Grants for Jewish summer fun and learning benefit 69 area students

Rochester, NY – The Farash Institute for Jewish Education announces that its very first grant initiatives – those for both its Freddy Fund and One Happy Camper summer programs – have had an outstanding response from the community that has resulted in awarding $116,279 to 69 area children.

“Our inaugural year has proven to be hugely successful for these new programs. We are very encouraged by the enthusiasm with which they have been embraced by our community,” says Institute Board Chair Richard Goldstein. “Besides being the best way to build life-long Jewish learning and identity, which are the overarching goals, immersive summer programs also help kids to acquire confidence and other valuable life skills – all while just having fun.”

Funded by a grant of $880,000 from the Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation in 2014, the Farash Institute’s One Happy Camper program offers incentive grants of up to $1,800 for first-time campers throughout nine counties of the Greater Rochester area to attend a Jewish not-for-profit overnight camp. The program is a partnership with the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and is currently offered in more than 40 North American communities for campers in grades two through 12. Camps are located all over the U.S. and Canada, and some have specific interests ranging from science and farming to service and special needs.

“Not only do we help fund a child’s first overnight Jewish camp experience, but we also help their families find the right fit from among the more than 155 different camps available,” says Institute Program Coordinator Sharon Gray, who visits many of the camps to gain first-hand knowledge.

Enrollment is still open for this summer, but so far, 39area children are participating from a cross-section of Jewish backgrounds that range from unaffiliated to orthodox.

The Farash Institute’s Freddy Fund provides a one-time grant of $360 to all Rochester-area teens who enroll in an organized summer or gap-year Israel travel program lasting a minimum of three weeks. Funded by the Fred Silverstein Memorial Fund – established by the Farash Foundationin memory of Fred Silverstein, a founding trustee and dear friend of Max Farash – as well as the Gertrude Wynar Fund for Jewish Educationat Rochester Area Community Foundation, it also provides needs-based financial assistance. Enrollment is now closed for the 2016 Freddy Fund, but applications for 2017 trips will open in the fall.

“Thirty teens from our area are participating this year, to whom we’re providing approximately $58,000 in total. Almost half are receiving additional needs-based funding,” explains Judy Azoff, the Institute’s executive director. “We’re so pleased and proud to be able to help so many to experience this life-changing opportunity.”

In all, the Max and MarianFarash Charitable Foundation has invested more than $1 million in the Institute’s summer programs, and is thrilled with its tangible success.

“Jewish camping and travel to Israel create lifetime Jewish engagement of the highest form – that’s been proven time and time again,” says Farash Foundation Director of Grants and Special Projects Isobel Goldman. “This is just the beginning of what the Institute can and will do to promote Jewish education and engagement in Rochester, so it’s off to a great start.”

Grants for One Happy Camper are still available for Summer 2016. Please visit farashinstitute.org or call (585) 434-2700, ext. 203.

The Farash Institute for Jewish Education was established by the Max and MarianFarash Charitable Foundation in the summer of 2014 to develop and implement programs that reflect the Foundation’s strong commitment to Jewish education and engagement. The mission of the Farash Institute – a separate, not-for-profit entity that is funded by the Farash Foundation – is to support and promote all types of life-long Jewish learning and engagement opportunities – formal, informal, cultural and religious – through local, national and global programming. As an implementing organization rather than a granting one, the Farash Institute is already working on ideas for other impactful projects in the areas of Jewish education and engagement to undertake in the future.

Media please note: High-resolution photos are available, and interviews as well as photo/footage opportunities can be arranged. More information is available at farashinstitute.org