In the summer of 2010, 329 campers were provided “need-based” scholarship funds by the Jewish Children’s Regional Service to attend a Jewish, non-profit overnight camp.
The campers were all residents of the seven Southern states served by the New Orleans-based agency: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas.
The “need-based” camp scholarship program remains a long-standing and unique service dimension within the oldest and most unique Jewish Children’s agency in the country. The JCRS camp scholarship program is well over 60 years old and the JCRS is currently 155 years old.
The Jewish youth funded for camp scholarships must qualify according to financial need, but many other social factors within the family determine the award and the amount of work needed to help a child get to camp.
Each year, a significant number of those Jewish youth funded by JCRS also experience the following circumstances: growing up in a single-parent household or a grandparent-led household; coping with serious health, mental health or conflict issues within the family; living within a household where there are no Jewish affiliations to complement those experiences that occur at camp; or living in a small town or suburb where there are few Jewish peers.
In addition to the camp scholarship itself, JCRS sometimes pays for camp clothing or transportation, or enrolls the child or his siblings in additional JCRS services that will assist the family’s children on a year-round basis.
For children who are between the ages of 9 and 16, the JCRS funds special needs assistance, has a Special Friends Club for the most socially isolated, and provides Hanukkah gifts. “Age-specific” programs for children, under the age of nine, includes the P. J. Library monthly book subscriptions, and for those over 18 years of age, the agency funds undergraduate college aid.
All programs of the JCRS are funded primarily through annual contributions and the annual income from family scholarship funds set up at JCRS.
For more information, call 1-800-729-5277, visit the website at www.jcrs.org, or e-mail ned (at) jcrs.org.