$3 Million Awarded to Facilitate Accessibility and Inclusion at Jewish Camps
New York, NY (June 10, 2022) — At a time when camp is more critical than ever, Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has just announced the 15 camps across the United States chosen for the fourth and final round of groundbreaking grants, totaling $3 million, through its Yashar Initiative to increase accessibility for campers and staff with disabilities.
This round of Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Yashar grants marks the final grant round of a $12 million initiative generously funded by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Yashar is responsible for significant improvements to accessibility and inclusion at forty-six day and overnight camps — providing funds for capital improvements, capacity building, professional development, staff training, research, and evaluation. Participating camps raise matching funds, tripling the investment to a combined total of over $30 million toward capital projects — a massive investment in accessibility and inclusion and a demonstration of their commitment to welcoming and meeting the needs of every child.
FJC’s CEO, Jeremy Fingerman says: “FJC is grateful to The Weinberg Foundation for their generosity and partnership and is proud to be facilitating the funding, training, and innovation needed to make Jewish camps as welcoming and inclusive as they can possibly be.”
The 15 camps awarded this round of Yashar grants reflect a diverse mix of overnight and day camps from different regions and a range of affiliations, ensuring broad reach and impact:
- Lessans Camp JCC (Rockville, MD)
- Camp Ramah in the Berkshires (Wingdale, NY)
- Camp Yachad at the JCC of Central NJ (Scotch Plains, NJ)
- URJ Crane Lake (Great Barrington, MA)
- URJ Olin Sang Ruby Union Institute (Oconomowoc, WI)
- Apachi Rogers Park JCC Day Camp (Chicago, IL)
- Camp Deeny Riback (Flanders, NJ)
- Camp J Maitland (Orlando, FL)
- Capital Camps and Retreat Center (Waynesboro, PA)
- Eden Village Camp (Putnam Valley, NY)
- J Camps – JCC of Greater Baltimore (Owings Mills, MD)
- Mid-Island Y JCC Summer Camp (Plainview, NY)
- Ramah Day Camp in Chicago (Chicago, IL)
- Tiyul Adventure Camp @ Pearlstone (Reisterstown, MD)
- URJ Camp Newman (Vallejo, CA)
The approved projects include a universally designed and ADA-compliant natural outdoor play space and sensory garden, a climbing apparatus and ropes course, conversion of traditional camp spaces like an amphitheater and a sports complex to accessible spaces, zero-entry pools, accessibility upgrades to buildings and cabins including widened doorways and ramps, and paved pathways to ensure campers can move throughout the day easily. In addition to the funding for these capital improvements, the camps will receive program grants totaling $200,000 to help support efforts in staff training, program development, and evaluation.
“The Weinberg Foundation is incredibly proud to support this partnership with FJC and each of the 46 day and overnight camps funded through the initiative,” said Jon Hornstein, Program Director, the Weinberg Foundation. “Now that the final grants have been approved, we look forward to continuing to evaluate the impact of this initiative. The next phase of the evaluation will focus on understanding the types of projects that were most impactful to promoting a culture of inclusion at camp. We hope that these projects can serve as case studies for other camps for many years to come.”
About Foundation for Jewish Camp: Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) fosters excellence and accelerates innovation at Jewish camps across North America by developing adaptive talent, deepening immersive learning experiences, and catalyzing field growth. Founded in 1998, FJC elevates Jewish camp on the cultural and philanthropic agenda, creating opportunities to engage even more young people in Jewish camp through groundbreaking programs such as One Happy Camper® and FJC’s Specialty Camps Incubator. FJC advocates for over 300 day and overnight camps that provide nearly 180,000 campers and counselors each summer with a meaningful, personal, and lifelong connection to Judaism. FJC is a public 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, please visit: jewishcamp.org.
About The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation: The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in the United States, is dedicated to meeting the basic needs of people experiencing poverty. In 2022, the Foundation expects to provide approximately $150 million in total grant activity supporting nonprofits that provide direct services in the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services. The Foundation’s priority communities include Baltimore, Chicago, Hawaiʻi, Israel, New York City, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and San Francisco. This includes supporting nonprofits serving federally designated rural areas within, or adjacent to, these priority communities. The Foundation’s trustees are Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin (Ret.), Chair; Robert T. Kelly, Jr.; Paula B. Pretlow; Gordon Berlin; and Nimrod Goor. Rachel Garbow Monroe serves as President and CEO. For more information, please visit www.hjweinbergfoundation.org.