Michael Leven, 76, is the recently retired chief operating officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, but he has never forgotten the summers he spent as a camper and counselor at Camp Tevya in New Hampshire. Leven and other philanthropists and business executives are funding the new online program BunkConnect that will match income-eligible first-time campers with nonprofit Jewish summer camps.
The initiative launched in November 2014 with 75 Jewish camps from a variety of denominations and movements. Created by the Foundation for Jewish Camp with the Center for Entrepreneurial Jewish Philanthropy, BunkConnect is geared toward middle-income families that often don’t qualify for scholarships yet find Jewish summer experiences out of reach. The program aims to be less intrusive than the traditional scholarship application since it uses a pre-qualifying quiz.
“I have been stuck until now,” says one parent who used a pilot version of BunkConnect. “Thank goodness for this program.”