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One Happy Camper program comes to Milwaukee
September 30th, 2012
The Milwaukee Jewish Federation announced the launch of the One Happy Camper program in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp.
The initiative will provide need-blind grants of up to $1,000 to families with children attending nonprofit Jewish overnight camp for the first time.
Over the past seven years, FJC has partnered with more than 70 North American federations, foundations, camp movements, and camps, as well as the Jim Joseph Foundation (JWest), and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (PJ Goes to Camp) to provide more than 30,000 grants totaling almost $30,000,000.
One Happy Camper grant recipients, like all campers, are infused with Jewish education, awareness, and identity while having fun; returning to Jewish camp summer after summer.
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,” the 2010 study by FJC studying the long-term effect 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 percent more likely to donate to a Jewish federation, 37 percent more likely to light candles regularly for Shabbat, 45 percent more likely to attend synagogue at least once a month, and 55 percent more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel.
According to the “Jewish Community Study of Greater Milwaukee 2011,” commissioned by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, more than 50 percent of Milwaukee-area Jewish adults have attended or worked at a Jewish overnight camp.
“We are so excited about the new partnership between the Milwaukee Jewish Federation and the Foundation for Jewish Camp bringing the One Happy Camper program to the Milwaukee Jewish community,” said MJF Interim Executive Director Sheryl Primakow.
“Attendance at a Jewish camp has long been recognized as one of the most important ways for children to feel a life-long connection to Judaism,” Primakow said. “It is our hope that through this partnership many more of our Jewish children will become campers at one of the exceptional Jewish overnight camps in our area.”
Families with children attending one of more than 150 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps, including Midwest Jewish camps, for their first summer may receive a grant regardless of need or background. Families can find camps and apply for grants by visiting www.OneHappyCamper.org.
“The Jewish summer camp experience affects children in countless ways and opens their hearts to the joy of being Jewish,” said 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.”
The Foundation for Jewish Camp is the only public organization dedicated solely to nonprofit Jewish overnight camps. It seeks to increase the number of children in Jewish summer camps. To this end, it creates camp leaders, expands access to and intensifies demand for camp, and develops programs to strengthen camps across 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.
To learn more about FJC, visit www.jewishcamp.org.