Three overnight camps affiliated with JCC Association recently won grants from the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s “I Belong to Jewish Camp” Innovative Engagement Initiative.
Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp, Camp Tawonga and Tamarack Camp were among the eight camps that received the grants, which were funded by an anonymous donor. The project is intended to increase the number of children attending Jewish camp and more deeply engage and welcome a more diverse camper community, along with their families.
“JCC Association is so proud of our camps for being selected as grant recipients and recognized by the Foundation for Jewish Camp,” says Jodi Sperling, senior consultant for overnight camps. “Our camps are already known as inclusive and welcoming communities with incredible reach into underserved communities. These grants will allow our camps to do this even more creatively and effectively. We are really grateful to FJC for providing this opportunity.”
Berkshire Hills Eisenberg Camp will be hiring an LGBTQ camp recruiter to focus on reaching those families. Camp Tawonga proposed creating a family toddler camp to engage families with young children and build community year-round. And Tamarack Camp will build a sensory garden to serve campers with disabilities.
The Foundation for Jewish Camp received more than 60 responses from overnight and day camps, communities and other organizations to develop new outreach and/or programmatic initiatives that would engage interfaith and multi-ethnic families, create communities with diverse perspectives on Israel, support LGBTQ engagement, encourage inclusion of those with disabilities, engage and retain students and young adults as emerging Jewish leaders, attract and retaining Jewish teens, and engage with families with young children.