Jewish Camp Innovation Challenge



Does the future of Jewish camp keep you up at night? Grab your brainstorming notebook, form a team, and apply for FJC’s Innovation Challenge to hone your best idea through a series of workshops for a chance at up to $10,000 to pilot your creation.


As times continue to call upon us to try new ways of carrying out our mission and meeting our goals, FJC is looking to invest in ideas that will energize the field, increasing the reach and impact of Jewish Camp.

As we look to 2021 and beyond, what will position Jewish Camp(s) to be better prepared to thrive and bring the best of camp to our rapidly changing world?

Bring together a team to design, test, and launch a project or initiative with tools and support from FJC. Teams should be between 2-5 people and include camp professionals or lay leaders from at least 2 different camps. The Innovation Challenge welcomes initiatives that address one of the following areas: Expanding access and engagement in Jewish Camp, enhancing or extending Immersive Jewish Learning/Life, and addressing the pipeline of Jewish camp leadership.  Ideas could address a recasting of 2021 summer camp, expanding reach from summer to year round, extending engagement from youth to lifelong, or examining systemic changes.


The Innovation Challenge will take part in three stages:

Stage 1: Application/Mini-Plan  (June 30-July 19)

Teams will apply with an idea. Applications will be reviewed and up to 8 teams will be selected to move into Stage 2 and remain eligible for funding and mentorship. Teams must have representation from at least 2 camps in the FJC network; representatives may include camp professionals or lay leaders.

Stage 2: The Workshop (Eligible for innovation training and mentoring) (August 3-28)

The teams selected to move into the next round will be matched with a mentor to support their progress over the next 6 weeks. Eligibility to participate in Demo Day and move into Stage 3 is dependent on full participation in the workshops.

The teams will each present during Demo Day, a public event where they will share their work, look for future support, and indicate how others could be involved. 

There may be opportunities for individuals or teams who submitted applications, but were not selected for Stage 2 to participate in innovation workshops if interested.

Stage 3: Release to Field (October-December)

Up to 3 teams will be selected to move into the final stage of the innovation challenge, receiving a grant for up to $10,000 of financial support to pilot, launch, and market their idea. Each team selected for Stage 3 will be matched with a point person at FJC for additional support.


Who Can Participate?

The Collaborative Network Innovation Challenge is open to anyone with an idea to develop in response to the prompt. Teams must be at least 2 people and recommend no more than 5. Teams must have representation from at least 2 camps in the FJC network; representatives may include camp professionals or lay leaders

What is the commitment?

All members of a team selected to participate in Stage 2: The Workshop will be expected to join in weekly sessions (2 hours a week), will meet as a team with their mentor every other week during the workshopping and twice in preparation for the pitch, and will be expected to contribute additional time necessary to continue developing the idea and pitch. Expected total hours: 8 hours / week.

WORKSHOP DATES & TIMES (required attendance):

Innovation Workshops (3-4pm ET, 12-1pm PT ): 

Please note the following dates* for Innovation workshops:
August 3
August 6
August 10
August 13
August 17
August 20
August 31
September 3

*Foundation for Jewish Camp will be closed the week of August 24

Pitch Day:

Thursday, September 10, 1-4pm ET


July 6-July 19: Applications Open

July 6: Innovation Challenge Info and Application Prep Webinar #1

July 9: Innovation Challenge Info and Application Prep Webinar #2

July 19: Application Deadline

August 3- August 28: Stage 2: The Workshop

Week of September 7: Demo Day

Week of September 14: Announce those moving to stage 3

Info Webinar