Articles & Press Releases 06.16.22

Jewish Camps Receive Funding to Reimagine the Staff Experience

(New York, NY) June 16, 2022 In a commitment to increase recruitment and retention rates among young seasonal camp staff, Foundation for Jewish Camp has invested nearly half a million in the form of Talent Innovation Grants to 26 day and overnight camps across North America.  

“Complex problems require creative solutions,” says Julie Finkelstein, FJC’s Senior Director of Program Strategy and innovation. “Working at camp today brings new and complicated job demands, and in a competitive job market, traditional models and rites of passage are no longer enough to deliver a sustainably healthy pipeline of high-quality seasonal staff.” 

These grants are an output of an intensive creative process that included a broad cross-section of the North American Jewish camp community last fall. FJC convened the group to examine reasons for declining counselor recruitment and retention rates and make recommendations about how to combat these trends systematically and collaboratively. 

FJC’s Teri McGuire, who is working with camps to move the needle on this adds, “This process really illuminated a great deal about the counselor experience. And while we uncovered challenges, there are also many opportunities here. Camps are engaging in some exciting work to elevate the counselor experience, and we’re committed to supporting them in this work and reimagining alongside them.” 

These Talent Innovation Grants, made possible with the visionary support of The Marcus Foundation and ranging from $5K to $40K, are the first step of FJC’s three-year action plan to sustainably increase counselor recruitment and retention rates and positively transform the camp experience field wide.   

The twenty-six grant recipients have already begun piloting their projects this summer. Once tested, projects will be evaluated, and successful initiatives will be scaled and replicated across the field. 

Talent Innovation Grant recipients include: 

1. Five grants of $20-$40K to be used toward the hiring of a year-round professional focused solely on the staff experience, recruitment, and retention. 

  • Camp JCA Shalom  
  • Camp Kef at the Kaiserman JCC & Pinemere Camp (working in partnership) 
  • J&R Day Camp  
  • Tamarack Camps  
  • URJ 6 Point Sci Tech, Creative Arts, & Sports Academies (working in partnership) 

2. Seven grants of $7-$20K for innovations like restructuring compensation, new ambassador programs, and creative appreciation and engagement initiatives.  

  • 92Y Camps 
  • Camp Ben Frankel 
  • Camp Sabra 
  • J Camps Dallas and URJ Greene Family Camp (working in partnership) 
  • JCC Camp Ruach 
  • Ramah in the Rockies 
  • URJ Camp Coleman 

 3. Ten $5K grants to significantly elevate supervision using the performance management and professional development tools from our partners at e21. 

  • Camp Achva 
  • Camp Barney Medintz 
  • Camp Centerland 
  • Camp Settoga 
  • Camp Tel Yehudah 
  • Camp Young Judaea-Texas  
  • Capital Camps & Retreat Center 
  • JCC Day Camp of Metropolitan Detroit  
  • Mid-Island Day Camp 
  • New Jersey Y Camps 

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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 driving field growth. FJC supports camps in their effort to provide a lifelong connection to Judaism and elevates Jewish camp on the cultural and philanthropic agenda. For more information, visit www.jewishcamp.org.   

 
MEDIA CONTACT: 
Foundation for Jewish Camp 
Aimee Lerner, Marketing Director 
aimee@jewishcamp.org 
646-278-4518