The Jewish Funders Network has named the Foundation for Jewish Camp as the inaugural recipient of the Shapiro Prize for Excellence in Philanthropic Collaboration, for being the first funder collaboration to advocate for, promote, and strengthen Jewish camps on a wide scale.
The new prize recognizes alliances of forward-thinking Jewish funders who collaborate to achieve broader impact in their chosen fields of interest. It was presented Sunday at the annual JFN conference in Miami Beach.
Until FJC was founded in1998 by Elisa Spungen Bildner and her husband Robert Bildner, Jewish camps ran independently or within their religious movements. The Bildners envisioned collaborating with other funders, and received support from The Samuel Bronfman Foundation and The Wexner Foundation.
The creation of FJC expanded support for the field and brought long-term vitality to more camps and their programming.
Sidney Shapiro was a founding JFN Board member whose philanthropy was characterized as being responsive to pressing societal needs. Shapiro, who died in 2007, served as executive director of the Levinson Foundation, and was an early funder of Lilith magazine, the Coalition for Alternatives in Jewish Education and the chavurah movement.
An award in Shapiro’s name has been given by JFN since 1997, and was previously called the Sidney Shapiro Tzedakah Award.