Now Is the Time to Apply for Summer Camps, Israel Trips, Incentive Grants, Financial Aid

The calendar says January, but summer will be here before you know it, and if you are considering sending your child to summer camp, now is the time to apply for the camp program of your choice and for financial aid if you need help with the expenses.


For children and young adults, overnight Jewish summer camp experiences and Israel trips are among the strongest positive influences on Jewish identity. At overnight camp, everyone is Jewish and often camp friendships last a lifetime. Living Jewishly is the norm and learning is part of the fun. Shabbat is the highlight of the week.

To enable as many children as possible to take advantage of these opportunities, the Jewish Community of Louisville has a program and several scholarships available that can help with summer 2012 programs.

One Happy Camper

For the first time ever, Louisville Jewish campers can participate in the One Happy Camper, a program of the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Your child may be eligible for a $1000 incentive grant if he/she has never before attended Jewish overnight camp program of 19 days or more. To qualify, your child must be registered for a Jewish overnight camp program that lasts 19 days or more at an approved camp. Approved camps are listed on www.onehappycamper.org. Children currently enrolled in a daily immersive Jewish experience like a Jewish Day School are not eligible for this program.

Please visit www.onehappycamper.org for more information and to confirm eligibility. Incentive grants are limited to available funds, so don’t wait!

For more information, contact Andrea Melendez, 238-2725 or amelendez@jewishlouisville.org.

Ellen and Milton Cantor Israel Scholarship Fund

The Ellen and Milton Cantor Israel Scholarship Fund provides an annual scholarship to a high school junior or senior from the greater Louisville area to help defray the cost of the trip and enable that individual to participate in an approved month-long educational opportunity in Israel.

The Cantor Scholarship was originally established by Milton Cantor in 1997 in memory of his wife, Ellen. When he passed away in 2002, the fund was renamed in memory of them both. Their son, Howard, lives in Florida and receives letters from each of the fund recipients when they return home from Israel.

“The letters mean a lot to me,” he says. “The fund was important to my parents and its value is evident in the reactions I hear from the students. They describe the impact the trip has had on them and how it has changed their lives. It has been wonderful for our family to be a part of it.”

His sister, Elece Kovel, agrees. The letters she receives make her realize how much the Israel trip means to the Cantor Scholarship recipients. She knows the additional funding makes it easier for students to take advantage of the opportunity to study in Israel. “Each year we have great difficulty determining which student should receive the scholarship,” she says, “since all the applicants are highly qualified and are anxious to go to Israel. We hope they have a good experience.”

Written application must be made to the Ellen and Milton Cantor Israel Scholarship Fund by March 1. Each candidate must also include the recommendation of his/her rabbi or an appropriate Jewish communal professional. Scholarship recipients must commit to participate in voluntary community activities upon their return from Israel.

Summer Camp Scholarships

The Laura K. Cohen Camp Scholarship, the Miriam and Dennis Fine Beber Camp Memorial Scholarship and the Frankenthal Family Camp Ramah Scholarship are need-based grants that provide assistance for families to send their children to summer camp. The deadline for application for these scholarships is March 1.

Written application must be made to the Laura K. Cohen Camp Scholarship Fund, the Miriam and Dennis Fine Beber Camp Memorial Scholarship Fund or the Frankenthal Family Camp Ramah Scholarship at the Jewish Foundation of Louisville. Each candidate must also include the recommendation of a Jewish communal professional (rabbi, youth group leader, religious school principal, etc.). Applicants demonstrating financial need will be given preference, but other criteria will be considered as well.

Receipt of the scholarships is contingent upon enrollment/acceptance at an eligible Jewish camp. By accepting the scholarship, the applicant agrees to participate in appropriate publicity before and/or after camp in the Community paper.

Specific information about each scholarship is available below. Applications can be downloaded below or you may contact Andrea Melendez, amelendez@jewishlouisville.org or 238-2725 for applications or more information.

Laura K. Cohen Camp Scholarship

The late Laura K. Cohen thought summer camp was the best. She so treasured her time spent at a Zionist youth camp as a child that when she passed away, her friends and family chose to remember her by creating the Laura K. Cohen Camp Scholarship.

Applications for the partial-tuition camp scholarships will be accepted from youngsters interested in attending Jewish overnight summer camps that observe kosher dietary laws, are Zionistic in approach (provide an Israeli element in orientation and/or programming), and observe Shabbat.

Miriam and Dennis Fine Beber Camp Memorial Scholarship

Besides her family and friends, one of Miriam Fine’s favorites was summer camp. From being a camper at the JCC’s Ben F. Washer to a counselor at Camp Livingston and a camp in Atlanta, it simply was her thing. She thought camp was important for all kids and was adamant that her children go as well.

When Miriam passed away in 2004, her husband, Dennis, and their children, Molly, Max and Meredith, chose to memorialize her by ensuring others the opportunity to enjoy the Jewish camping experience that had been so much a part of her life and theirs. And when Dennis passed away in 2011, the fund was renamed to honor his memory as well.

Since the Fine children had attended Camp Beber in Wisconsin over the years, the endowment was created to provide scholarships to that camp.

Frankenthal Family Camp Ramah Scholarship

Citing their family’s desire to make a Jewish camping experience accessible for all youngsters in our community, Kim and Stuart Frankenthal endowed the Frankenthal Fund with the Jewish Foundation of Louisville. The Frankenthals had been Ramah campers and found it an “eye-opening experience” for themselves and their children. “Jewish camping opportunities have always been important to our entire family,” said Kim.

The Frankenthal Fund provides need-based scholarships for youngsters from the Louisville area at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. “We hope kids in the area will take advantage of the scholarship and the opportunity to be a part of Camp Ramah,” says Kim. “If they have a love for Judaism and want to have some fun at the same time, there’s nothing like it.”

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