Charity Spotlight: This post was provided by Michael Polowin, Chair of the Board for Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa, as part of our ongoing charity spotlight series. Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa was the winning charity of $10,000 as part of The Great Canadian Giving Challenge 2016.
Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa was founded in 1935 by visionaries from the B’nai Brith organization who saw the need to get kids out of Ottawa’s largely immigrant Lowertown in the summer heat, regardless of ability to pay—and so their work continues today.
Long separated from the B’nai Brith organization, Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa (CBB of Ottawa) is an institution of Ottawa’s Jewish Community, with long and historical ties to the Jewish communities of Montreal and Toronto. The camp is located along the scenic shores of the Ottawa River, near Quyon, Quebec and just 50 kilometres from Ottawa.
At CBB of Ottawa, we take pride in providing children a “home away from home” that is a safe, inclusive and a loving environment that helps develop important social skills, builds confidence, and instills a sense of pride and ongoing commitment to Jewish culture and community. Oh, and let’s not forget the lifelong friendships that are built at CBB of Ottawa. This year, we are excited to welcome our 81st summer of giving over 500 Jewish kids, aged 7 to 16, the best summer of their lives.
A Very Big Goal: “The summer of their lives”
We believe that Jewish summer camp builds Jewish identity, builds Jewish community, and builds Jewish leadership. The notion of “feeling Jewish”, connection to the Jewish community, and building Jewish families are all enhanced significantly by attending Jewish summer camp. Never is it more personally gratifying to be part of this amazing organization then when you hear the life-changing impact coming to CBB of Ottawa has had on a camper. In the videos below, former campers share how CBB of Ottawa has impacted their lives:
Bringing Vision to Life
While camp fees cover most of our seasonal operational expenses, it’s through the generous donations from both the Jewish and broader community, and from our alumni, who share the importance of our vision for our camp, that our camp has continued to deliver life-changing summers. Donations serve two critical functions:
Giving the gift of camp: Every year from its founding in 1935, CBB of Ottawa has assisted Jewish children from underprivileged families. In each year, 10 to 15 percent of our campers come from families in need of assistance. Kids from Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto all come and spend a memorable, often life-changing summer swimming, sailing, canoeing and laughing because of these generous donations. In 2016, Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa will raise in excess of $105,000 to send over 40 children from underprivileged homes to summer camp.
Maintaining and upgrading our 81-year-old camp: CBB of Ottawa now boasts an Olympic size pool, showers and toilet facilities in all of our cabins, we have an indoor gymnasium, a brand-new roller hockey rink, state of the art water system and much more. Our large sandy beach leads to a fully equipped waterfront which encompasses a full range of water activities, including water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking.
To learn more, or to make a donation to Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa, visit their Charity Profile Page >>