Federation increases need-based scholarship awards for summer camp and Israel travel

Federation increases need-based scholarship awards for summer camp and Israel travel

June 4, 2024 – The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is proud to announce it has increased its need-based scholarships awards this year for Jewish overnight summer camp and Israel travel, including gap-year programs.  

This year, the Federation awarded 198 scholarships, 187 for camp and 11 for Israel travel, totaling $123,669. This is an increase from last year’s $93,250 through 156 scholarships. Awards this year range from $200-1,750.

Awards this year range from $200-1,750. Scholarships went to 48 summer camps and 7 Israel programs representing all Jewish affiliations.     

The Federation increased its commitment to scholarships this year, because we saw the need in the community. We heard the call, during our year-long community engagement project, ‘Hineni Houston,’ to increase access to Jewish life by making it more affordable to all. Participating in Jewish summer camp and Israel travel is transformative in terms of Jewish identity building for our children and teens. It is a wonderful gift from the Jewish Federation’s donors to be able to enable families to give this experience to their children,” said Scholarship Committee Chair Sherrie Eisenman.  

The Federation’s scholarship fund is supported by the Annual Campaign, and the Roger Sofer Legacy Scholarship for Israel Fund also contributes annually to Federation scholarships for Israel travel.  

Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. The scholarships are for children in the greater Houston area, ages 7-16 who attend an overnight Jewish-content summer camp for at least one week, and for high school students to have an intensive, more than three-week, educational Israel experience. Israel gap-year programs are also included. All scholarships are need based and applicants remain anonymous throughout the committee process. A dedicated committee reviews the applications anonymously with the utmost care and respect to enable families the ability to provide their children with meaningful Jewish experiences. 

Camp programs can cost from $2,000 to $6,500. Israel travel can cost more than $9,000 for a short-term program and up to $35,000 for a gap year program. Scholarships can make a difference in whether a child can participate and have the important connection to Judaism.     

For more information on the Federation’s scholarships visit https://www.houstonjewish.org/camp-israel-scholarships