JCC Campers Team Up With JFS to Make a Difference

By Chelsea Karp
Volunteer Coordinator

Summer is coming and Camp JCC and Jewish Family Service have partnered together to increase awareness and participation in supporting the JFS Food Pantry and the older adult community of the Lehigh Valley.

Brenda Finberg, director of camp and children’s services, and Mike Smith, program director, have a jam-packed calendar of fun along with mitzvah projects and pantry collections for the campers. Each of the eight weeks of summer camp will highlight a different Jewish value that is reflected in the mitzvah projects the campers, ages 4-14, spend their days creating. 

For instance, week two of camp will focus on the Jewish value of kehillah (community) as the campers assemble and decorate Shabbat boxes that will hold all the necessary ritual pieces for a JFS volunteer to lead a Shabbat program at one of our affiliated older adult assisted living facilities.

Week four will focus on the Jewish value of tikkun olam (healing the world) as the campers and their families are requested to send in first aid products which will be donated to the JFS Community Food Pantry. 

Other highlighted projects include making door decorations for older adults and birthday boxes. “Our goal,” Finberg and Smith said, “is to give our campers and their families an opportunity to give back to their community in a very special way that can only be done through a partnership such as this. At Camp JCC, we teach Jewish values every day, and we wanted to expand upon that and show the campers that they can make a difference outside of our beautiful 55-acre property in Center Valley. Our goal for the end of the summer is for our campers and their families to know that they have made a difference in their community. We are looking forward to this amazing partnership with Jewish Family Service as well as a fantastic summer."

Debbie Zoller, executive director of Jewish Family Service, said, “One of the JFS goals is to create intergenerational programming. The partnership of Camp JCC and JFS is making that possible, as children will have the opportunity to learn about others and gain awareness of people in need.”

For people who are interested in donating to the Community Food Pantry in conjunction with Camp JCC, please note the following dates: June 26-30 is sunscreen week, July 3-7 is jelly, July 10-14 is first aid products, July 17-21 is soap and body wash and July 24-28 is paper towels and toilet paper. All donations can be brought to the lobby of the JCC. Both Camp JCC and JFS thank you for your participation and we look forward to a successful summer!