Josh Holtzman: sharing the Jewish Camp experience

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Josh with Phil Faibish, Director of Centre Camp

By Jody Kamen-- When it came time to his Bar Mitzvah Josh knew right away that he wanted to contribute and start on his own path of philanthropic giving. To dad’s (Joey) surprise, “It was easy! He wanted to give back without hesitation, something I might have put up a fight against at his age”.

Knowing how fortunate he is to attend summer camp, and having enjoyed it for years, Josh’s decision was clear. “I decided to give to camp, because I really love it and get to go every summer. I hope others can have the same experiences” says Josh. Josh decided to donate funds to Centre Camp where he went as a younger kid, and to the overnight camp he now calls home in Quebec, Camp Massad.

A sports fanatic, Josh knows how fortunate he is to have learned and participated in soccer, baseball, tennis, swimming, etc. at camp with his friends. After seeing his parents help out with the purchasing of new sports equipment for his camp last summer, Josh grew more aware of what it takes to keep a camp running. He hopes the camp directors use the funds to meet the most immediate needs, and trusts that his gift will be put to good use.

Centre Camp, which runs out of the Prosserman JCC, and now has a second location in Vaughan, provides a unique day camp experience with a focus on Israeli cultural programming. Jewish camping, along with day-school, has played a big role in shaping Josh’s Jewish identity. Josh’s gift will allow those less fortunate to experience the exceptional programming and to form the friendships that he did during his summers as a camper. What must have been an emotional moment, at his l’chaim, Josh handed his cheque to Phil Faibish, Director of Centre Camp, but also a friend of the family, as he was Josh’s first counselor as a camper.

Josh understands the importance of “giving back to all the great experiences we are fortunate to have”.  He is happy to be part of the B’nai Tzedek Teen Philanthropy Program.  His parents are both very proud and hope he decides to continue giving in the future.

Mazel tov to Josh on becoming Bar Mitzvah and taking this significant step toward tikkun olam!

Up Close and Personal with Josh

B’nai Tzedek: Where did you learn about tzedakah?
Josh Holtzman: My parents and grandparents, and from school, Associated Hebrew Day School.

BT: What is your inspiration for giving?
JH: Right away, I knew I wanted to give to the Jewish Foundation where my mom is the director. Some of my friends were already taking part in B’nai Tzedek.   

BT: How did you decide on your project?
JH: I am donating to Centre Camp, where I went as a younger kid, and to the sleepover camp I go to now, Camp Massad. I enjoy camp a lot, and hope that others can have the same experiences. I also love all sports, and would like to see the money go towards new sports equipment or to help in sending kids to camp, whatever is the greater need.

BT: What would you say to others your age about getting involved?
JH: It’s definitely a good idea to give back to all the great experiences you get, that others may not.