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$1,000 Available for First Time Campers through One Happy Camper Program

The challenge of passing along Jewish connection and commitment to the next generation has become one of the most important concerns of the American Jewish community. Based on CAMP WORKS, a study by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) examining the long term impact of Jewish overnight camp, there is compelling evidence that camp is a proven means of building Jewish identity, community, and leadership. It found that adults who attended Jewish overnight camp are 30% more likely to donate to a Jewish federation, 37% more likely to light candles regularly for Shabbat, 45% more likely to attend synagogue at least once a month, and 55% more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel.

In order to enable as many children as possible to experience the power of Jewish camp, CAJE & Jewish Federation provide needs-blind grants of up to $1,000 to families with children attending nonprofit Jewish overnight camp for the first time through the One Happy Camper program in partnership with FJC.

CAJE & Jewish Federation combine to form one of 70 communities making Jewish camp a priority. Over the past five to seven years, FJC has partnered with over 70 North American federations, foundations, camp movements, and camps as well as the Jim Joseph Foundation (Jwest), and the Harold Grispoon Foundation (PJ Goes to Camp) to provide over 30,000 grants totaling almost $30,000,000. One Happy Camper grant recipients, just like all campers, are being infused with Jewish education, awareness, and identity while having fun; returning to Jewish camp summer after summer. Many recipients report that without a One Happy Camper grant, they would otherwise not have chosen Jewish camp but to instead stay home or attend a secular camp. They also return to camp at the same rate as those who didn’t receive grants.

Families with children attending one of over 150 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps including Camp Sabra, Camp Ben Frankel, Herzl Camp, and many more for their first summer may receive a grant regardless of need or background. Families can find camps and apply for grants by visiting OneHappyCamper.org.

“The Jewish summer camp experience affects children in countless ways and opens their hearts to the joy of being Jewish,” says FJC CEO, Jeremy J. Fingerman. “We are passionate about making that experience possible for every Jewish child and deeply grateful to all of our partners who share our commitment to that goal.”

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Central Agency for Jewish Education (CAJE), a beneficiary agency of Jewish Federation, is St. Louis’ central address for Jewish Education. CAJE works across the spectrum of Jewish movements to enhance and improve Jewish education in St. Louis. Through 15 programs, CAJE directly serves over 10,000 individuals (children, teens, adults and teachers), nearly every one of the 4,290 preschool through twelfth grade students enrolled in Jewish education in St. Louis.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is the only public organization dedicated solely to nonprofit Jewish overnight camps. FJC employs a variety of strategies toward a single goal: to increase the number of children in Jewish summer camps. To this end, the Foundation creates inspiring camp leaders, expands access to and intensifies demand for camp, and develops programs to strengthen camps across the Jewish spectrum in North America. Through strategic partnerships on local and national levels, FJC raises the profile of Jewish camp and serves as a central resource for parents and organizations alike. FJC works with more than 150 camps, 70,000 campers, and 10,000 counselors across North America each summer to further its mission.
www.jewishcamp.org