Summer Fun and Jewish Learning

Is your child spending this summer doing the same old activities? This year, you can give your child the experience of a lifetime: loads of fun in the beautiful outdoors, as well as the opportunity to form lifelong friendships and discover a connection to his or her heritage in an exciting, interactive learning environment. Where can you find this? At over 150 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps across the US and Canada!

There is a camp that perfectly fits every child and family with three fantastic Jewish summer camps right here in Colorado — Shwayder Camp, JCC Ranch Camp, and Ramah Outdoor Adventure. Whether you are looking for a specialty camp – from sports to the arts – or a special needs program, there is a Jewish camp to meet your criteria. Camps also cover the entire spectrum of religious observance. Visit Foundation for Jewish Camp to browse the options.

In fact, this camp season celebrates the inaugural summer of Ramah Outdoor Adventure. Created as a result of the Specialty Camps Incubator run by the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) and funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, this unique program offers teens inspiring outdoor adventures while experiencing Judaism in new and experiential ways.

For Ramah Outdoor Adventure, Shwayder Camp, JCC Ranch Camp and twenty-one other nonprofit Jewish overnight camps, families from the 13 Western states can apply for the JWest Campership Program, a needs-blind cash grant. Established though the generous support of the Jim Joseph Foundation, created and run by FJC, JWest offers up to $1,500 to families to put towards camp enrollment costs for a child’s first experience at Jewish camp. If a camper returns for a second summer, they will be eligible to receive an additional $1,000. This summer, the grant policies have been adjusted to offer greater flexibility and additional options to families; until now grants have only been available to campers who attend camp sessions of three weeks or longer but beginning with summer 2010, the minimum will be 12 days.

The Jewish summer camp experience affects 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 the Jim Joseph Foundation who shares our commitment to that goal.”

To learn more about or register for the JWest and other incentive programs visit

About Wendy Aronson

Current position: Assistant Executive Director at the Boulder JCC. Formerly was the JWest Program Director at the Foundation for Jewish Camp, worked for CAJE staffing the IST trip and B'nai Tzedek program, and was CU Boulder Hillel's first JCSC Fellow.

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