Camp Case: Camp Judaea
By David Weiss, Associate Director
In 2006, Camp Judaea began its relationship with JCamp 180. JCamp assisted us in evaluating our needs and developing and creating a strategic plan. Since then, we have endeavored to create and foster a culture of philanthropy within our camp community that would support these goals, which include:
- Upgrading and/or replacing our cabins;
- Enhancing our meeting/programming spaces;
- Improving our support facilities (kitchen, office, health center) so that we can handle a higher capacity;
- Building endowments for scholarships and facility needs.
With a plan and vision in place, Camp Judaea set out to raise funds to reach these goals. We also decided on a goal that would serve to kick-off our Capital Campaign: build an Amphitheater. This outdoor performance space would add new programming space and serve as a great 'opening act' for our Capital Campaign. A very successful brick campaign brought in donations from alumni, families, and Hadassah chapters across the Southeast and around the world. The Amphitheater was dug out and built in the spring of 2010. The ribbon-cutting ceremonies, held on both Opening Days, were presided over by the Mayor of Hendersonville, NC, who used the opportunity to proclaim Camp Judaea Day. The ceremonies were attended by alumni, campers, donors and families, all of whom were awed by Camp Judaea's stunning new addition.
The excitement generated by the Amphitheater as well as the opportunities presented by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation's matching grants have been leveraged to provide Camp Judaea with a strong start to our Capital Campaign. To date, Camp Judaea has renovated the kitchen, transformed the old Chadar Ochel (dining hall) into an Israel Culture Center, bought new bunk beds, and begun work on all-new cabins.
Thanks to the guidance of our mentor, Dan Kirsch, and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, Camp Judaea is not resting on these successes; we know that our development efforts will allow us to continue to offer quality Jewish summer experiences to our campers and staff for decades to come. We are revamping our governance structure, enhancing alumni outreach, building a strong Legacy program, and strengthening our programs.
Words cannot describe our gratitude to Harold Grinspoon, his Foundation and JCamp 180, and his staff for all that they have done for Camp Judaea. Thank you.