Give Jewish Camp on #GivingTuesday

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    I know the power of Jewish camp. I was a camper, a counselor, and now I carry on my family’s legacy and vision as President of the Cohen Camps. As a camper, I enjoyed swimming and sailing, the comradery…really, everything. As a counselor, I watched campers gaining confidence by trying new activities, and finding their own leadership paths through the power of camp.

    Now, it is my privilege to work with an incredible camp community, one that supports each other in times of need and in times of joy. I see it every day at Camp Tevya, Camp Tel Noar, and Camp Pembroke and through the Dor L’Dor Israel Programs during the summer. I hear about it throughout the year when staff share the phone calls they receive from former campers, telling them about a life event and how much camp meant to them. I read it online, when campers share that they live “10 for 2” on Instagram, and alumni share stories of their friendships, favorite camp places, and cherished experiences.

    Not everyone has the means to afford summer camp tuition. We understand that choosing a Jewish camp for many is an important and not inexpensive choice, and we are grateful for each camp family that chooses a Cohen Camp. Since our beginning over 80 years ago, we have offered scholarship aid to families based on financial need.

    Over the past three years alone, we have given over $750,000 in needs-based scholarships. In this past year, scholarship support grew significantly; 28% of campers receive some level of financial aid.

    Because scholarship requests continue to rise year over year, donations to our scholarship fund become more critical than ever. Our camps, a summer home for so many, is a place where youth can develop their individual identities, learn self-confidence, and prepare themselves for their role in the larger Jewish community and the world. Tzedakah is something we not only talk about, but practice as an organization.

    Your gifts matter. I thank you, along with the entire staff of the Cohen Camps. As do many of our camp families, who this year asked us in our parent survey to pass along these messages to you:

    “Without this financial aid we would not be able to give our children this wonderful experience. They have grown so much from their time at Camp Tevya, as Jews and as people.”

    “From the bottom of our hearts we are so thankful for the generosity of those who donate to Tel Noar scholarships. Thank you so very much for caring.”

    “Words cannot express my appreciation for the donors at Camp Pembroke. My girls live and breathe for camp all year long and I am so grateful they can go. The friendships, community, independence, and love for Judaism they get from Camp Pembroke cannot be replaced!”

    “Dor L’Dor is an awesome privilege and life changing opportunity. Your support makes a difference in the life of every person on the bus. Thank you!”

    We have a large and generous Cohen Camp community. We hope this year many of you will partner with us to give camp. Tuesday, December 1st is GivingTuesday, a global celebration of generosity. We are asking you to help fund camp scholarships for all on December 1. Our goal has always been to assist every family that wants their child to experience and share the power of Jewish camp.

    Here’s what we are asking our community to do on #GivingTuesday:

    1. Please join us on GivingTuesday to share the gift of scholarship to others. Download a sample “I am giving because…” flyer from our GivingTuesday Facebook album (or pen your own – creativity encouraged), and take an UNselfie with it (that’s a GivingTuesday selfie). Share it to your camp Facebook Page, tweet it to the camp or @cohencamps, or post to Instagram. Tag it with #PowerOfJewishCamp so we may also enjoy your enthusiasm for camp!
    2. Make a donation online. We need your partnership to continue to offer scholarships to all in need. Never donated to camp? No time like #GivingTuesday! Give $18 (or $180 or $18,000!) and give the #PowerOfJewishCamp to others on this day of generosity. Every donation received on #GivingTuesday will be earmarked for scholarship.

    From all of us at the Cohen Camps — Camp Tevya, Camp Tel Noar, and Camp Pembroke – thank you.

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