DSC_0140 As part of the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN), this summer our entering 8th graders are participating in the Camp Philanthropy Program and exploring the Jewish value of tzedakah.  Jewish educator Natalie Blitt is guiding campers using JTFN resources as they learn about the power and impact of hands-on philanthropy.

Dovetailing with the Shoafim Tzedakah Project, the Camp Philanthropy Program has found its way into different areas of the Shoafim summer experience. This month, Judaic studies classes have integrated the Camp Philanthropy Program into the curriculum, igniting thoughtful conversation on Jewish values, giving back, and tikkun olam.


A group of 10 Shoafim campers are also learning how to create a Jewish teen foundation, including writing a mission statement and learning about grantmaking.  These campers will spend a day in Eagle River, learning about local non-profit organizations.  They will then use their mission statement to make decisions about allocating a $1,000 grant from JTFN.

The Shoafim Tzedakah Project runs in parallel. Campers are raising money through the sale of Shabbat-o-grams, snow cones, and raffle tickets for front row seats at the aidah musicals. Incorporating their knowledge about tzedakah, at the end of the summer campers will take action to “perfect the world” through the donation of the funds they raised. Campers will make presentations about organizations they feel are important and relevant to them. Together they will make consensus-based grant decisions, and make a real difference.