From The Blog

$23.5M to Help Rebuild 3 Camps Devastated by Fires

$23.5M to Help Rebuild 3 Camps Devastated by Fires

Posted on July 1st, 2019

We are thrilled to share some news!

URJ Camp Newman will be one of the three California Jewish camps destroyed by wildfires to receive a portion of $23.5M in state funds to help with our rebuilding efforts. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the one-time allocation of $23.5 million for Camp Newman, Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps, and the Shalom Institute last Thursday as part of the 2020 California State Budget.

We do not yet know how these funds will be split among our three camps. What we do know is that these funds will help provide seed funding towards a significant capital campaign. For the past year, we’ve involved hundreds of key stakeholders in plans for our future, and we will soon have opportunities to invest. We will keep you updated about this, and about the allocation, as more information becomes available.

Todah Rabah! Thank You!

Please join us in thanking the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles  for leading the cooperative and tireless effort to advocate for state funds to help us recover and rebuild. We are thankful to the State Legislature, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, Assemblyman Marc Levine, SF Federation CEO Danny Grossman, Jewish Community Relations Council, the Northern California Jewish leadership and elected officials, and Governor Newsom for their support of our camps and community. Their collective efforts to secure this funding is a crucial step in helping us navigate the long and complex road to recovery.

“Since its inception seven decades ago, the URJ Camp Newman and 6 Points Community Center has become a vital institution for so many–not just within the Jewish community, but across the greater California region serving thousands of people year-round through non-profit groups, schools, and other organizations,” said Rabbi Paul Kipnes, faculty dean of Camp Newman and senior rabbi at Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas, CA. “We thank Governor Newsom, Senators Ben Allen and Henry Stern, and Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel for their vision in shepherding these important efforts forward, and for seeing the transformational power and impact our camps have on the lives of Californians.”

Read below for more information about the impact of these funds on camp life.

With gratitude for your support and partnership toward our future together,

Ari Vared
Executive Director, CA Youth and Camping

Rabbi Allie Fischman
Camp Director, URJ Camp Newman


#NewmanStronger than Ever!

“We are so excited to be providing our 72nd transformative summer for children, staff, and faculty at #Newmanbythebay, and to be welcoming campers back to our Porter Creek site this summer with daily field trips and adventure experiences. It has been so moving to feel the healing power of returning to our beloved Santa Rosa site and yelling ‘I love being Jewish’ from our star on the hill,” said Ari Vared, Executive Director, CA Youth and Camping.

“It is such a powerful affirmation of our mission that our state leaders recognize how essential our camps have become to the people of California. It is by bringing universal values to bear on the day-to-day and year-long lives of our teens, children and adults that our three camps are united in making a positive and lasting difference across our entire region and the world at large. Together, we serve people of all ages, faiths, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, and demographics,” said Camp Director Rabbi Allie Fischman.

“As we begin the long journey to rebuilding Camp Newman and our 6 Points Community Center in Santa Rosa, we are thankful that the flames of the Tubbs fire did nothing to extinguish our community’s passion for Jewish camping. We are so lucky to have been able to operate our summer camp on the beautiful campus of the California State University Maritime Academy in Vallejo—and to return to our Santa Rosa home this summer for outdoor adventure programming.”