We are committed to helping each child access camp
We believe in the transformative power of camp and are committed to ensuring that financial need is not the reason that stops a family from experiencing a life-changing summer at OSRUI.
Our goal is to help make camp affordable for every family. See how to apply below!
Contact us: Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer all of your questions.
Overview of Financial Resources for Families
OSRUI Discounts. OSRUI offers sibling discounts and referral discounts. These are not need-based.
One Happy Camper (OHC) Incentive Grants. Campers going to OSRUI for the first time for 2 weeks or more may be eligible for this grant, which is not need-based. After you register for camp, please use this link to check your eligibility and to apply: https://jewishcamp.org/one-happy-camper/first-time-camper-grants/
Congregation Scholarships. If you are applying to OSRUI for financial assistance, please also request assistance from your congregation.
Federation Scholarships. Local Jewish Federations frequently offer scholarships to campers in financial need who are attending a Jewish summer camp. If you apply to OSRUI for financial assistance, you must apply to your Federation if you are eligible.
OSRUI Financial Assistance. OSRUI is pleased to be able to offer partial tuition assistance to campers in financial need, regardless of how many summers the child has spent with us. We ask that families not apply for financial assistance for campers attending multiple sessions in one summer. All applications are confidential. The 2024 Financial Assistance Application is now open.
Sibling Discount. Families with two or more campers will receive a $100 discount for each camper after the first. The discount will be applied to your balance once your deposit has been paid.
Referral Discount. Any current camper who refers a first-time camper (not a sibling and must be a new family to OSRUI) who attends OSRUI 2024 for 2 weeks or longer will receive a $250 tuition credit. There is no limit on the number of tuition credits a camper may receive. This fee is not valid for cash and may not be used toward your deposit. The referring camper must attend camp to get the tuition credit. If the referred camper cancels, the credit will be removed. Please email the names of campers you have referred to email@example.com. Those families must indicate that you referred them when they register.
Greater Community Resources
One Happy Camper Incentive Grants
One Happy Camper (OHC) is a program run by the Foundation for Jewish Camp. OHC offers grants to campers attending Jewish summer camp for the first time. These are not based on financial need. There are community grants (usually provided by the local Federation) and camp grants. Use this link to check your eligibility and apply.
Community Incentive Grants. OSRUI campers living in the Chicago Metropolitan area, Milwaukee area, and in Colorado who attend a Jewish overnight camp for the first time for 12-18 days are eligible for a $700 OHC grant and campers attending for 19+ days are eligible for a $1000 OHC grant. Campers who attended camp for less than 12 days previously are still eligible.
Union for Reform Judaism/OSRUI Incentive Grants. OSRUI campers who live in an area that does not have a community incentive grant may be eligible for a grant from the Union for Reform Judaism/OSRUI. Campers attending camp for 12-18 days are eligible for a $700 OHC grant and campers attending for 19 days or more may be eligible for $1000. Campers may receive a One Happy Camper grant through OSRUI and still apply for a scholarship based on financial need.
Visit the One Happy Camper website for more information.
Many congregations have scholarship programs to help offset the cost of camp tuition for their congregants. For families who belong to URJ (Reform Movement) congregations, OSRUI works hand-in-hand to help leverage available funds from camp and the congregation. Some congregations have special scholarship funds set aside that are not need-based, while others may consider support on a person-by-person basis. The first step is to speak to your clergy member or educator about what scholarships are available from your congregation.
Many of the Jewish Federations in North America offer need-based camp scholarships. The process for applying for a Federation scholarship depends upon whether you live in the Chicago area or not.
Chicago Area: Campers in the Chicago metropolitan area (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry & Will counties) may be eligible for financial aid from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. OSRUI will review your OSRUI campership form and if we determine that you are eligible, we will send you the Federation application. Eligible campers must be entering 3rd-11th grades and attending camp for 12 days or longer. Details about the 2024 application will be sent out when available.
Twin Cities: Need-based financial assistance in the Twin Cities is available through two Camp Scholarship opportunities: Minneapolis Jewish Federation & Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul. Please visit their websites for their applications.
Milwaukee: The Milwaukee Jewish Community Foundation awards scholarships to young people to attend recognized Jewish summer overnight camps and to attend summer programs in Israel based on financial need. Apply online at milwaukeejewish.org/scholarships. Applications are typically due in March. Read the information here.
Omaha: The Jewish Federation of Omaha offers scholarships and grants for Jewish Overnight Summer Camps and Israel Programs. You can read more and get the application here.
Colorado: Need-based financial assistance in Colorado is available through Jewish Colorado. You can contact Heather Flowers.
OSRUI Financial Assistance: Steps to Apply
Step 1: Read These Guidelines:
- Register for Camp. Please register your camp for the summer before you fill out the Financial Assistance Application. The committee cannot consider your child’s application request unless enrollment has been confirmed.
- Deposit. Families applying for OSRUI Financial Assistance will still need to submit a deposit for the session they wish to attend. We are able to offer reduced deposits if the standard deposit is a burden. Please reach out to Allisa at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-239-6981 to arrange a reduced deposit. Please note that we cannot confirm your registration or hold your child’s spot until we receive the deposit. We handle exceptions on a case by case basis.
- Determine What You Can Afford. We expect families to pay a portion of their camp tuition, as a demonstration of their commitment to the camp experience. Determine what you can comfortably afford and begin making regular payments as soon as you can.
- Congregation. Families who apply to OSRUI for financial assistance must also apply to their congregation for financial assistance (see below for more information).
- Other Sources. Families who apply to OSRUI for financial assistance must apply to all other funding sources (OHC, local federation).
- Session Length. Families may not apply for OSRUI financial assistance for campers attending more than 4 weeks of camp (except for Chalutzim).
- Due Date. To be eligible for the first review of OSRUI financial assistance applications, please submit by November 15th to hear back December 15th. We will have a second review of applications. Those applications must be submitted by January 15th to hear back February 15th. Applications submitted after February 15th will be reviewed on a rolling basis based on available funds.
- Required Tax Forms. You will be asked to submit pages 1 and 2 of your 2022 U.S. Form 1040 with your application (or 2023 U.S. Form 1040 if completed).
Step 2: Print out and read What You Need to Complete Your Financial Assistance Application. Read through the list carefully and take note of everything you need. You must fill out the application in one sitting. If you have everything you need, it shouldn’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes.
Step 3: Once you do all that, and you have your financial information, personal statement, and tax forms ready to upload, then you are ready to fill out the online form (see link below).
Note for divorced parents: Parents who are divorced should fill out the Financial Assistance Application separately. Do not include the other parent’s income; only your income plus any spousal support you receive. If you are responsible for only a percentage of the camp tuition, make sure to adjust the tuition amounts appropriately.
Link to OSRUI Financial Assistance Application
The 2024 Financial Assistance Application is now open.
Submission deadlines: Submit by November 15th to hear back by December 15th and by January 15th to hear back February 15th. All applications submitted after February 15th will be reviewed on a rolling basis based on available funds.