One Happy Camper of Greater Philadelphia, a project of the Neubauer Family Foundation, the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, is now accepting applicants for summer 2012.
First-time campers can receive up to $1,000 toward an overnight Jewish camp experience of three weeks or more through this incentive program, which is a powerful tool in building Jewish identity, community and leadership.
It's easy to be a good sport at a Jewish overnight camp.
Last summer, 439 children from the Greater Philadelphia area received such grants, an increase of 15 percent over 2010. Statistical evidence from the 2010 study for the Foundation for Jewish Camp indicates that these young people will likely be engaged and involved in Judaism and the Jewish community throughout their lives.
According to this study, adults who attended overnight Jewish camp are 30 percent more likely to donate to a Jewish Federation; 37 percent more likely to light candles regularly for Shabbat; 45 percent more likely to attend synagogue at least once a month and are 55 percent more likely to feel very emotionally attached to Israel.
With more than 155 camps across North America to choose from -- including such Pennsylvania options as Camp Galil, Camp Harlam, Camp JRF, Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Golden Slipper Camp, B'nai B'rith Perlman, Pinemere Camp, Young Judaea Camps: Sprout Lake and Tel Yehudah -- there's bound to be a place that meets the interests and needs of all eligible families.
Currently, fewer than 10 percent of Jewish camp-aged children are enrolled in these camps. The incentive program strives to turn these numbers around by helping to reduce the financial burden.
Eligible campers must never have previously attended a nonprofit Jewish overnight camp for 19 consecutive days or longer and cannot currently be enrolled in a daily immersive Jewish experience like a Jewish day school or yeshiva. Campers must be attending and registered for a camp listed on the Foundation for Jewish Camp's website, www.jewishcamp.org
If you have any questions about the One Happy Camper Program of Greater Philadelphia, call Drew Martin, 215-832-0530, or email firstname.lastname@example.org