JCamp 180 Celebrates 15 Years of Support for Nonprofit Jewish Summer Camps

Agawam, MA (October 31, 2019) - For 15 years, JCamp 180, a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, has provided training and support to the boards of directors and professional leadership of nonprofit Jewish overnight and day camps throughout North America. During October 27-29, the management consultancy group held their 15th annual conference in Springfield, Massachusetts, bringing together professional and lay leaders to learn about best practices in areas that will help them better sustain their organizations.
At the conference, which like all JCamp 180 services is provided at no cost to participants, the nearly 400 attendees from the U.S. and Canada were invited to participate in training sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and speaking programs geared to help nonprofit camps better manage their operations. The sessions, lead by experts in the field, cover a variety of content including best practices in camp leadership, technology, governance, strategic planning, and fundraising. Some of the workshop highlights include: Seven Habits of Highly Effective Fundraising Boards, A Guide to Behavior Economics, How to Embrace Failure, Creating a Donor Stewardship Plan, Last Day of Camp: An Example of Successful Young Alumni Engagement, and PJ Goes to Camp: A Useful Tool to Boost First-time Camper Recruitment.
Attending her first conference, new JCamp 180 Director Sarah Eisinger said, "I love seeing camp leaders from across North America learning from one another, and working to build even stronger organizations." She continued, "Each year brings new challenges in camping, and the conference helps to tackle these issues to support the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps. We are succeeding in growing and sustaining camp which has proven to be instrumental in deepening Jewish identity."
Fifteen years after their founding, JCamp 180 serves 122 camps, contributing more than $18 million in consulting services, as well as $17 million in matching grant funds. Staff work both on and offsite, helping camps to raise funds for capital improvements, endowments, and scholarships, develop strong governance practices and leadership, create and manage strategic plans to guide the future growth of the camps, as well as other personalized organizational, recruitment, and fundraising initiatives. The result: Jewish camp attendance has grown from 43,000 in 2004 to more than 80,000 campers across the nation today.
Harold Grinspoon, the founder of the JCamp 180 program commented, "For 15 years, our mission has been to strengthen the Jewish camping community through leveraging grants for capital improvements, mentoring services and this conference. I am proud to bring the camping community together each year to celebrate their accomplishments and learn together. This is one my favorite times of the year!"
The 2019 conference was highlighted by the presentation of awards to individuals and camps who demonstrated outstanding achievements in the leadership of Jewish camps throughout North America. This year's award winners included:  

JCamp 180 Outstanding Philanthropist Award: Julie Platt, Board Chair of the Foundation for Jewish Camp

This award is presented to the individual or organization whose significant financial contributions to Jewish camps have made these organizations more vibrant, competitive, and sustainable.  

JCamp 180 Culture of Philanthropy Award: The Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center in Milwaukee, WI, Steve and Shari Sadek Family Camp Interlaken (Eagle River, WI), and the Albert & Ann Deshur Rainbow Day Camp (Fredonia, WI) 

The JCamp 180 Culture of Philanthropy Award recognizes an organization that has made the transformational change to embrace a Culture of Philanthropy. A Culture of Philanthropy exists when organization-wide attitudes, actions, and structures reflect an understanding, respect, and responsibility for philanthropy's role in the success of camp.
JCamp 180 Outstanding Development Professional Award: Tracey Klapow, URJ Camp Newman (San Rafael, CA) 

This award is presented to the camp fundraising professional who has made a significant impact on a Jewish summer camp's long-term vitality and sustainability through exceptional fundraising programs and practices.  

JCamp 180 Outstanding Board Leadership Award: Andrew Kaplan, Board Chair of Camp Havaya (South Sterling, PA) 

Given in recognition of an individual camp board member whose leadership has produced significant improvement in a camp's governance, fundraising, and strategic planning.  

JCamp 180 Gail Littman Memorial Legacy Stewardship Award: Beber Camp (Mukwanago, WI) 

This award is given to the camp that has demonstrated exemplary stewardship of its legacy donors.
"It's never easy to select recipients for these annual awards," says Eisinger. "This year, we are pleased to recognize the camps who have distinguished themselves by making a long-term investment in their camps, whether it's about investing in culture, building a legacy circle or raising funds.  And though the awards highlight only a few for their outstanding achievements and leadership, we honor every JCamp 180 participant for their contributions to Jewish youth and culture."
In addition to providing mentoring services to client camps, the JCamp 180 program directs matching grants from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation to support each participating camp's implementation of their strategic plan. Over the past 15 years, 29 separate challenge grants have contributed more than $17 million in matching grant funds. Participating camps have raised more than $85 million in response to these challenge grants and another $275 million on their own, funds that have been used in areas not traditionally funded by tuition payments such as capital improvements, expansions, and endowments.

Who we are: JCamp 180 is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF). Our goal is to significantly enhance the long-term effectiveness of nonprofit Jewish camps in North America. To meet this goal, we provide affiliated Jewish camps with consulting services, annual conferences, shared resources, professional development, and matching grant opportunities. Find more at