Those who know me, know all the various reasons why I am a firm supporter of the Jewish camping experience. Now comes news of a new joint endeavor by the Jim Joseph Foundation and the Foundation for Jewish Camping:

According to the JTA, “Two foundations are joining forces to launch a groundbreaking incubator program to create a new breed of Jewish summer camp.

The Jim Joseph Foundation has allocated $8.4 million to the Foundation for Jewish Camping to start the Specialty Camp Incubator, which will develop and launch four camps. The camps will combine a Jewish curriculum with a specific concentration in a skill area such as sports, computer science or the arts.

Leaders of both foundations say they are attempting to tap into a market, specialty camps, with few Jewish-themed options by using a business model that has been widely adopted by the philanthropic world in the past several years.

The Jim Joseph gift is the second significant allocation made by the $900 million San Francisco-based foundation to the camping foundation since it started making grants last year.

Leaders of the Jim Joseph foundation estimate that eventually it will give more than $25 million per year to Jewish causes. Last year it gave $11.2 million to the camping foundation, to be spent over the next four years, to provide significant stipends to first-time campers between the ages of 11 and 13 at Jewish camps on the West Coast.”

Read the rest of the article here

If you are interested in Jewish camping and the work of the Foundation for Jewish Camping, be sure to check out the Leader’s Assembly scheduled for next month in New Jersey and consider supporting the work of the Foundation.

The Assembly will stimulate the field of Jewish camp, building energy around the efforts of 150 camp directors and Jewish summer camps across North America. Nearly 70,000 children attend Jewish summer camp annually but that is not enough. In just the last few years, the century-old institution of Jewish summer camp has begun to receive the recognition, attention, and resources it so surely deserves and needs to keep doing its powerful and vital work. But more remains to be done.

And while you are at it, Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program is still accepting applications for Fall ’08 for their new camping tract and the Bildner Fellowship for Jewish camping.

All the Hornstein programs are still accepting applications for Fall, 2008. But, time is running out. For information on their newest dual degree program, click here