“SUMMER IS UPON US, and that means camp season will be here again,” writes Harold Grinspoon, founder of PJ Library. “As I have for each of the past five years, I’ll be going to Jewish overnight camp. Not as a camper — I’m 81 — but as a visitor.”
This quote comes from Mr. Grinspoon’s editorial, which was published in The Jewish Week on May 31st.
Jewish overnight camp is an experience that the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF) seeks to preserve and advance throughout the greater Jewish community. The Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy, a program of HGF, has provided over 38,000 hours of consulting services to help with camp board development, and its technology program has provided professional tools to the camps’ fund-raising efforts.
In addition, HGF’s matching gift programs have leveraged $10.5 million of Foundation funds into over $50 million of matching contributions and an estimated $25 million of additional gifts to camps that have together, in the words of the AVI CHAI study, “ignited interest and activity in Jewish summer camp.”
PJ CAMPING BOOKS
Because Jewish overnight camp is a valued experience for so many Jewish families in North America, several of the June books being sent out this year incorporate camping into their themes. Here’s rundown:
|I Love Camp!
Author: Todd Parr
Illustrator: Todd Parr
Age Group: Challah Toast (3 to 4 Years)
With his unique illustrations and peppy text, Todd Parr shows the active, fun-filled summer that a Jewish camp offers.
Author: Ann D. Koffsky
Illustrator: Ann D. Koffsky
Age Group: Egg Matza (5 to 6 Years)
Noah loves everything about summer camp — except swimming. Nothing can get Noah into the pool until he learns about the camp swim-a-thon that will help give other children a chance to attend the camp he loves.
|Picnic at Camp Shalom
Author: Jacqueline Jules
Illustrator: Deborah Melmon
Age Group: Falafel (6 to 7 Years)
When Carly laughs at Sara’s last name, her bunkmate at Camp Shalom refuses to be consoled. Little does Sara know that Carly has a reason for her outburst. When their mutual love of music brings harmony to Shabbat dinner as well as to their friendship, Carly finally gets the chance to reveal her secret.
|Sami’s Sleepaway Summer
Author: Jenny Meyerhoff
Illustrator: Cathi Mingus
Age Group: Gefilte Fish (7 to 8 Years)
Though her family doesn’t seem to see it, Sami is absolutely certain she’s not a “sleep-away camp kind of kid.” Will a four-day, three-night mini session at Camp Cedar Lake change her mind?