Everyone at Camp Young Judaea-Texas was saddened by the devastation that the flood dropped onto our communities. We at CYJ have responded on two fronts, both within Wimberley and Houston. While camp was mostly spared, Wimberley was hit very hard. Here in town, we are helping to host IsrAid, an eight-person Israeli non-profit organization that provides volunteer help for disaster relief all over the world. We plan to offer our help by sending staff members to the disaster sites to volunteer as well as finding out how we can send our Kesher chanichim (campers) to assist being that their educational theme this summer is “tikkun olam” or “repairing the world. Additionally, it is camp tradition that each camper donates $5 to tzedaka and they choose an organization to give the money to during a social action program here at camp. We also collect donations from our staff, who choose an organization to give money from their summer salaries. We are planning, this summer, to highlight Wimberley non-profits when we present the options to our campers and staff and we are asking our camp parents to contribute as well.
Second, the Houston community needs help. It was very difficult to see the destruction to the Jewish community and houses in our area. One way CYJ can help is by offering an oasis for children from the city to escape the difficult situation at home and bring them to the positive environment of Camp. Thanks to the generous contributions of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and several individual donors, we are able to provide scholarship support for these children. Camp is not cheap and for those victims who lost homes and all of their possessions, money is even more of a challenge. As long as spots are available, we are inviting children to join us for a three-week session at a discounted rate. Instead of the full $3,600 tuition, they will pay $1,100 (CYJ Scholarship Fund and the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston will each provide a $750 scholarship, and CYJ will comp an additional $1,000). We will also work with these families to cover the remaining $1,100 if needed so that every child has an opportunity to go to camp. I’m pleased to say that we have just found a donor to cover a limited number of the the $1,100 balance.
I am both impressed and moved by the community support both in Houston and Wimberley. We do not take lightly our responsibility to help those in need and are thankful that we are able to do so. Thank you for allowing us to do that mitzvah. Best,