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RootOne Marcus Foundation Grant Supports JCC Association Teen Trips to Israel

New Funding Strengthens Students’ Jewish Identity, Preparing Them for Campus Life

NEW YORK JCC Association of North America is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from Root One: The Marcus Foundation Initiative on Teen Travel to Israel. Based on the results of an RFP process, JCC Association will allocate Root One vouchers of $3,000 per participant to these JCC overnight camps to create new or expand existing Israel teen travel programs in 2021, the pilot year of the program:

    1. Camp JCA Shalom, Malibu, CA; Rabbi Bill Kaplan, CEO; Joel Charnick, camp director
    2. NJY Camps, Milford, PA; Michael Schlank, CEO ; Jason Hosiassohn, camp director
    3. Tamarack Camps – Teen Leadership Village, Detroit, MI; Lee Trepeck, CEO; Carly Weinstock, camp director
    4. Emma Kaufmann Camp, JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, PA; Brian Schreiber, CEO; Aaron Cantor, camp director
    5. B’nai B’rith Oregon, Beaverton, OR; Michelle Koplan, CEO; Bette Amir-Brownstein, camp director

Root One, seeded through the generosity of The Marcus Foundation and powered by The Jewish Education Project (TJEP), aims to incentivize immersive teen trips to Israel this summer. Over time, it hopes to help bring tens of thousands of Jewish teens from the U.S. to Israel, and it is anticipated that this pilot year may lead to significant additional funding for future JCC-led Israel Teen Travel programs.

Research has proven that educational teen trips to Israel can transform teens’ lives, increase their connection to Israel, and profoundly affect their Jewish journeys and commitment to Jewish life. The combination of camp and Israel trips results in teens who are more Jewishly connected and better prepared for life on campus. In light of these conclusions, this grant aligns pointedly with the JCC Movement’s charge to enrich North American Jewish life—including members’ connections to the land, people, culture, and traditions of Israel. 

In the event that overseas trips are cancelled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marcus Foundation funding will be applied to other Israel education-related programs or 2022 trips, in mutual agreement with TJEP.

For more information  about the Root One  grant email Leah Garber, vice president, Israel Engagement and director, Center for Israel Engagement.


About JCC Association of North America
JCC Association of North America leads and connects the JCC Movement, advancing and enriching North American Jewish life. With 1.5 million people walking through the doors of JCCs (Jewish Community Centers and Jewish Community Camps) each week, the JCC Movement represents the largest platform of Jewish engagement on the continent. JCC Association is the convening organization of this powerful network, partnering with JCCs to bring together the collective power and knowledge of the JCC Movement, which includes approximately 53,000 staff members—12,000 full-time skilled professionals, 24,000 part-time staff, and 17,000 seasonal summer staff. By supporting them, together we enhance and strengthen Jewish life throughout North America. Learn more at or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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