Articles & Press Releases 03.11.21

Foundation For Jewish Camp Secures Over $10 Million in Funding to Ensure More Campers Can Attend Jewish Camp in Summer 2021

New Grants Help Camps Meet COVID-19 Requirements So Camp is Available and Safe this Summer


New York, NY – As summer 2021 approaches, Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) is taking steps to ensure Jewish camps overcome the financial challenges brought by implementing COVID-related operating procedures that would constrain occupancy and reduce tuition revenue.  

FJC has secured $2.6 million from the Jewish Community Response and Impact Fund (JCRIF) for Capacity Expansion Grants that will go directly to 32 Jewish camps for projects that add more space for campers and staff while still meeting COVID-19 guidelines. Projects that the Capacity Expansion Grants support included temporary housing structures from tents to yurts, augmentations to the infirmary and dining facilities to accommodate increased traffic, and creative solutions for isolation space in case of COVID. 

“Camps want nothing more than to provide a safe, healthy and joyful Jewish environment for campers, and although many challenges and uncertainties remain, I feel the optimism and anticipation as FJC and our camp partners work diligently to ensure a safe and successful summer 2021,” said Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of Foundation for Jewish Camp. “FJC’s priority is to support Jewish camps through and beyond this crisis, so we’re thrilled that the JCRIF funders have invested $2.6 million for capacity expansion, and we hope others will join to support this efficient, effective initiative.”

These grants expand capacity to serve approximately 3,300 additional campers and also represent a strong return on investment that will generate incremental tuition revenue of over $13 million, badly needed to offset projected operating deficits in 2021. This creative approach means more campers will be able to attend camps this summer when connection and community are needed now more than ever. 

“The JCRIF Grant funders were impressed with the number of strong and creative applications FJC received and are proud to help enable more kids than ever to attend camp this summer,” said Felicia Herman, Director of the Aligned Grants Program for JCRIF. The Aligned Grants Program funders include: Aviv Foundation, Jim Joseph Foundation, Maimonides Fund, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, and the Paul E. Singer Foundation.

During COVID-19, FJC’s efforts have become more critical to help sustain Jewish camp, ranging from funder cultivation and engagement; support and training for camp professionals and college-age counselors; and new program offerings. To ensure the reopening of Jewish summer camp in 2021, FJC has joined the advocacy efforts of American Camp Association to officially recognize camp staff as essential workers and worked on joint procurement of PPE, testing kits, and temporary structures. 

Additional recent grants to FJC, totaling over $8 million, will ensure camps can reopen safely and be financially sustainable in summer 2021, include: 

  • The Marcus Foundation and Crown Family Philanthropies provided new operating support for overnight camps in their respective regions, Southeast and Midwest.
  • An anonymous foundation provided new funding to support a Small Community Incentives initiative in partnership with 15 overnight camps. 
  • Israel Henry Beren Foundation and a private family foundation provided funding to help attract more campers this summer through FJC’s One Happy Camper® incentive program.


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 young staff 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: