Sam received a One Happy Camper grant from Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey when he was eight years old. These incentive grants encourage young people to try Jewish sleepaway camp, which is one of the most effective ways to strengthen kids’ Jewish identity and participation through adulthood.
Returning to camp year after year, Sam loved his experience and came to appreciate the value of the One Happy Camper program. When the time came for him to decide on a bar mitzvah project, he wanted to pay it forward -- or in Sam's case, PLAY IT FORWARD -- so that more kids from the local community could receive these grants funded by Federation.
"Camp gave me good memories of bonding with friends through activities such as sports and religious activities like services, middot classes and more. This has given me more experience with the religion, and lots of strong, possibly lifelong connections with friends in similar age groups that understand me for me, and that is a special bond that you can only get from very few places."
For his bar mitzvah project, Sam turned his passion for golf into a fundraiser. Inviting family and friends to sponsor him in a day of golf, Sam raised thousands of dollars to go directly into camp incentive grants for kids like him from his local community.
Jewish Federation is proud to invest in a bright Jewish future by providing One Happy Camper grants -- and thankful to Sam for helping fund grants for many more local children through his mitzvah project.
Thanks to Sam and his generous values and deeds, now more young people will be encouraged to try Jewish camp and who knows how THEY will pay things forward in their lives.
Pictured below, Camp grant recipient, Sam, pays it forward with mitzvah project golf fundraiser.