Announcing Our Tour de Camp Cycling Event

Tour de CampWe are thrilled to announce that our first-ever Tour de Summer Camps NJ will place on Sunday, April 29, 2018. Proceeds of this community cycling and family fun event will make it possible for more children across Greater MetroWest NJ to have the life-changing experience of attending Jewish summer camp through One Happy Camper grants and need-based scholarships. Registration for riders is now open.

“The Tour de Summer Camps will broaden support for and awareness of Federation’s Jewish overnight camp initiatives, expand awareness of the benefits of overnight Jewish camp, and make it possible for every Jewish child who wants to attend overnight Jewish camp to do so,” says Eric Sellinger, a co-chair of the event.

All ages can participate and get involved as riders, volunteers, or supporters. There will be entertainment for the entire family at the start/finish line at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, as well as a short family-friendly ride off public roads. Cyclists (from beginner to expert and anywhere in between) can challenge themselves on an 18-, 36-, or 62-mile (Metric Century) route. “Tour de Summer Camps NJ is not just a wonderful opportunity for cyclists to get together and ride for a good cause, it is also a chance for our whole community to come together across denominations and celebrate Jewish camp,” says co-chair Susan Ratner.

Participants will ask their personal and professional networks to sponsor their ride in support of inspiring and enabling all Jewish children to attend Jewish summer camp. Riders age 35 and over are asked to raise a minimum of $360 and riders age 34 and under to raise a minimum of $180. There are many resources available to help riders reach their goals.

“Our community has invested about $2 million to send 2,000 children to Jewish overnight camp for the first time through One Happy Camper grants and need-based scholarships. As a national funding source for these grants is phasing out, we need new sources of funding to enhance and sustain this program,” Ratner explained. “The idea for Tour de Summer Camps NJ comes from our colleagues at the Jewish Federation of Greater LA who have been running their annual Tour de Summer Camps since 2013. The LA Tour has been hugely successful there both as a fundraiser and a community builder.”

Studies show that summers spent at Jewish overnight camp empower Jewish young people to become spirited and engaged Jewish adults, thereby laying the groundwork for strong, vibrant Jewish communities for future generations. “In addition to offering the opportunity to enjoy many activities, meet new friends, gain independence all in the beautiful outdoors,” says co-chair Jon Ulanet, “Jewish camps enable our children to experience Judaism in a fun and engaging way and return home connected to a community of friends that will last a lifetime.” 

The primary camps Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ works with include NJY Camps (Nah-Jee-Wah, Cedar Lake, Teen, Nesher, Shoshanim, Round Lake), URJ Camp Harlam, Camp Havaya, Camp Moshava, Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, Camp Tel Yehudah, and Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake. Additional camps in the area include Camp Dora Golding, Camp Dina, Camp Galil, Camp Kinder Ring, Camp Louemma, Camp Poyntelle-Lewis Village, Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Camp Zeke, Cohen Camps (Pembroke, Tel Noar, Tevya), Eden Village Camp, Pinemere Camp, Surprise Lake Camp, TheZone, URJ Eisner Camp, URJ Crane Lake Camp, and UJR 6-Points Sci-Tech Academy.

For more information about the event, including details of the day, location, and sponsorship materials, visit the Tour de Camp NJ website. For any additional information or questions contact Ora Warmflash at owarmflash@jfedgmw.org or (973) 929-3179.