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Our Federation’s Efforts Lead to $23.5 Million to Rebuild Jewish Summer Camps

We are thrilled to announce that Governor Newsom has signed a one-time allocation of $23.5 million for Jewish camping. These funds will provide capital outlay to the Southern California camps destroyed in the 2018 Woolsey Fire and Camp Newman in Santa Rosa that was devastated by the 2017 Tubbs Fire.

Members of our Federation’s real estate groups meet with Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel in Sacramento to advocate for state funding for camps.

Jewish Federation Los Angeles is proud to have led this cooperative effort and grateful to the State Legislature, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus (including Senators Ben Allen and Henry Stern and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, who are all graduates of our Rautenberg New Leaders Project), and Governor Newsom. For any child, the summer camp experience is a truly transformative gift, and the Federation is committed to standing with our camps as they rebuild. The affected camps are vital institutions for so many ― not just within the Jewish community, but for the greater community across the spectrum of race, gender, nationality, and faith. They provide educational opportunities and resources to numerous entities year-round, and these funds are critical to continuing these programs.

Since November when the fires started, our Federation has been working tirelessly with the Shalom Institute and Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps to advocate for state funds to help with their rebuilding efforts. We convened meetings, worked hand in hand with the camp directors to develop messaging, and traveled to Sacramento to lobby for these funds. We have also engaged numerous Federation lay leaders in connecting us with officials in Sacramento.

The remains of “The White House” — Camp JCA Shalom’s office. Photo by Ryan Torok   The remains of Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps’ staff housing. Photo by Ryan Torok

The advocacy and relationship-building efforts with our state legislators is part of the everyday work the Federation does through our Community Engagement Initiative led by Alisa Finsten, Senior Vice President.

In addition, there continues to be significant and strategic participation from leading members of our Real Estate Professionals Organization (RPO) and Real Estate & Construction Division (REC), who were on the ground the minute the fires started.

As a result of these collective efforts, the camps will now be able to better navigate the complex rebuilding process. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done — and we will be there to partner with them every step of the way.

This is the power of the Federation.

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