Congregation Ahavas Israel has a Youth Scholarship program for overnight camps and Israel programs, and an incentive savings program for travel to Israel (called S.K.I.P).
Guidelines for 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.
The Scholarship Committee will consider programs as they are submitted. This is for camps, Israel experiences or study in Israel. Camp brochures and other relevant information will be necessary with submission for grants. Currently, the approved Camp programs are Camp Ramah and Camp Tavor.
To download a Camp Scholarship request form, click here.
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.
2. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
The child must be enrolled in the Beit Sefer B’yahad/United Jewish School of Grand Rapids and/or a member of the USY chapter at the Congregation as well as being a member of the Congregation. The funds must be used by age 22. The matching funding of the Program by the Congregation is completed at grade 12.
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. Membership in USY will also constitute eligibility. A child may be enrolled in S.K.I.P. by their parents or a designated contributor.
4. ANNUAL CONTRIBUTION
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.
An annual deadline will be set by the Scholarship committee for funds received for each respective year. Any funds received after the deadline date will be matched in the following year. It is expected that the matching funds will be applied in December for each of that year's participants.
Interest shall be earned on all contributions to the Program made by parents or the designated contributor and on matching funds made by the Hy and Greta Scholarship Fund. The funds will be administered by a committee as designated by the board.
A child, through his/her parents or the designated contributor, may withdraw from this plan at any time. Upon written notice of the intention to withdraw from the program, a refund will be made within thirty days of the calculated quarter. The refund will be for all principal and interest of those funds contributed by the contributor only.
A child who has moved from the community or is no longer a member of Ahavas Israel and wishes to leave funds in the Program may do so, but no further matching contributions to that individual's account will be made by the Congregation.
7. INACTIVE STATUS
If a participating child's parents, or designated contributor, does not make the annual contribution stated above, and does not notify the Scholarship Committee of intent to withdraw from the program, the child's future participation shall be placed in an inactive status. Those contributions made shall remain in the fund and earn interest. No further contribution will be made by the Hy and Greta Berkowitz Scholarship Fund to the child's account unless and until the parent or contributor reinstates participation in the Program by making payment due for the current year only. Later contributions for inactive years will not be accepted.
8. ELIGIBLE ISRAEL PROGRAMS
The child must submit to the Scholarship Committee his/her planned participation in an eligible Israel program emphasizing Jewish learning or Jewish living experiences for a duration of at least three weeks in Israel. Such programs must satisfy one of the following criteria:
a. School or college program sponsored by United Synagogue or Federation programs, or other recognized national Jewish organizations.
b. School or college programs sponsored and directed by recognized and legitimate Israel based organizations.
All trips or programs must be approved by the scholarship committee. Private trips, or trips involving Bar/Bat Mitzvah of the student will not be approved for funding.
Payments from the S.K.I.P. plan will be paid directly to the program the child has chosen and not to the child, parents, or contributors.
To download a SKIP enrollment form, click here.