supporting documents by due date of April 15, 2016 to Dan Rosen at dan@jewishcamp.org.

For questions about the Specialty Camp Accelerator, please contact:
Michele Friedman, Director, New Camp Initiatives
Michele@jewishcamp.org | 646-278-4531



Specialty Camps Accelerator I

Specialty Camps Accelerator I will launch Camp Ramah Northern California and URJ 6 Points Sports Academy West, in the summer of 2016. 

Camp Ramah in Northern California

Camp Ramah in Northern California is an innovative Jewish summer camp located along the beautiful shores of Monterey Bay, California. We offer a coed overnight camp experience that combines the excitement of specialty programming in ocean exploration, performing arts, and adventure sports with the cherished traditions, nurturing environment, and community-building of a traditional Ramah Camp.

URJ 6 Points Sports Academy West

URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California, North America’s premier Jewish Sports Specialty Camp, welcomes young Jewish athletes entering 4th-11th grades. Located in beautiful Los Angeles, CA, 6 Points Sports Academy is housed on the 120 acre, state-of-the-art, athletic and camp facilities of the Occidental College. At 6 Points Sports, young Jewish athletes participate in a unique camping experience that offers top-level sports training and all the beloved traditions of Reform Jewish camping. In California our 2-week sessions include intensive training in Basketball, Baseball, Soccer and Tennis.