New Scholarship Gives Kids a Chance for Jewish Summer Experience

CKids Gan Israel International offers camp scholarships to the three CKids overnight programs, giving more children worldwide a chance for an unforgettable Jewish experience.

When Josh Landes came back from camp last summer, he didn’t seem like a changed kid. He still played soccer after school and got A’s in math at his public elementary school. But every Friday afternoon, Josh joins a Zoom call with his counselor and bunkmates. And on his front door, he helped his parents hang the mezuzah delivered by CKids. When he packs his duffel this summer, he’ll also bring along the Siddur he won as a prize in camp—he needs it to say Shema before bed. 

“Time spent at sleepaway camp, completely immersed in an atmosphere of Yiddishkeit, has a tremendous impact on a child that lasts a lifetime,” says Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice-Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch. This year, in an effort to bring that experience to even more kids, CKids is launched a new scholarship fund to help mitigate the costs.

“I would hate for any child in our community to miss out on this because of money,” says Rabbi Chezky Altein of Chabad Russian Center of South Florida. Rabbi Chezky has sent over ten kids to CKids Gan Israel and says, “the effects of those ten days were far beyond anything I could have accomplished in an entire year of Hebrew school.”

There are now three independently funded CKids Gan Israel camps, one taking place in North Carolina, now entering its third summer servicing the Southeast of the United States. Two new camps are opening this year, one in Wisconsin servicing the Midwest and another in Denmark, catering to the Jewish children in Scandinavia and Europe. 

Camp recruitment is led by Shluchim, who recommend the Camp to local children they think would benefit. The camp director then follows up with that family to make registration easy. With not too much time left until the summer, interested shluchim are encouraged to take advantage of the scholarship available on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

“The addition of a scholarship fund means another barrier for a child to attend Jewish sleepaway camp is broken,” says Rabbi Levi Plotkin, director of CKids Gan Israel of South Florida. 

Visit to find out more. 

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