Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
עדכוני קורונה

COVID-19 Updates


Will Camp Yavneh be okay financially?

As an independent nonprofit, 90% of our revenue comes from camp tuition.  Cancelling camp this summer will have a serious impact on our organization and a full year without income will create a significant operating loss.

To date, in anticipation of the summer, we have already spent approximately $1,600,000 on non-refundable camp preparations. We rely on camp tuition to fund year-long planning, programming, training, summer purchasing, and staff.  

While we have already begun to implement cost-saving measures including reducing staff, food costs, delaying non-essential maintenance, and recouping program fees, we now need the support of the entire community.

Refunding all tuition and fees will leave us in a fragile position. To get to the first day of camp in 2021 we will need to make deep cuts and need the community’s help – camp families, alumni, parents of alumni, and friends – to raise close to $1,600,000. 

Why did you spend so much money already?

Yavneh was conducting business as usual until mid-March. During the year, there is a large list of tasks that must be done before we can operate each summer. Like everyone else, we were moving forward as we do every year. We have taken many steps to curb spending; see above question for some examples.

What are my options for the 2020 tuition I paid?

Refunding all tuition and fees to prioritize camp families’ needs is of utmost importance to us and demonstrates our values. It will be financially very difficult for the camp if everyone requests all their tuition be returned. 

This is the time that we need your generosity. If your family is in a position to donate tuition or perhaps more, please consider the role you could play. For families that don’t feel they are in the position to donate all of the tuition, please consider a combination of the following options:

  • Donate a portion or all of your 2020 tuition dollars (a tax-deductible gift that helps us bridge this difficult year) – matched dollar for dollar by the Harold Grinspoon Foundation (see further details below)
  • Roll over your tuition to 2021
  • Request a refund
  • Consider a combination of all three

Thank you for seeing the transformative power of Jewish camp in shaping identities and community. We are grateful for any help you are able to give to help us sustain camp.

During the month of June, families will receive a phone call followed by an email with information on how to select your options. We respect any choice you make regarding tuition already paid and will be so grateful for any help you are able to offer to sustain camp far beyond 2020.

How does the Harold Grinspoon Foundation All Together Now Matching Challenge Grant Work?

The Harold Grinspoon Foundation (HGF), recognizes the urgency of our situation, understands the impact of summer camp on youth identity development, and has stepped forward to inspire us with a matching grant through its JCamp 180 program to encourage everyone who cares about Camp Yavneh to participate and act immediately. Camp Yavneh is one of approximately 100 nonprofit Jewish camps across North America participating in the $10 Million All Together Now matching grant.

Through All Together Now, HGF will match dollar for dollar all tuition dollars donated back to camp and will also give $1 for every $2 that you donate to Camp Yavneh now (above and beyond tuition). We rely on tuition revenue to fund year-long planning, training, summer purchasing, year-round programming and staff. 

Support from our camp families, alumni and friends is critical. We will need everyone’s support to ensure that camp can survive this pandemic and remain resilient and strong.

“The timing of the COVID-19 Pandemic is hitting camps especially hard. We don’t know yet the full extent of the resources that camps will need to weather this storm, but we know they need the extra cash flow now, and their needs will be significant if camps can’t open this summer,” said founder Harold Grinspoon.  “Jewish summer camp is a transformative experience for more than 90,000 children and young adult counselors each summer and is vital to our Jewish community.  We hope that this new $10 million commitment will inspire others to help with needed funds to protect and sustain Jewish camp at this critical moment.”

Thank you for considering any monetary donation so that we can maximize our gift from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation.

Alumni, friends, and families who would like to give beyond tuition are all invited to donate online. You can also use appreciated securities and Donor Advised Funds to give toward the match. To discuss your gift, please contact Adina Zarchan, Director of Philanthropy at  or 617-580-3465.

What happens to my financial aid/camperships or discounts?

Community-based grants are made by individual organizations, including Jewish Federations, PJ Library, and synagogues. Camp will serve as a liaison to coordinate these grants, including One Happy Camper, to help secure their availability in 2021.

Will Yavneh offer virtual programming this summer?

We recognize that the immediate need is for our community to process this week’s news together and find ways to feel our Yavneh ties. We will be having an online ReLiSh this Friday May 22, 2020 @ 5:00 PM, preceded by L’fi Ayda time @ 4:30 PM EDT so all campers can be with their roshes and their friends.

Although nothing can compare to being at camp, keeping our Yavneh family connected is a top priority. Thank you to families who responded to the survey about virtual programming. We have been analyzing your responses and we anticipate sending out information in the first week of June with our potential offerings for summertime.

Will there be another opportunity for Kerem 2020?

We are especially heartbroken for Kerem 2020. For many of them, this experience is something that they have been looking forward to since the first day they became campers at Yavneh. We are committed to finding a way to honor the missed Kerem experiences, moments, and milestones and will communicate directly with Kerem 2020 and their parents. This will be a new situation for all of us and will have a lot of moving parts and variables.

Why is the Na'aleh Israel trip cancelled?Will there be another opportunity to go to Israel?

Israel is currently closed to all international visitors and has not announced when that might change. It’s highly likely that when it reopens, all travelers will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Movement and attractions throughout the country will probably remain quite limited. Given the continuing uncertainty and with guidance from our COVID 19 Task Force, we felt it was necessary to cancel the trip for the summer. While Keshet, our Israel educational partner, has offered great flexibility in planning, at this point, we cannot reasonably provide a safe, high-quality Na’aleh experience this summer.

While we did consider domestic alternatives for Na’aleh, since there will not be camp this summer we will not be able to offer an alternative.

We are determined to give our teens an opportunity to experience Israel together. It will take some time to figure out a plan, subject to health and travel restrictions, financial limitations and scheduling. When we have some ideas for what’s possible we will notify all Na’aleh families to gauge interest.

Whom should I contact if I have more questions after the Kehilla Town Hall?

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any one of us. We are here for you: to support our Yavneh family and work through next steps with you all.

For other questions or if you’d prefer to speak to Bil Zarch, Camp Director, directly, do not hesitate to contact him,