The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) has been awarded a $12 million general operating grant, over the next four years, from the Jim Joseph Foundation in support of its revised strategic plan. This grant, which is part of a $67 million overall campaign, will help secure FJC’s ability to support the field of Jewish camp in its continued recovery from the pandemic and its expansion and enhancement of immersive Jewish experiences for an ever-increasing number of children, teens, and young adults each summer and year-round.
In 2019, FJC launched a five-year strategic plan to build adaptive capacity and accelerate innovation to help Jewish camps evolve and ensure long-term growth and sustainability. During the COVID crisis, which created a $150 million funding gap for Jewish camps, FJC partnered with the philanthropic community to secure deficit funding, provided support and training to camp professionals and seasonal staff, and helped lead advocacy efforts on behalf of the field. With the approval of the FJC Board, this strategic plan has been extended two years.
FJC’s near-term focus is on rebuilding the pipelines of campers, counselors, and professionals; emphasizing character development across several dimensions to drive mental, emotional, and social well-being; and continuing to ensure the short- and long-term financial sustainability of camps in the system.
By mid-2023 as camps recover more completely from COVID, FJC anticipates returning to a variety of newer initiatives around adaptive talent, immersive learning, and field growth, supported by an enhanced environment of innovation, robust data, and research, and expanding its footprint to regional offices, as originally outlined in the 2019 pre-COVID plan.
“We are beyond grateful to the Jim Joseph Foundation board and staff for its thought partnership, generosity, and all-around collaboration,” said Julie Platt, FJC Board Chair. “This grant is an endorsement of the value FJC brings to the ecosystem of Jewish camp, the talent of FJC professional staff, and role FJC plays as the key intermediary for the field.”
Platt continued, “As the world of Jewish camp continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic, FJC is here to support and guide the field as we navigate our way through this storm together. This grant strengthens FJC’s position and provides an initial runway for us to execute on our strategic plan and lead the field forward in a rapidly changing environment.”
Commenting on the grant, Barry Finestone, President and CEO of the Jim Joseph Foundation affirmed, “For nearly a quarter-century, FJC has been a central resource, advocate, convener, and catalyst for the field of Jewish camp. They execute, innovate, and adapt with excellence. FJC continues to be a crucial intermediary partner for the field of Jewish camping and the Jim Joseph Foundation is proud to partner with the FJC team as they execute their strategic plan over the next four years.”