Camp is on! After camps were forced to shutter in 2020 because of COVID-19, Jewish children and young adults across the region are celebrating the return of a beloved summer tradition. In just a few months, more than 2,500 campers from Greater Boston will ship off to Jewish overnight camp, where they’ll create lifelong memories and connections to the Jewish community.

For children whose families face financial instability, camp has not always been in the cards. Thanks to a $2.2 million endowment fund created last year by longtime CJP supporters Judi and Douglas Krupp, more kids than ever now have the chance to experience the joys of Jewish overnight camp. The fund—created in partnership with CJP—provides needs-based Jewish overnight camp scholarships.

With summer just around the corner, the Krupps discussed what inspired them to focus their philanthropy on their love of Jewish camp.

Why is Jewish overnight camp a priority in your philanthropy?

The enriching experiences each child and young adult has at Jewish overnight camp play a huge role in shaping our strong Jewish future and preserving our heritage for generations to come. Camp allows Jewish youth to take pride in our rich culture, meet other Jewish kids from across the region, and enjoy the life of being a Jew. We truly believe that camp is the first step in laying a strong foundation for children to have a positive lifelong Jewish journey. Camp is the seed from which everything grows.

What motivated you to partner with CJP to create an endowment fund to provide need-based Jewish overnight camp scholarships?

We are so proud to be able to help make it possible for CJP to offer a Jewish overnight camp experience to local children in need. It was very important to us to ensure that children of all backgrounds can experience the joy of Jewish overnight camp. Camp helps our children understand the importance of Jewish community and connection, which is now more important than ever as we live through a pandemic. Former CJP president Barry Shrage always told us that camps—along with Jewish day school and travel to Israel—are the main sources of Jewish education, awareness, and identity in a young adult’s life.

Why does Jewish philanthropy matter to you?

We were both blessed to have parents who cared deeply about their Jewish roots, traditions, and values. The Jewish people and the state of Israel were priorities for them, and they raised us with a clear sense of principles, priorities, and a strong desire to be part of the action and passion of our time. We believe we teach by example and we hope that our involvement, commitments, and leadership communicate who we are and how we want to make a difference. 

Why is it so important for you to give back to the community?

We like to turn to this quote by Hillel: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”

These words succinctly capture our philosophy, the heart and the sense of purpose by which we have lived, and what we hope for. They are the essential motivation for us giving back to the community and bringing the Jewish camp experience to every child in need. Summer camp is the key to a thriving future for our community.