The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has announced a $12 million grant to the Foundation for Jewish Camp in support of an initiative aimed at improving accessibility at Jewish day and overnight camps for campers and staff with disabilities.
The initiative will fund projects focused on individuals with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and physical and sensory disabilities. To that end, the three-year grant includes $10 million for capital projects; $1.4 million for five-figure program grants to any camp receiving a capital grant; and $600,000 in support of FJC's administrative costs, including oversight of an evaluation and the development of inclusion training programs for camp leadership and inclusion directors.
"We do not want parents of children with disabilities to have to choose between giving them the meaningful experience of Jewish camp or supporting their children's needs," said FJC board chair Julie Beren Platt. "With this initiative, we hope to create a world in which this choice is no longer necessary by ensuring campers with disabilities have access to transformative Jewish summers."
"Through this initiative, the Weinberg Foundation will continue its commitment to serving vulnerable populations by ensuring that all children have access to this formative part of a Jewish upbringing, regardless of race, family economic ability, specific Jewish background, or disability," said Weinberg Foundation president and CEO Rachel Garbow Monroe. "This initiative is especially critical because it will not only benefit the camps that receive direct funding, but it will also advance the field with best practice information regarding inclusion models and training for staff."