Foundation for Jewish Camp Seeks Proposals for Specialty Camps Accelerator II

Sign on the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds
Sign on the Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is pleased to solicit proposals for Specialty Camps Accelerator II, funded by The AVI CHAI Foundation. The model is built on the success to-date of a process used for the two FJC Specialty Camp Incubator cohorts, which helped open 9 new Jewish specialty camps over the past 7 years with the partnership and support of the Jim Joseph Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation. Designed to ensure excellence and success, Specialty Camps Accelerator II aims to achieve the joint vision of the AVI CHAI Foundation and the FJC: to increase experiential Jewish learning, strengthen Jewish continuity, and foster strong Jewish social networks among Jewish children and youth.

FJC’s Accelerator is poised to fast-track the creation of new camps that can offer the field of Jewish camp a distinct specialty and will open in the summer of 2018. In contrast to the Incubator, the Accelerator model requires applicants to secure local dollars to cover start-up and deficit funding. FJC will match these local investments through offering its well-honed consulting services to a select cohort of individuals, organizations or existing camp professionals as they plan and implement their vision for new models in Jewish resident specialty camp.

The second cycle of this innovative approach will open up to 8 new nonprofit Jewish overnight specialty camps dedicated to a specific skill or area of interest – whether that be in the arts, sports, outdoor adventure, the environment or other innovative areas – while introducing and fully integrating Jewish culture. Each camp will deliver the potential capacity of 400 campers each summer, enabling the field to engage more teens across North America.

Those interested in starting a new specialty camp should keep in mind:

  • The goal of the Accelerator is to bring to life innovative ideas that incorporate experiential Jewish learning along with excellence in specialty programming.
  • Preference will be placed on concepts that have the greatest attraction in the marketplace. The grant underwrites the Accelerator services; start-up capital and deficit funding for each camp needs to be raised by the applicant through local or individual resources.
  • Camps accepted must demonstrate that they have secured 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.

The FJC Specialty Camp Incubator cohorts produced camps which address the growing interest of preteens and teens in developing specific skills as well as integrating Jewish learning; encountering compelling Jewish role models; and building vibrant Jewish friendships. This combination has attracted children and teens who may have never before considered Jewish camp helping to achieve the strategic focus on engaging greater numbers of youth through intensive, immersive Jewish experiences. In 2016, 2 more camps will be added through the Specialty Camps Accelerator I, URJ 6 Points Sports Academy California and Ramah Northern California.

To learn more on how to submit a proposal (deadline December 30, 2015) and see the timeline of events visit For questions about the Specialty Camp Accelerator II, please contact: Michele Friedman, Director, New Camp Initiatives, 646-278-4531