Camp Newman Receives $1 Million Grant from S.F.-Based Jewish Community Federation

Grant Will Help Fund Major Renovation and Retreat Center for Northern California Jewish Community 

10 year plan cabins

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – URJ Camp Newman is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $1 million grant from the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties.  The grant, from the Federation’s endowment fund, is in support of Camp Newman’s comprehensive $30 million campaign to conduct critical improvements to its infrastructure, housing and program space.  Including the grant, Camp Newman has already raised $12 million.  Infrastructure renovations and construction on the first set of new housing has begun.    In addition, a state-of-the-art retreat center and a welcome and wellness center are envisioned that are designed to serve the entire Jewish community with innovative, immersive Jewish experiences.

10 year plan welcome building

“The Jewish Community Federation is proud to invest in URJ Camp Newman, as it is realizing a vision of a camp environment open to the entire community year round,” said Jennifer Gorovitz, CEO of the Federation. “Our endowment fund represents the legacy of hundreds of members of our community and exists to ensure a vibrant Jewish future. Given the vital role that camp plays in building a strong Jewish identity, Camp Newman is an essential part of the fabric of our community, and this grant will ensure that it remains so for generations to come.”

Sitting in the Santa Rosa Mountains of Sonoma County, URJ Camp Newman annually serves 3,500 adults and children for off-season retreats and 1,500 Jewish youth through its summer camp program.  With the new retreat center, Camp Newman will be able to serve upwards of 13,000 individuals a year.

“Camp Newman is honored to receive this generous support from our Federation,” said Daryl Messinger, Board Chair and along with her husband, Jim Heeger, a lead donor to the campaign.  “It is wonderful to have the Federation as a partner in ensuring that everyone can be a beneficiary of the immersive magic of Camp.”

10 year plan dining hall

Elements of the project include:

  • Constructing a Campus Center as a hub for Camp Newman, tripling the number of retreat groups during an off-season that is currently booked to capacity.
  • Developing a Welcome and Wellness Center to provide on-site health care practitioners and social services.
  • Replacing core infrastructure, including electrical, wastewater treatment, plumbing, and other physical plant systems.  (This stage has already been completed, with $5 million in funding coming from the Union for Reform Judaism.)
  • Build 16 new cabins to accommodate campers in the summer and retreat groups during the academic year.

The entire project is being phased over several years, so that neither the off-season retreats nor the summer camp will be impacted.

The Campaign for Camp Newman is still in its early stages, with leadership-level gifts as the focus of campaign efforts.  Led by long-time Executive Director Ruben Arquilevich, Camp Newman seeks the involvement of the thousands of current and former campers, parents, and staff.  For more detailed information about the project or campaign, please contact Advancement Director Ari Vared at or (415) 392-7080.


About URJ Camp Newman

URJ Camp Newman is a Reform Jewish summer camp in Santa Rosa, CA for children entering grades 3 to 12.  Every summer, over 1,500 young Jews begin a journey of lifelong Jewish living and learning at URJ Camp Newman. They join a loving community where friendships thrive and self-esteem flourishes.  During the academic year, thousands of people from the greater Jewish community enjoy the immersion of living Judaism 24/7 when they come to Camp Newman for retreats and conferences.  Camp Newman is an independent 501(c)(3) California corporation that is independently operated through its own board and bylaws. Camp Newman is supported by the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ) and is part of the URJ’s North American camping system.

About the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties

The Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund is a philanthropic catalyst, connecting people of all ages, backgrounds, and perspectives to the power we have as a Jewish community to improve the world. We partner with donors, organizations, and foundations to address pressing issues facing our community, and develop innovative strategies that result in deep and lasting impact locally, in Israel, and around the world. Find out more at


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