NEWS: LOCAL

Jewish United Fund partners with Foundation for Jewish Camp to get more kids to camp

This summer is just hitting its stride, but picking a Jewish overnight camp for your kid next summer could be worth $1,000 to your family.

The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago is teaming up with the Foundation for Jewish Camp to continue the popular Chicago-area One Happy Camper program, making a 2013 Jewish camping experience more enticing to hundreds of families.

As the Foundation's new Chicago-area partner for One Happy Camper, JUF and FJC jointly will provide grants of up to $1,000 to families sending a child to a qualifying non-profit Jewish overnight camp for the first time. The grants are not based on financial need.

Over the past seven years, FJC has partnered with more than 70 Jewish federations, communities, Jewish camps and movements, and other organizations to award more than 30,000 grants across North America, totaling more than $30 million.

"Jewish overnight camp provides a transformational experience for young people, and is a key strategy of this community to guarantee Jewish continuity," said JUF Board Chairman Skip Schrayer. "One Happy Camper is a key investment by JUF and our community in making this option available to more families."

First-time campers entering 3rd- through 9th-grades can get up to $1,000 if they are the first child in a family to attend a qualifying camp for 19 days or more. Their siblings can receive $500 in the same or future years. Campers must live in the six-county Chicago area, and attend a public school, Chicagoland Jewish High School, or one of the following day schools: Akiba Schechter, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet, Chicago Jewish or Solomon Schechter.

For a complete list of eligible non-profit Jewish overnight camps and to complete the One Happy Camper grant application visit www.OneHappyCamper.org.

The Chicago-area One Happy Camper program will replace and expand JUF's longstanding Camp Coupons program, which provided $120 to $360 toward enrollment fees. For those who don't qualify for One Happy Camper, Camp Coupons still will be honored for sessions 19 days or longer at qualifying camps.

In either case, JUF also offers camp scholarships to families that need financial assistance, and provides support to many synagogues that offer financial assistance for summer camp.

"The Jewish summer camp experience impacts children in countless ways and opens their hearts to the joy of being Jewish," says FJC CEO Jeremy J. Fingerman. "We are passionate about making that experience possible for every Jewish child and deeply grateful to all of our partners, like JUF, who share our commitment to that goal."

Posted: 7/12/2012 2:42:27 PM
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