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Camp Alonim receives grant from JCamp180

by Ryan Torok

November 15, 2012 | 2:43 pm

JCamp180, a project of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that aims to enhance long-term effectiveness in Jewish nonprofit overnight camps, has announced that it will begin working with Camp Alonim, one of Southern California’s largest Jewish overnight camps. Alonim will receive fundraising support, matching grants and other services.

Effective immediately, JCamp180, formerly the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy, will assist Alonim in becoming more strategic and self-sustaining, and will offer coaching and consulting services, along with technology assistance, board development and matching-grant assistance.

“Alonim is a pretty effective and efficient camp the way [it is], but every camp could use a fresh look from the outside,” said Mark Gold, director of JCamp180.

A program of American Jewish University’s Brandeis-Bardin campus, Camp Alonim’s activities focus on teaching Jewish culture, tradition and community through art, music, Israeli folk dance, sports, nature and drama programs.

For approximately the next 15 months, Alonim’s staff will receive guidance and mentoring from JCamp180 to garner pledges from donors for capital improvements, scholarships and annual operations. Once Alonim receives the funds, JCamp180 will match the monies for capital improvements and to leverage further philanthropic support for the camp.

Over the past six years, JCamp180-affiliated camps report having raised more than $175 million. In that time, JCamp180 and the Harold Grinspoon Foundation have provided more than $11 million in matching grants.

JCamp180 announced its affiliation with Alonim in October and formalized it during the JCamp180 annual camp conference, which took place Nov. 4-5 in Springfield, Mass.

JCamp180’s 180 overnight-camp affiliates in Southern California also include Camp Ramah in Ojai, Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps, and Habonim Dror Camp Gilboa. The November conference also marked the renaming of the Grinspoon Institute for Jewish Philanthropy, founded in 2004, to JCamp180.

JCamp180 is one of four programs of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to charitable giving in the Jewish world. Harold Grinspoon, who made his fortune in real estate, has focused on Jewish camps in part because of research that the overnight-camp experience is one of the most effective formats for ensuring life-long Jewish identity, Gold explained.

“Fundamentally, Harold Grinspoon, his background is real estate, and he believes that a camp that has a sound physical plant, has strong fundraising, will make for a better, more attractive camp and, therefore, give children a better Jewish experience.”

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