Jewish Federation Offers Gift to Community:
$1,000 Scholarships for First-Time Jewish Campers
Partnership with Foundation for Jewish Camp to offer ‘One Happy Camper’ program benefit
ST. LOUIS, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2011—In partnership with a cleverly named program “One Happy Camper”(OHC), the Jewish Federation of St. Louis is offering a special gift: up to $1,000 in scholarships for 100 St. Louis Jewish children in grades 1 through 12 who choose to attend a traditional or specialty Jewish overnight camp for the first time. Each camper must attend for at least 19 days.
According to the FJC parameters, grants are available only to children who currently are not involved in a Jewish immersion program or enrolled in a Jewish day school. Eligible 1st-time campers may choose from among 150+ Jewish non-profit camps listed on FJC’s website www.jewishcamp.org. They include: JCC’s Camp Sabra, URJ Camp GUCI, Young Judaea, Ramah, Habonim Dror, Nageela Midwest and hundreds more across the country.
St. Louis joins nearly 35 Jewish Federations across the country to offer the One Happy Camper program. “Camp, we know, is a magical transformative experience for Jewish children, and plays a big role in shaping Jewish identities and creates future Jewish leaders and professionals,” said Barry Rosenberg, Jewish Federation executive vice president.
To offer this benefit, Jewish Federation has entered into a funding partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camps (FJC) which will provide a four-year matching grant to St. Louis. Michael Staenberg, chair of the Jewish Community Center board, is providing fundraising leadership to meet FJC’s matching grant requirement. Staenberg said, “I’m thrilled that with the help of the Staenberg Family Foundation, Jewish Federation, FJC and the JCC are partnering to make this life-changing experience accessible for more children. This is a great example of several agencies working together toward an important community priority.”
Last year, 400 St. Louis children attended Jewish camp. Forty-nine non-day school students received an OHC incentive through the JCC. This new partnership is designed to get the St. Louis Jewish community more involved. According to One Happy Camper Director Seth Cohen, “The goal is to increase the number of children attending non-profit Jewish camps – which will create stronger Jewish communities in the future.”
Helping families and children connect to their Judaism is a Jewish Federation priority – with funds supporting programs such as PJ Library, Birthright Israel and Passport to Israel. Cohen added, “We all believe in our gut that Jewish camp is a profound Jewish experience for a large cross section of the Jewish community. We constantly hear Jewish camp alumni say that camp is where they really learned to love and enjoy Judaism.” In fact, a soon-to-be released study of Jewish camp alumni, 30% more likely to donate to a Jewish charity; 37% more likely to light Shabbat candles; 45% more likely to attend synagogue, and 55% more likely to feel connected to Israel.
One Happy Camper scholarship applications are online at www.onehappycamper.org.
Be sure to carefully review the eligibility criteria and have your camp and session information available. You will need both to complete the application.
Jewish Federation of St. Louis is the Jewish community’s central philanthropic, planning and community-building organization. Founded in 1901, it is one of the region’s most respected and effective nonprofit organizations. Federation is committed to the ongoing development and enhancement of a thriving Jewish community through a family of more than 50 local, national and international agencies, programs, services and innovative projects. Federation’s annual Community Campaign and ongoing Planned Giving opportunities raise funds necessary to provide services to engage both young families with children and young adults, support Jewish learning, educate and advocate for a strong Israel and safe Jewish world, and provide a safety net for vulnerable Jews. Find out more at www.JewishinStLouis.org/JFed. Jewish Federation is a proud member of the United Way.