Emma Kaufmann Camp, an overnight camp in West Virginia operated by the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, was among several camps awarded a grant from the Foundation for Jewish Camp, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the Billie and Bernie Marcus Foundation “to strengthen accessibility and inclusion for JCC campers and staff with disabilities that affect their emotional, mental and social health,” according to a press release from the JCC Association of North America.
EKC was among 12 JCC camps, and 32 Jewish camps overall, to be awarded a “Yedid Nefesh” grant — from a total pool of $3.2 million — to help address the mental, emotional and social health (MESH) needs of campers and staff.
“We are deeply grateful for these substantial investments by FJC, which acknowledge and reflect the JCC movement’s vision to make all our Jewish community camps fully accessible, inclusive and supportive of individuals with disabilities and MESH challenges,” said Doron Krakow, president and CEO of JCC Association of North America. “These grants underscore the prominence and importance of our Jewish community camps as the largest and most effective access points to advancing mental health initiatives in our communities.”
Funds will be distributed to help camps hire qualified mental health professionals and will be directed to counselor training and wellness programming such as meditation, yoga and journaling. Pjc