Jewish Summer Camps Feel the Heat

May 17, 2009

Source: Jerusalem Post


The tough financial situation is making it more difficult to send kids to Jewish camps this summer. The economy is taking its toll on Jewish camping in the form of lower enrollment, later registration and later payment. Although many parents see the Jewish camp experience as an important factor in forming their children's Jewish identity, they are finding it difficult to afford it this summer.


In order to help parents overcome the financial crunch, many camp administrators are creating flexible payment options, promoting discounts and working with parents in other ways such as letting parents put camp tuition on their credit cards.


Many camps are helping parents tap into scholarships offered by the Federation system, or incentive grants from the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which offers "campership" incentive grants to first-time campers.

The grants, ranging from $750 to $1,800, are not need-based, although the economic downturn has made them more attractive.

The foundation estimates that, along with its partners, it will offer grants to 7,000 campers this summer, compared to 5,000 in 2008. Last year, the foundation distributed $4m. in grants, and this year it hopes to distribute $6.1m.

Updated: May. 20, 2009