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The facts are clear: Attending a Jewish summer camp as a child leads to a stronger identification with the Jewish community as an adult. Without the generous camp scholarships provided by JFCS, Micah and Rachel, 10-year-old twins on the Peninsula, would have missed out on this vital experience. The siblings lost their Israeli-born father to multiple sclerosis five years ago. Since then, it has been the hope of their mother, Pam, who is struggling financially, to connect her children to their father’s heritage through the Jewish summer camp experience. “But I could never afford it,” says Pam. “JFCS has helped us through some very hard times, and has also brought us into Jewish communal life.This is an extraordinary gift.”

kids camping
For Micah, who loves outdoor activities of all kinds, the opportunity to attend sleepover camp with his peers will be “absolutely transformative,” Pam adds. “He has been looking for ways to explore his father’s heritage, and this will provide him with the type of exposure he has been seeking.”

Pam already knows what it feels like to be embraced by the community. Right after her late husband, Yossi, was diagnosed with MS in his late 30s, she sought the support of JFCS, which provided the family with transportation to and from doctors’ appointments, meals through the Chicken Soupers program, and friendly visits from JFCS volunteers. The family also benefited from the agency’s counseling services, and Micah, who was born with some developmental delays, thrived thanks to Parents Place resources and referrals.

When Yossi died in 2009, JFCS continued to be there for the family, helping it cope with loss and assisting Pam as she assumed her role as single parent. Now, as Micah and Rachel count down the months to Jewish summer camp, Pam reflects on the hardships of the last years and expresses gratitude for all that JFCS has done for her and the children during this time. “For all of the challenges,” she says, “we are incredibly blessed.”

Read about one family’s investment in Jewish summer camps >



Posted by Admin on February 5, 2015