Participation in an intensive Jewish summer program or Israel experience is a predictor of a strong Jewish identity as an adult. The Jewish education that comes from living, eating and sometimes praying with a community of Jewish youth is both informal and enriching. Congregation Ahavas Israel encourages you to seriously consider participation in a Jewish camping, Israel travel, or USY on Wheels experience. In particular, Ramah Canada is opening a US program, "Ramah Eastern Great Lakes,” which will run a 7-10 day “taste” program for ages 7-9 (most likely). The location will be near Cleveland and the dates will be in August. The taste program will be followed by a family camp! Contact Rabbi Krishef for more information.

Ahavas Israel has a generous Youth Scholarship program for overnight camps and Israel programs, and an incentive savings program for travel to Israel (called S.K.I.P). To get a Camp Scholarship request form or SKIP enrollment form, see “Youth Camp and Israel Scholarships” on, or contact the synagogue office.

Scholarship applications and SKIP enrollment forms are due Friday, December 31.

A summary of Scholarship and SKIP guidelines (for more information, see

Camps or Programs Eligible for Scholarship Grants
The Ahavas Israel Scholarship Committee will consider granting scholarship aid to a participant in programs that meet the following guidelines:
1. The program must be an overnight program of at least 2 weeks in duration.
2. Kashrut is observed.
3. Friday night/Saturday programming in some way reflects the specialness of Shabbat.
4. The program, in its mission statement, has an agenda of Jewish education.
Currently, the approved Camp programs are Camp Ramah, Camp Tavor, and Camp Tamarack.

S.K.I.P (Send a Kid to Israel Program) - A Travel to Israel Incentive Program

The purpose of S.K.I.P. is to encourage and enable students of Congregation Ahavas Israel to participate in educational or qualified activities in Israel. The program will be financed partially by the parents or a designated contributor on behalf of the participating child and partially by the Congregation.

The child must be enrolled in the Beit Sefer B’yahad/United Jewish School of Grand Rapids or be a member of the USY chapter at the Congregation as well as being a member of the Congregation.

Enrollment in the Program may begin anytime after the child enrolls in the religious school. They may enroll as early as the Kindergarten grade or as late as grade 12. A child may be enrolled in S.K.I.P. by their parents or a designated contributor.

Upon an enrollment contribution of $180.00 or more by a parent or designated contributor, a matching contribution from the Hy and Greta Berkowitz Scholarship Fund of $180.00 will be made. Each year, up to $180.00 will be matched by this fund for each child who is participating that year.

Israel programs emphasizing Jewish learning or Jewish living experiences for a duration of at least three weeks and sponsored by United Synagogue, Federation, other recognized national Jewish organizations, or recognized Israel based organizations are eligible. Private trips, or trips involving Bar/Bat Mitzvah of the student will not be approved for funding.

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