JCRS Kicks Off a Sizzling Summer
By Mark Rubin
Summer for the Jewish Children’s Regional Service — the oldest existing Jewish children’s social service organization in the United States, and the only regional Jewish child welfare agency in the country — is a busy and gratifying season.
This summer JCRS is providing more than 370 partial scholarships for kids from Texas to Alabama and five additional mid-South states to attend Jewish sleepaway camp.
In total, JCRS will allocate more than $200,000 for these youth to attend 35 nonprofit Jewish camps from coast to coast, including many to Camp Henry S. Jacobs in Utica, Mississippi, Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas, Camp Young Judaea – Texas in Wimberley, Texas, and Camp Ramah Darom in the North Georgia mountains. The unique experience of Jewish summer camp helps children gain independence, meet new friends, expose them to new and exciting adventures, and most importantly, to create their personal Jewish identity.
Also this summer, JCRS is pouring through applications for college aid for Jewish students looking to begin or continue their studies. This program helps students such as Rachel, whose father was recently laid-off from his job and whose family is struggling to afford the costs of in-state college tuition, room and board. JCRS and its volunteer review committees in New Orleans, Houston and Dallas will allocate an average of $2,600 for the 2018-2019 academic year to approximately 100 Jewish students in order to reduce the burden of debt and stress that these students and their families endure in continuing their education.
As if the summer heat is getting us confused, JCRS is requesting families register now for its Oscar J. Tolmas Hanukkah Gift Program. For 20 years, JCRS has brightened the Hanukkah celebrations of hundreds of children who are facing difficult times by sending out Hanukkah gifts to boys and girls throughout the seven-state region. Some children are recovering from natural disasters, some have special needs and some are new immigrants. Almost all come from families who are struggling to stay afloat in this economy. JCRS wants these children to know that they are not alone, and that they are remembered by the Jewish community. Registration information can be found at jcrs.org/services/hanukkah-program. ■
For more information about JCRS programs, visit www.jcrs.org or 800-729-5277.