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Who benefits? Here’s one family’s story.

“Last summer, I had an incredible experience with Camp Zeke that has left a lasting impression on my life, the life of my children and what it truly means to be Jewish. My husband got ill one evening in June and had a horrific episode that was highly traumatic for myself and my two younger children.  As the night passed and the morning emerged I realized I was going to have to make some very careful and difficult adult decisions over the course of the next few weeks and wondered how I was going to do that without my children getting caught up in the stress and challenges that should face only adults.

“I went online and landed on the Camp Zeke home page. In a fit of hope I called and reached the camp. I explained what had passed in our home the evening before and that I needed a safe place for my children to go. I let the camp know I needed financial assistance (this was not planned or budgeted) and that I realized it was probably full and had no space, especially since camp opened in less than a week from our conversation.

“Your office did not hesitate. Camp Zeke assured me that the caring staff would take care to make sure my children were safe and having a wonderful time making friends, staying fit, being outdoors, living a Jewish life, and building memories.  

“I have to add, I spoke to two other camps prior to talking to Zeke who were unable to accommodate my children in any way. The response from one of the directors was less than kind and left me feeling quite hopeless.

“This is the story of what it means to be Jewish. We are a family, we are a community, and we care for each other. We help each other and pitch in through hard times and then help each other celebrate the blessings and joys, even when we are unknown to each other.

Camp Zeke offered something so very unique from so many other camps. It truly focused on a comprehensive lifestyle of health and wellbeing including mental, physical and spiritual health that the children carried over into their daily lives at home. My children now cook dinners created from whole foods on a regular basis and have completely adopted a healthy eating lifestyle. They made lasting friends who are Jewish and, just this last weekend, my kids and I traveled to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah of a Camp Zeke friend.  This is especially important to us since my children have very few Jewish friends outside of their Hebrew School.”

Make camp your bnai mitzvah project!

If you’re preparing for a bar or bat mitzvah, you can make Camp Zeke your mitzvah project.  There are so many ways you can do this:

(1) Make a video on a platform like GoFundMe and share it with friends and family, far and wide.
(2) Ask your family and friends to donate to our scholarship fund in addition to or in place of traditional gifts.
(3) Donate a portion of your cash gifts to our annual campaign. We like 18% because it’s chai!
(4) Participate in a run, walk, triathlon, tough mudder, or other sporting event and ask family and friends to sponsor you.

Including Camp Zeke as part of your mitzvah project will help us make camp accessible to every family. Are you interested in making camp your mitzvah project? Please email us if you’d like help planning or brainstorming.

Teaching our children about fitness and healthy cooking in a warm and energetic environment will ensure that they internalize the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Washington Jewish Week

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