FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Rebecca Engel, Charleston Jewish Federation
CHARLESTON JEWISH FEDERATION PARTNERS WITH
FOUNDATION FOR JEWISH CAMP TO OFFER NEED-BLIND GRANTS
$1000 Available for First Time Campers through One Happy Camper Program
February 16, 2017, Charleston, SC – Charleston Jewish Federation (CJF) is thrilled to announce the launch of the One Happy Camper program in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC). The initiative will provide need-blind grants of up to $1000 to families with children attending nonprofit Jewish overnight camp for the first time.
CJF is the newest community to make Jewish camp a priority in their region. Debbie Rothschild, Jewish Federation board member, will be spearheading a task force on marketing and recruitment for overnight Jewish camp in the greater Charleston area. “I am a strong proponent and supporter of camp and feel it is the perfect complement to the Jewish life that each family builds. Camp had a strong influence on my life and I am thrilled to be able to pass that on to my son. It is exciting that Charleston Jewish Federation will be able to help more families afford that same opportunity,” says Mrs. Rothschild.
The challenge of passing along Jewish connection and commitment to the next generation has become one of the most important concerns of the American Jewish community and research has shown that that adults who attended Jewish overnight camp are 30% more likely to donate to a Jewish federation, 37% more likely to light candles regularly for Shabbat, 45% more likely to attend synagogue at least once a month, and 55% more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel.
In 2016, 60+ children from the Charleston area attended overnight Jewish camp, a 20% increase from 2015. For summer 2017, that same number is already enrolled, 20% of which are first-time campers. With the population of the greater Charleston area growing (most recent studies estimate there to be 9,500 people identifying as Jewish in the tri-county area), Charleston Jewish Federation is stepping up to meet the demand of more families seeking the overnight camp experiences through scholarship and incentive opportunities such as this partnership with Foundation for Jewish Camp.
Since 2006, FJC has partnered with over 100 North American federations, foundations, camp movements, and camps, as well as the Jim Joseph Foundation (JWest), and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (PJ Goes to Camp) to provide over 70,000 grants totaling almost $70,000,000. One Happy Camper grant recipients, just like all campers, are being infused with Jewish education, awareness, and identity while having fun; returning to Jewish camp summer after summer.
Campers from the Charleston area are attending one of over 155 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps including Camp Judaea, URJ Camp Coleman, Camp Barney Medintz, Camp Stone, URJ Six Points Sports, Camp Ramah Darom, and Camp Ben Frankel for their first summer may receive a grant regardless of need or background. Families can find camps and apply for grants by visiting www.OneHappyCamper.org.
“The Jewish summer camp experience affects children in countless ways and opens their hearts to the joy of being Jewish,” says FJC CEO, Jeremy J. Fingerman. “We are passionate about making that experience possible for every Jewish child and deeply grateful to all of our partners who share our commitment to that goal.”
The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) builds a strong Jewish future through transformative Jewish summers.
FJC BUILDS LEADERS, helping camp professionals and other camp talent develop the skills to lead their camps to exceptional outcomes operationally and educationally. They AMPLIFY JEWISHNESS, developing and supporting programs that deepen campers’ and counselors’ connection to their Jewish roots and culture. And they EXPAND THE FIELD, continuously expanding the number and variety of summer experiences to attract more—and more diverse—participants. www.jewishcamp.org