This summer, Camp Solomon Schechter received a phenomenal opportunity from the Jewish Teen Funders Network (JTFN) to start our own Camp Solomon Schechter Teen Foundation! We received $1000 from the JTFN, as well as a total of $500 from collected donations from Gimmel Campers, and a couple other anonymous supporters. With the $1500 we were able to review nine proposals from local community groups that were requesting funds and provide our campers with an amazing opportunity for tzedakah.
We began our process by learning about Jewish values. Here are some comments from our campers about what they learned about values:
“We talked a lot in the beginning about different, important Jewish values and how each word can have multiple definitions.”
“During this philanthropy program, I think that I have learned a lot about responsibility and consensus.”
“We learned how to add important details into a short statement.”
By way of consensus, the campers selected three values that they would use to help write a mission statement and guide their decision making process: respect, community, and saving a life.
With a mission statement in our hands. We went through the challenging process of analyzing grant proposals with the help of Camp Solomon Schechter’s own Development Director, Jef Nobbe.
Together, Jef and the campers discussed what makes a good proposal, how they should be written, and how to read them with a mission statement in mind. My role, as facilitator, was to guide, encourage, and advise them, but the fourteen campers who participated in the program made all the decisions themselves as a group.
T’filah Director, Camp Solomon Schechter