FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 31, 2017
Samantha Kupferman, West End Strategy Team
[email protected]; Office: 212-498-9300; Cell: 202-215-9260
JCC Association of North America Urges Trump Administration to Maintain Cultural Exchange Programs at Camps
NEW YORK – The State Department’s J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, which for decades has brought multicultural awareness and cultural exchange to summer camps nationwide, may soon be reduced or eliminated as the Trump administration considers the scope and implementation of a “Buy American and Hire American” executive order issued earlier this year.
In response, JCC Association of North America President and CEO Doron Krakow expressed concerns:
“Eliminating the camp counselor and camp summer work travel categories of the J-1 Visa program would alter the very essence of camp for the tens of thousands of young people who participate in 130 JCC day camps and our 24 overnight camps across the United States every summer – as well as the thousands of other American camps beyond our network. Our camps rely on international staff members who come to us from around the world to help instill in our children an appreciation and respect for diverse cultures, and a sense of wonder and curiosity about the wider world around them. This program is a unique component of the JCC Movement’s mission to build stronger communities, and our JCCs’ and camps’ role as warm and welcoming gathering places is part and parcel to who we are.
“These camp staff members, including the incredible shlichim, or Israeli emissaries who come to us through The Jewish Agency for Israel, infuse our programs with invaluable experiences that help our campers, and counselors, see themselves and see the world in a different way.”
ABOUT JCC ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA:
JCC Association of North America strengthens and leads JCCs, YM-YWHAs and camps throughout North America. As the convening organization, JCC Association partners with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the JCC Movement. JCC Association offers services and resources to increase the effectiveness of JCCs as they provide community engagement and educational, cultural, social, recreational, and Jewish identity building programs to enhance Jewish life throughout North America. By supporting the 25,000 Jewish communal professionals who connect with two million JCC participants each year, JCC Association encourages engaged lives of purpose and meaning.