GIJP's 2010 Conference Is Themed,
"Telling Our Stories"
SPRINGFIELD, Mass--More than 325 leaders from Jewish overnight camps around the country will gather in Springfield, Mass. on Nov. 21 and 22 for the 9th Camp Conference, hosted by the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy. The conference will engage Jewish camp leaders in the best practices for improving the long-term viability and success of Jewish camps across the nation.
Years ago, the conference was little more than a few camp directors gathering inside the living room of Harold Grinspoon's home. Today, the conference is a national Jewish camp event devoted to strengthening the fundraising and organizational capacity of more than 90 Jewish organizations across the nation, including overnight camps, day schools, and other umbrella groups and special projects.
In the past five years, Grinspoon has committed $10.6 million in matching grants and more than $7 million in consulting services to help Jewish camps raise money, improve facilities and technology, and grow attendance. As a result, the camps have raised another $50 million on their own to be used for capital improvements, expansion, and endowments. Working in partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the Grinspoon Institute has helped Jewish camp attendance grow from 43,000 in 2004 to 70,000 campers across the nation today.
This year's conference, the largest to date, will carry the theme, Telling Our Stories." The aim of the theme will be to tap into the Jewish tradition of storytelling as a learning tool that will help improve the Jewish overnight camping movement.
"The future leaders of Judaism and Jewish giving can be found in the bunks of Jewish camps today," Grinspoon said. To this end, the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy provides consultation and challenge grants for nonprofit Jewish overnight camps and other Jewish nonprofit organizations. It is a program of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, which funds institutions and programs that directly transmit Jewish learning to children, adults, and families.
"While visiting Jewish camps across the country, I've been struck by the considerable improvements to the facilities and operations of these organizations and delighted that the Grinspoon Institute has played a role in creating these changes," said Eric Phelps, former director of the Institute. "We will continue this work through the educational programs at the conference and our new day camp consulting efforts that will further our mission of creating sustainable, effective Jewish organizations."
Through the generosity of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, the conference is free to all participants and advance registration required. For more information contact the Grinspoon Institute at (413) 736-2561 or www.gijp.org.