The FJC at the GA


The Foundation for Jewish camp, like a number of organizations, will be down in New Orleans for the federation system’s General Assembly next week, pitching their projects and trying to find additional partners.

The FJC is looking for partner communities in its One Happy Camper program, which has helped some 20,000 Jewish children attend overnight Jewish summer camp for the first time by working with local communities to give them incentive scholarships. 

Working with the Jewish federations and local camps and camp movements, this past summer the FJC distributed some $9.6 million in grants ranging from $700-$2500  to campers who had never attended Jewish camp. The FJC and its partners have disbursed almost $30 million in grants to date.

For more information, check out this release from the FJC: [[READMORE]]

The Foundation for Jewish Camp Makes Strides in Jewish Camping

New York, NY (November 2010) – This past summer, almost 10,000 children across North America were enticed to attend nonprofit Jewish overnight camp thanks to a need -blind cash grant. 

The One Happy Camper program (OHC) of the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is a groundbreaking program which has attracted over 20,000 kids to Jewish camp for the first time–over 55% of whom would have opted for a non-Jewish summer experience (including staying home) if not for this pioneering recruitment initiative. 

Twenty percent of these campers also report camp to be their only Jewish activity and nearly 50% are not affiliated with their local Jewish federation. This summer alone, FJC distributed $9.6 million to these families through partnerships with local federations, camps, camp movements, and other Jewish groups across North America. The size and number of the program’s partnerships are growing exponentially—FJC created 15 partnerships in 2010 alone and thousands more children are receiving grants each summer! FJC is the only public organization dedicated to nonprofit Jewish summer camp.

Through the various OHC programs–ranging from the popular JWest initiative in Western North America to regionally based programs and camp partnerships–FJC provides cash to families with children attending one of 155 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps for the first time. Occasionally there are grants available for families who continue to send their children to camp for a second and third time as well. The grants range from $700-$2500 and FJC and its partners have disbursed almost $30 million in grants to date.

Enabling as many kids as possible to experience Jewish camp is important for many reasons. As a study, commissioned by FJC, on the long-term effect of camp will demonstrate, camp is an essential part of the formation of a child’s Jewish identity and an important component in building a strong Jewish community. The study analyzed areas of adult behavior and attitudes, including synagogue membership, observance of holidays, donating to Jewish charities, and connection to Israel. FJC found that, as adults, Jewish camp alumni are:

  • 45% more likely to attend synagogue at least once a

  • 55% more likely to feel very emotionally attached to month Israel

  • 30% more likely to donate to a Jewish federation

  • 25% more likely to donate to a Jewish charity (as compared to adults who did not attend camp)

Camp also creates Jewish community leaders including rabbis, cantors, teachers, and more who cite camp as an influence in their career path.

Since 2006 when OHC began (formerly known as the Campership Incentive Program), FJC has been collaborating with organizations in order to match funds which are subsequently provided to families and applied to their camp enrollment fees. Across North America, FJC has joined forces with over 60 partners, and the number is on the rise. The Foundation will be in attendance at the Jewish Federation of North America’s General Assembly in New Orleans in November where they hope to sign on more partners.

The OHC cash incentive program exemplifies FJC’s unique application of for-profit business practices in its mission of increasing enrollment at nonprofit Jewish summer camps. As with consumer rewards marketing devices, One Happy Camper is designed to change consumer behavior within the highly competitive field of summer camps and tip the scales in favor of Jewish nonprofit camps.

“Jewish camp is essential to Jews as individuals and as a community,” says Jeremy J. Fingerman, CEO, FJC. “The Foundation for Jewish Camp is grateful to all of the camp ambassadors across the country who have committed to spreading the word and ensuring that as many children as possible can benefit from the invaluable camp experience.”

Over 30 Jewish Federation and/or other community based organizations currently participating in the One Happy Camper program including: 

  • Arkansas

  • Atlantic Canada 

  • Boston 

  • Calgary

  • Chicago 

  • Cincinnati 

  • Cleveland 

  • Columbus

  • Dallas

  • Greensboro 

  • Indianapolis 

  • Kansas City

  • Los Angeles 

  • MA North Shore Teen Initiative 

  • Memphis 

  • MetroWest NJ 

  • Middlesex County NJ 

  • Montreal

  • New Hampshire 

  • New York 

  • Northern New Jersey 

  • Miami

  • Ocean County NJ

  • Orange County CA 

  • Palm Beach County, FL 

  • Philadelphia 

  • Pittsburgh 

  • PJ Goes to Camp

  • Rhode Island

  • Toronto Washington DC

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