Our personal experience with our young daughter, who attended a Jewish camp for several years, proved to us that starting on the journey of self -discovery can be profoundly influenced and enhanced by the camping experience. Prompted by this exposure, and also the considerable data suggesting that immersive experiences such as Jewish camping and trips to Israel, have a lasting effect  on their participants, my husband Michael (like me a WHA, Cleveland 2) and I wanted many more children and their families to have the opportunity for this wonderful involvement. As a result, we decided to partner with the Jewish Federation of Cleveland, the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland, and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, to set up a 1.25 million dollar endowment in order to recruit and enable Jewish children to attend a Jewish overnight camp who might not otherwise be able to do so.  We believe that by providing these children with Jewish camping experiences, they will discover the joy of being Jewish and want to continue celebrating their heritage throughout their lives. One Happy Camper Grants are housed through Foundation for Jewish Camp. If you are similarly moved to sponsor something that can change the trajectory of Jewish lives, I would be happy to give you more information.

Anita Siegal, a Wexner Heritage alumna (Cleveland 2), is a Speech Pathologist working PRN at Montefiore Home. Anita also volunteers at The Gathering Place (caring community center for those touched by cancer), serves on the National Board of Women’s Division of Israel Bonds, and on the board of The Forever Children’s Home (home for severely developmentally disabled young adults).  Anita can be reached at ahsiegal@gmail.com.