Friendship Circle

Ethan Livshits and Jake Lipovitch of the Friendship Circle will enjoy expanded camp activities and field trips thanks to the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s new Impact Fund focused on camps and synagogues. The Federation awarded nearly $80,000 to 10 Valley camp and synagogue programs.

Updated: 07/02/2019

The Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix awarded nearly $80,000 to 10 local camps and synagogues. The programs were chosen for how they enrich the community.

“Synagogues and camps make such an impact in our community that Federation wanted to do more to partner with them and to support their ideas for new and expanded programs,” said Barry Markson, chairman of the Planning & Allocations Committee. “We are incredibly excited to grow the scope of our funding and outreach to support large and small programs from Valley synagogues that benefit so much of our Jewish community, as well as new programs that increase camp engagement.”

The programs that received funds are: 

Camp Ramah of California Phoenix FUNDay Camp — $10,000. A replication of a Los Angeles program, the camp’s mission statement involves connecting current and prospective Phoenix families.

Camp Stein Destination: Journey 8th Grade Retreat — $14,500. Post-B’nai Mitzvah 8th-grade students from Congregation Beth Israel, Temple Chai, Temple Emanuel of Tempe, Temple Kol Ami and Temple Solel come together for a fall weekend retreat. Led by Camp Stein and Temple Emanuel of Tempe.

Congregation Beth Israel Thanksgiving Meal Delivery — $10,000. CBI provides meals to homebound individuals and families. 

Congregation Beth Tefillah Nefesh — $2,500. Nefesh is an after-school religious study for students grades K-4 that provides supplemental education on Jewish holidays, spirituality and textually based Bible study.

Congregation Kol Ami Community Beatles Shabbat — $15,000. An interfaith Shabbat that seeks to bridge the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. The service is written to Beatles music and includes the development of an interfaith choir. 

Congregation Or Tzion Young Family Shabbat Programming — $6,778. Funds will allow Or Tzion to bring back its monthly Family Shabbat and quarterly Havdalah programs. Participants of all ages sing, dance, eat and celebrate together.

Friendship Circle Camps — $2,500. Winter, summer and mini camps are tailored for children and teens with disabilities. Teen counselors volunteer in meaningful ways. Funds will allow for expanded activities and field trips. 

Merkos Chabad Lubavitch Roving Rabbis — $5,000. Three weeks each summer, Chabad of Arizona brings in two rabbis to travel to the state’s remote areas to connect with Jews who do not have the luxury of living in a Jewish community. 

Temple Beth Shalom West Valley Jewish Community Center Initiative — $5,000. Beginning in the fall of 2019, TBS will launch multi-faceted programming, including community outreach for Jewish holiday and culture and arts events, youth and teen programming, adult education and wellness initiatives in partnership with local hospitals and health providers.

Temple Chai It Happens Here: Addiction and Mental Health Programs — $7,500. In partnership with the Jewish Addiction Awareness Network, Temple Chai is developing a workshop for Jewish communal professionals and a community program that addresses addiction and mental illness. 

“Through our Impact Fund grants, we’re looking forward to the introduction of several new and innovative programs in our community, as well as the expansion of several ongoing ones,” said Robin Loeb, COO of the Federation. “We encourage our community members to watch for many new opportunities to engage with our synagogues and camping programs.” JN


A previous version of this article said that Temple Kol Ami was co-leading the Camp Stein Destination program. Temple Emanuel of Tempe is actually the co-leader. The Jewish News regrets the error.

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