Dear Supporters, Friends, Alumni, Former staff and Campers,
When we decided to join the contest from the Aviva Community Fund we were very excited. Many times throughout the past few years we searched for ways to receive grants for our camp. This fund, we thought, would be a fun way to excite our community and try to receive money for our bunkhouses that need to be replaced. The excitement turned to awe when we saw the passion of the many people who voted for us. We saw the excitement in which our alumni, staff, parents and especially campers got involved and pushed for the vote. The pride that our supporters have for Camp Pardas Chanah has been extremely gratifying. As we made our way to the top our anticipation grew. Here was an idea that our community really supports. Today we stand in top place in the Aviva Community Fund.
When those in charge of the fund looked into our organization and saw the passion it generated they were really impressed. After researching our organization, they concluded that we are a faith based organization. Although, they are not explicit in their eligibility for the contest rules that the organization must be inclusive of all religions this is one of their criteria. Bottom line is; they may take a decision to qualify or disqualify an organization.
Unfortunately for us, the Aviva Community Fund has decided that they will be removing Camp Pardas Chanah out of the contest unless we would agree to the following 5 criteria:
• Interfaith Education as part of the camp experience (added to the current programming)
• Any Jewish faith based programming must be optional to all campers
• Campers of other faiths should be welcome to attend the camp
• Dress code policy must become optional
• Policy around reading materials must allow for agnostic reading materials including magazines…. quote from their website says: “girls bringing reading materials should bring books with Jewish content only. No magazines are allowed.”
It goes without saying that our values and convictions are stronger than money. Therefore, we had to make the decision that we will not agree to the above terms and conditions. Although we are deeply disappointed, we know that we have taken the correct course of action for our community.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our supporters, alumni, campers, and friends for your dedication in getting us so many votes. Your care and perseverance, your enthusiasm and your passion was very much appreciated. The comment that we have read and the real feelings that you have shown for our camp have humbled us. Thank you so much. We are forever grateful.
Rabbi & Mrs. Gurary