by: Foundation for Jewish Camp Articles & Press Releases January 12, 2024

Empowering Growth  

FJC’s Staff Retention Initiative Takes Center Stage in the Southeast 

As the world changes, so does the outlook for summer camps. Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and Southeast Regional Director, Bobby Harris, proudly unveil a groundbreaking Staff Retention Grant program. This initiative recognizes the unique challenges faced by Southeastern summer camps and adapts strategies to ensure the continuous success of these vital community institutions. 

With the national staff retention rate dropping from 60% to a concerning 40% post-pandemic, FJC took proactive measure and talent innovation grants were awarded to camps nationwide in preparation for the summer of 2023. 

Bobby Harris - Foundation for Jewish Camp

Bobby Harris explains, “The Southeast Staff Retention Initiative came to life in large part because of the ecosystem that we have been able to create in the Southeast. By having an FJC Regional Director and Center in the Southeast, we are able to keep our finger on the pulse on what is happening at our camps.” 

A recent in-person conference with both camp professionals and Hillels marked the initiation of this innovative 3-pronged program. Camp professionals were exposed to field-wide staff retention initiatives, gained insights from professionals experienced in building organizational cultures and each camp was given the opportunity to submit a proposal for a $10,000 grant aimed at enhancing staff return rates.   

Also in attendance at the conference, were representatives from Hillels from University of Florida, Florida State University, International Hillel, Hillels of Georgia, and Hillels of Broward/Palm Beach who collaborated with each camp, focusing on mutual understanding and improvement for their camps, their Hillels, and the Jewish engagement of their staff and campers. 

For the Southeastern camps, FJC’s talent innovation grant is right on the money of societal changes and opens up a collaborative dialogue. With a targeted staff retention grant program providing essential tools to attract and retain talented staff these grants merge tradition and transformation. These grants help each camp continue their commitment to fostering a cohesive and thriving Jewish summer camp community.  

Danny Herz, Executive Director of Camp Barney Medintz, expressed elation after receiving an FJC Talent Innovation grant stating, “FJC truly values our camps, and as importantly, the professional development of the professionals in the industry.” 

For further information or inquiries, please contact: aimee@jewishcamp.org.