: Ari Vared
(Santa Rosa, CA) – May 19, 2015 – The Union for Reform Judaism’s Camp Newman is pleased to announce that the Koret Foundation has approved a grant of $4 million to establish the Koret Retreat and Conference Center at Camp Newman. This grant will enable Camp Newman to significantly expand its retreat center facilities to serve upwards of 12,000 individuals a year, more than tripling its retreat usage.
The Koret grant is the largest single gift Camp Newman has ever received and one of the largest in the history of the Reform Movement’s camping system. Camp Newman has now raised approximately $22 million toward its comprehensive campaign of over $30 million to significantly improve its infrastructure, housing and program space.
This next phase of construction that encompasses the Koret Retreat and Conference Center will begin in August of 2015 and is scheduled for completion by summer 2016.This phase will also include construction of the Osher Residence Hall, a Health and Wellness Center, a Welcome Center, and a new housing village with four additional two-story lodges. Infrastructure renovations and five out of nine new housing structures have already been completed. One building, a central dining hall and conference center facility, is still planned.
“We are honored to have the support of the Koret Foundation, and look forward to establishing the Koret Retreat and Conference Center at Camp Newman to benefit our entire Northern California Jewish community,” said Ruben Arquilevich, Camp Newman Executive Director. “This gift brings us one step closer toward realizing our vision of a premier retreat environment for families and adults of all ages to experience the magic of Jewish camp throughout the year.”
“The creation of a Jewish retreat center at Camp Newman reflects the board’s commitment to strengthening the Jewish community in the Bay Area,” said Dr. Anita Friedman, Koret Foundation President. “The Koret Foundation is pleased to partner with other donors to provide the community with this exceptional resource for decades to come.”
“The URJ’s commitment to our youth and to Jewish camping has never been stronger, and Camp Newman is a leading example of how creative ideas lead to major successes. This incredible gift from the Koret Foundation exponentially enhances Camp Newman’s abilities to engage the Bay Area Jewish community,” said URJ President Rabbi Rick Jacobs. “One of the many ways the URJ encourages youth and family involvement is by creating opportunities for local communities to have immersive Jewish experiences year-round. We know that the Koret Retreat and Conference Center at Camp Newman will serve as a model for Jewish communities throughout North America.”
About URJ Camp Newman
Located in the heart of the Wine Country on the largest tract of Jewish land in Northern California – over 485 acres – URJ Camp Newman inspires a love of Judaism, 365 days a year. We connect children, youth and adults to an expansive menu of fun, immersive Jewish experiences in Santa Rosa and in your community, all year long. During the academic year, over 3,500 people from the greater Jewish community experience the joy of living Judaism 24/7 when they come to Camp Newman for retreats and conferences. Every summer, over 1,500 young Jews begin a journey of lifelong Jewish living and learning at Camp Newman. They join a loving community guided by Jewish mentors, educators and leaders where friendships thrive and self-esteem flourishes. Camp Newman is supported by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and is part of the URJ’s North American camping system.
About the Koret Foundation
Since 1979, the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation, a private philanthropic organization, has invested over $500 million to strengthen the Bay Area region, Israel, and Poland. Koret invests in strategic, collaborative solutions to leverage its grantmaking dollars. By funding marketbased solutions to impact social policy issues, Koret is committed to supporting Bay Area anchor institutions, the Jewish community, and educational opportunities.