Camp Laurelwood to Pilot Family Camp Program Initiative

Camp Laurelwood, a Connecticut overnight Jewish camp located in Madison, has been selected to participate in the inaugural cohort of JFAM, the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s (FJC) new family camp initiative. This groundbreaking new program, funded by the Foundation for Jewish Camp, provides overnight camps with financial and programmatic support to launch or expand their family camp offerings to provide meaningful and exciting Jewish experiences for families with young children.

As a participant in the JFAM program, Camp Laurelwood will offer three different family camp weekends each year for five years, beginning in 2022. FJC will provide important resources to pilot these programs at camp, including training, as well as a grant covering capital funding, staff capacity funding and subsidies for participating families. FJC designed this pilot program to help camps reach new families and engage them in the magic of Jewish camp. Camp Laurelwood will work with partner organizations throughout this process that will lead recruitment efforts with support from the camp.

After being forced to close last summer due to COVID-19, Camp Laurelwood quickly realized the need to safely invite the community to visit camp in some capacity. To meet this need, Laurelwood offered three weeks of family camp over the summer. This was the first time Laurelwood had ever explored family camp offerings; the response from the community was overwhelming. FJC’s JFAM program will allow Camp Laurelwood to expand on the programs offered this past summer and build on a vision of yearround vibrant programming rooted in Jewish values and traditions that sustains our community.

Rabbi James Greene, Camp Laurelwood’s Executive Director, noted the importance of this grant in terms of the camp’s vision. “Camp is a technology that we use to build Jewish identity, and we know that it works. It is what Laurelwood has been doing for more than 80 years. We are so excited to partner with Foundation for Jewish Camp to bring the magic of camp to families across the region and to build the JFAM program in the years ahead.”

With the success of last summer’s inaugural family camp program, Camp Laurelwood is confident the investment from FJC will provide the necessary resources to offer an even more robust and meaningful experience to families over the coming years.

Founded in 1937 on 140 wooded acres, Camp Laurelwood is an agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven. It is accredited by the American Camping Association and the State of Connecticut.

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