More than 750 camp professionals, educators, funders, and others concluded their time together at Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC) 2016 Leaders Assembly Conference – the Jewish camp world’s single largest gathering – with the launch of the “I belong to Jewish Camp” initiative and grant opportunities to attract people of different ages and Jewish backgrounds to the camp world.
“We really wanted Leaders Assembly to chart an expansive and ambitious path forward for the field of Jewish camp,” says Peter Weidhorn, Chairman of the Board of Foundation for Jewish Camp. “The ‘I Belong’ initiative, along with our added focus on day camps, will help us reach more children and engage campers as they grow and become active camp alumni with children of their own. Everyone at Leaders felt a real sense of excitement that FJC now is positioned to welcome in and turn people on to Jewish engagement through all stages of life.”
The “I belong to Jewish Camp” initiative offers organizations like day camps, overnight camps, federations, One Happy Camper partners, and others up to $25,000 in seed-funding for a new outreach and/or programmatic initiative that engages one or more of the following constituencies:
- Interfaith/Multi-ethnic – Engaging interfaith & multi-ethnic families
- Israel – Creating a community with diverse perspectives on Israel
- LGBTQ – LGBTQ camper, staff & family engagement
- Disabilities – Making our community more inclusive of campers with disabilities
- Emerging Jewish Leaders – Engaging & retaining students & young adults
- Teens – Attracting & retaining more Jewish teens in Jewish summer experiences
- Engaging families with young kids – Engaging families as they make pivotal decisions
Grant money is meant to support recruitment, marketing, and/or retention efforts that raise awareness about an organization or camp’s programming, training for staff, or other opportunities around engaging one or more of these populations during summer 2017. Deadline for grant applications is May 16th, 2016.
“Amid all the debate in the Jewish world, there is agreement about the integral role camp plays in the development of strong Jewish identities,” says Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of Foundation for Jewish Camp. “So we have a responsibility – that we take very seriously – to think creatively about how Jewish camp can be even more accessible and a part of everyone’s life. Resourcing and supporting day camps, and expanding the Jewish camp family, will influence the future of Jewish life in North America.”