BUDAPEST (JTA) – A Facebook page and fund-raising campaign have been launched to save Szarvas, central Europe’s largest Jewish summer camp.
The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which runs the camp in southern Hungary, announced last week that camp operations would be cut in half this year due to the global economic crisis.
In response, former campers and counselors formed a "Save Szarvas" Facebook group that signed up nearly 500 members within a few days. They also turned a Szarvas blog site into a fund-raising appeal.
The camp, a joint initiative of the JDC and the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, was opened in 1990 and became a flagship project for Jewish education and youth outreach. Approximately 2,000 young Jews, half from Hungary and half mainly from Eastern Europe, attend each summer.
The budget cuts mandate two rather than four camp sessions next summer and reduced international participation.