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Foundation Funds Generate Camp Dollars

Every summer swarms of kids head off to Jewish camps around the country.  Many go to Jewish overnight camp while others stay closer to home and attend day camp.  But for some, the costs of these experiences are not in their family’s budget and become an obstacle.

A recent $10,000 grant from the Ralph Pariser Memorial Fund for Jewish Camping, a Columbus Jewish Foundation endowment, will make camp more accessible by providing needs-based camp scholarships.

The Pariser endowment was established by friends following attorney Ralph Pariser’s untimely death in 1986.  The fund was supplemented with a significant gift from his mother, Dr. Roslyn Pariser, who passed away in 2009.  The fund is governed by Ralph Pariser’s daughters, Rebekah Pariser Ferriel and Rachel Pariser Kellerman.  One half of the grant is earmarked for Columbus JCC day camp scholarships. The balance will provide scholarships for Jewish overnight camps, and will be administered by the Jewish Federation of Columbus.

Several other funds at the Columbus Jewish Foundation generate camp subsidies, including the Agudas Achim Brotherhood Camp Endowment and the Zelkowitz Family Foundation, which has supported the JCC camp programs since 2007.  In addition, the Linsey Campership Fund and the Loeb Family Endowment provide camp scholarships for children of Temple Israel members.

According to sociologist Steven M. Cohen, Jewish summer camp experiences make a lasting impact on Jewish life and identity.  “At a time when fewer Jews maintain friendships with other Jews, Jewish camps help build and maintain Jewish friendships.”    Encouraging such connections for a new generation of young Jews has become one of the most important and exciting items on the American Jewish community’s agenda.

Through their camp funds, the Pariser and others are making Jewish summer camp affordable.  To them it is an investment in the future.  For more information about providing Jewish camp opportunities for those in need, contact the Columbus Jewish Foundation at (614) 338-2365.

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