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Cleveland philanthropists endow $1.25 million Jewish summer camp fund

(JTA) — Cleveland philanthropists Michael and Anita Siegal have established a $1.25 million endowment to send Jewish children to overnight camp.

The endowment in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, as well as the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, establishes the Michael and Anita Siegal One Happy Camper Program.

The program’s goal is to recruit Jewish children to attend an overnight camp who might not otherwise attend

“Anita and I are both committed to sustaining and growing a vibrant Jewish community in North America,” said Michael Siegal, board chair of Jewish Federations of North America and former board chair of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. “Data has proven that overnight camping can make a substantive difference toward a child’s journey toward this goal.”

Seven out of 10 young Jewish leaders who are active in the Jewish community went to Jewish summer camp while 1 out of 3 Jewish professionals such as rabbis, cantors, and teachers were counselors at Jewish summer camp, according to a 2010 study by the Foundation for Jewish Camp.

“The Siegals’ gift advances two community priorities, the creative development of Jewish identity in young people and the cost of living Jewishly,” said Steve Hoffman, president of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. “It’s an example not just for Cleveland but for the national Jewish community as well.”

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