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Letter from director


Letter
from Executive Director

 

Letter from director


Letter
from Executive Director

 

 
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I am pleased to present Camp Tawonga’s first-ever annual Impact Report!

As a valued member of this community, I hope you’ll join me in taking pride in Tawonga’s collective accomplishments over the past year, bringing joyous Judaism in nature and loving community to thousands of lives. This report is all about the personal, heartfelt stories behind these lives – weaving together a common narrative of the transformational impact of Camp Tawonga.

2016 was a particularly exciting year of growth and innovation worth celebrating for our organization. More individuals than ever before in our 92-year history benefited from Tawonga experiences both up at Camp and “Down the Mountain,” actualizing a vision to offer year-round, lifelong engagement to the community. New age groups were reached with our Young Alumni Initiative, and a new frontier was marked through our Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program, as told through the story of student Eli Ehrlich.

Embodying our agency’s deep commitment to inclusivity, Tawonga donors fueled the Campership Fund to lower the financial barrier of summer camp for hundreds of families. I hope you’ll feel the immense gratitude for Tawonga supporters below, shared through Kim Manning’s touching story.

Our beautiful property on the Tuolumne River underwent critical preservation and restoration upgrades thanks to the generosity of key supporters; enhancements ranged from building all-season cabins to replace structures lost in the Rim Fire to preparing for the construction of a new Central Bathhouse.

And, you welcomed me as Camp Tawonga’s new executive director – a role I am deeply honored to hold – serving this community that I have loved my entire life. These milestones are all of ours to celebrate. Thank you!

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By the Numbers


By The Numbers

By the Numbers


By The Numbers

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Summer Camp


Summer Camp

Summer Camp


Summer Camp

In their own words...

 
 

Joyous Judaism

“I went to two Jewish summer camps as a kid, so I thought I understood. But after a restorative Shabbat in the foothills of Yosemite, I can see that [Tawonga] is a truly special place.” Read the article.

The Value of Summer Camp

Every year, families who send their children to Tawonga share their honest feedback through the Camper Satisfaction Insights Survey, helping our organization to continually reflect and improve. 95% of families surveyed in 2016 reported that their child’s experience was overall highly valuable. Read the survey highlights.

Staff Experience

From leadership development to lifelong friendships to the joy of passing on Tawonga’s mission to thousands of children, the Tawonga staff experience is often equally as impactful as the camper experience. 98% of our staff members reported Tawonga having a positive impact on their Jewish identity, and 100% reported they would recommend working at Tawonga. Read about one counselor’s experience.

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"Tawonga taught me how to understand other people's feelings."

Camper Spotlight

Peri Charmatz

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Down The Mountain


DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

Down The Mountain


DOWN THE MOUNTAIN

More individuals were able to experience the Tawonga magic in 2016 both up at Camp and locally “Down the Mountain” through our expanding menu of meaningful, dynamic and year-round programs in the Bay Area.

 
Camp Tawonga launched our inaugural Bar & Bat Mitzvah Program in the Bay Area in 2016. This two-year alternative, innovative program offers a uniquely resonant approach to joyous Judaism in nature and is particularly helping to connect unaffiliated families to this key Jewish milestone.
 
 
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“One of my moms is Jewish, and the other is half Jewish. Tawonga is helping me connect to Judaism.”

BAR MITZVAH SPOTLIGHT

Eli Ehrlich

 
 

New Young Alumni Initiative

More Tawonga camper and staff alumni in their 20s and 30s have re-engaged back with our community through our newly launched Young Alumni Initiative. The Young Alumni Board, established in 2016, leads these efforts by planning events, programs and trainings for this key Tawonga cohort. Read young alumni board member Zach Stein’s reflections.

Year-Round Programs

Thousands of families connected to their Tawonga community and to their Jewish heritage throughout the past calendar year through our Tawonga Down the Mountain programming. Gatherings included Jewish holiday celebrations, toddler shabbats, volunteer days and more. Over 1,000 people joined together for our Erev Rosh Hashanah Celebration in San Rafael, making Tawonga history as our largest single gathering of Tawongans ever! Read the article.

 
 
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Facility Updates


Facility Updates

Facility Updates


Facility Updates

Brand-New
“All-Season” Cabins

More Tawongans will have access to Camp, extending well beyond the summer season, with the addition of two multi-purpose housing structures erected in winter 2016. These cabins, which replaced units lost in the Rim Fire, add 32 beds in Camp and will be ready for use in our 2017 season!

Organic Farm
and Garden Expansion

Our Farm and Garden was in full bloom this past year, expanding by ¼ acre, offering a weekly harvest of herbs for every Shabbat. Enhancements included a brand-new gazebo for all group programming including cooking and eating, a new greenhouse to propagate more seedlings and an expanded orchard with 20 fruit trees planted by Tawonga volunteers. Read the article covering the replanting from the Rim Fire.

READ MORE

New Central Bathhouse
100% Funded

Thanks to the generosity of our donors to this critical project, the new Central Bathhouse is fully funded! The upgraded, expanded facility will boast a new septic system, grey-water infrastructure as well as a family-friendly design accessible to all genders. Construction, delayed by the rainy winter season, will commence at the close of the 2017 season.

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Financials


Financials

Financials


Financials

 

After losing her husband to pancreatic cancer – and the only link her kids had to Judaism – Kim Manning found Tawonga.

CAMPERSHIP FAMILY
SPOTLIGHT

The Mannings

 
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Legacy Spotlight


LEGACY SPOTLIGHT

Legacy Spotlight


LEGACY SPOTLIGHT

 

Thank you to our Legacy Society members for making Tawonga a philanthropic priority. The investment of these members ensures that the Tawonga of the future will be as strong and impactful for our community as it is today.

 View list of Legacy Society members

 

“On our first date, Michael casually mentioned he had attended ‘an amazing Jewish summer camp near Yosemite’ as a child.  ‘Was it Tawonga?’ I asked. ‘Yes it was!’”

Legacy Spotlight


 

Thank you to the following Foundation Donors of $5,000 or more and our community partners (partial list):

 

Donor Appreciation

Thank you to all of our donors who give to Camp Tawonga, helping to achieve so much in this amazing year! You are the engine of our organization, enabling our staff, board and volunteers to carry out our mission to provide immeasurable benefits to children, young adults and families. We couldn’t do this work without you.

 

Friends, Friends, Friends . . . We'll See You Again!

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