(Denver) – A grant of $100,000 by an anonymous donor will now make it possible for students in Jewish day schools to apply for generous scholarship support for the upcoming 2014 camp season. Ramah in the Rockies, a unique, Sabbath-observant, Jewish outdoor adventure camp, is located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The grant represents unprecedented support for the camp’s day school campers, as well as traditional need-based scholarships and support for first-time campers.
Ramah in the Rockies is committed to ensuring that any eligible camper who wants to attend camp will be able to do so, regardless of the family’s financial situation,” says Rabbi Eliav Bock, Ramah in the Rockies’ Camp Director. “Some 30% of our campers are day school students, and their families often struggle to meet the financial obligations of paying both private day school and camp tuition. In the midst of the ongoing, broadly based discussions around the affordability of day school for Jewish families, this generous grant will help make it possible for those families to provide their children with a meaningful, exciting, memorable, and immersive Jewish summer camp experience.”
Any family with an annual income of $175,000 or less that sends at least one child to a Jewish day school and is not already receiving incentive support from the One Happy Camper program may be eligible to receive tuition support. This grant, directed specifically to Day School families earning what some might consider “healthy incomes”, is the only known grant of its kind in the non-Orthodox Jewish camping community.
My goal in awarding these funds is to help ensure the children of families who commit substantial revenues to a Jewish day school education are also able to afford the experience of the Jewish summer camp,” the donor stated.
The donor’s goal is to increase the strongest factors in creating a lasting positive Jewish identity—attending a Jewish day school and participation in a Jewish summer camp experience. “I know that the future leaders of the Jewish Community will be coming out of Ramah Outdoor Adventure and I am happy to support this important cause.”
Funds from the grant will also be used to subsidize the Ramah in the Rockies portion of the One Happy Camper subsidy as well as more traditional need-based financial assistance.
Ramah in the Rockies was established in 2010 as the first specialty camp within the Ramah network (the camping movement of Conservative Judaism). The Colorado camp was established through an incubator grant provided by the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the Jim Joseph Foundation, and has grown through significant support from within the Jewish community nationwide. Ramah in the Rockies is located on 360 pristine acres in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The camp offers a wide range of outdoor adventure programs, teaches environmental stewardship and immersive Jewish living. The camp currently welcomes 375 campers each year, coming from a range of Jewish backgrounds, from 26 US states, Canada, Israel, and Mexico. Ramah in the Rockies also offers a Tikvah program for campers with disabilities, and JOLI, a teen leadership program for entering 10th graders, who gain expertise and skills in outdoor adventure and in building Jewish community. The camp is in the midst of a capital campaign in order to build facilities that can accommodate its rapidly-growing camper community. For more information visit www.ramahoutdoors.org