I am a great believer in the power of Jewish summer camps to positively impact the lives of young people. The opportunity to be in an all-embracing Jewish environment is incredibly enriching for students of all ages.
I know that many parents in our congregation support the idea of their kids going to camp, but it can be a challenge to afford the thousands of dollars it costs to attend a sleep-away camp. That is why I am so proud that our congregation makes available scholarships for families who request financial assistance. I am grateful that Roz Citron and her late husband, Harry (z”l); Karen and Ted Bresler; and the Women of Temple Beth Torah have consistently and generously made funds available for camp scholarships. In addition, donations by family and friends to the Heather Citron fund; the Sara and Elliot Lewis fund; and contributions to WTBT also help to provide camperships.
In the highest ideals of tzedakah, our funders are never aware of the identities of the families who request assistance. Similarly, the scholarship committee that allocates funds never knows the names of the children being provided camperships.
Each year, Temple Beth Torah is able to provide thousands of dollars in financial assistance for Jewish summer camp programs. The ultimate beneficiaries, of course, are our kids. One student who will be attending Camp Newman wrote, “I have heard that Camp Newman is a great place for me to have fun while I learn about my culture. Being in a camp that has others just like me where we learn more about Shabbat and other Jewish activities will be a great experience for me. I have been told that I will learn about Israel and Israeli songs and dance. I do love singing and I look forward to singing new songs with my new Jewish friends. I want to make new friends to hang out and enjoy this new experience with them. It is hard to explain, but I love the fact that I will be around other Jews and make new friends that are just like me.”
I have every confidence that this student will have a wonderful time at Newman. Jewish summer camp is indeed a wonderful and memorable experience. I am so pleased and proud that the generous support of our congregants makes this opportunity possible for children from our synagogue.