Financial Assistance

Making Camp Affordable

Tawonga is committed to ensuring your family can experience the magic of Camp!

If the cost of joining a Tawonga program feels out of reach for your family, we are here to help. Below, learn about the many financial assistance options offered to make Camp affordable for your family. Please know that financial assistance is available for all of our programs, including summer camp, Quests, weekend programs and our Bar, Bat & B’nai Mitzvah program.

How to Apply

Tawonga Financial Assistance
(Need-Based: Application Required)

Tawonga financial assistance awards, also known as “camperships,” are granted anonymously by a small committee of our Board of Directors. Funding comes from thousands of caring individuals, including members of the Tawonga community, the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley, and the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties.

To apply for Tawonga Financial Assistance, first, register for a Tawonga program and indicate your interest in financial assistance by checking the “Financial Options” box and indicating how much assistance you intend to apply for.

Within two weeks of registering for a program, your financial assistance application will be available to fill out in your CampIn Touch account.

Other Grant Opportunities

First Time Camper Grant (Need-Blind – Application Required)

First-time camper grants are available through One Happy Camper and PJ Goes to Camp —if your camper meets specific eligibility requirements.

First Time Camper Grants for JCC Current Members (Opt-In Discount)

If you are a current member of a JCC and this is your family’s first time attending a Tawonga program, then you are eligible to receive a one-time $150 discount towards any Tawonga program. To receive this discount, email a copy of your current JCC member card to billing@tawonga.org, and we will apply the discount to your account.

First Time Camper Grants for Israeli Families in the Bay Area

Thanks to a donor through the Jewish Community Federation, funding is available for Bay Area Israeli families sending their child to summer camp for the first time. To be eligible for this award, families must have at least one parent from Israel and be completely new to Tawonga. If you are interested in this award, please reach out to Ben at ben@tawonga.org.

Financial Assistance for Russian Speaking Jewish Families (Need-Based)

Thanks to the Foundation for Jewish Camp, need-based financial assistance is available for Russian Speaking Jewish families attending Camp Tawonga. To apply for this funding, please indicate interest in financial assistance during registration and fill out the financial assistance application. If you have already registered your child and you would like to apply now, please email Ben at ben@tawonga.org.

Synagogue and Temple Grant (Application Required)

Some Synagogues and Temples offer scholarships for members attending Jewish overnight summer camp. We encourage you to inquire with your own synagogue or temple to see if they are able to provide assistance for your family.

Payment Plans, Discounts, and Loans

Interest-free Payment Plan

Tawonga offers interest-free payment plans to make the cost of camp more manageable. When registering for Tawonga, choose “Payment Plan” to enroll in this option.

Two or More Children Discount

If you register two or more children, you will receive a 5% discount on the 2nd and 3rd (or more) campers. The discount applies to the lowest costing programs and does not apply to weekend programs. You do not need to apply for this discount; it will automatically be applied to your account.

Zero Interest Loans from Hebrew Free Loan

Northern California residents: Hebrew Free Loan provides zero-cost and zero-interest loans for lifecycle events like summer camp (as well as paying for a b’nai mitzvah, launching a business, purchasing a home, and more) Learn more at www.hflasf.org.

Southern California Residents: The Jewish Free Loan Association is a nonprofit agency offering assistance to people of all faiths facing financial challenges. For more than 100 years, JFLA has provided a helping hand instead of a handout to hundreds of thousands of people through interest-free loans for emergencies, education, developing small businesses, healthcare and life cycle events and more! Jewish Free Loan has a loan fund specifically dedicated to helping Jewish families send their child/children away to summer camp. Loans on average are about $2000 per child. Learn more at www.jfla.org.

Staff and camper making a scrapbook

Staff giving a camper a high five

Testimonials from Tawonga Families about the Financial Assistance Process

“Almost too good to be true. We are so grateful for the financial support, but also the kindness and care in the process.”

“We are so grateful for this support and the previous years’ financial assistance. Camp Tawonga has had an incredibly positive impact on my child and we could not afford it with the assistance.”

“You have created a very easy and uncomplicated process. We appreciated the reminders about submission dates and the availability of staff to answer any questions.”

“Simple and easy communication and wonderful support from staff with any questions I had along the way. Thank you so much.”

“We are so very grateful to the generosity of Camp Tawonga which allowed our girl to attend camp. They were so overjoyed to be there and are still talking about the great time they had and new friends they made.  Thank you!”

The information below outlines the timeline and process for applying for and being awarded financial assistance from Camp Tawonga. If after reading the information, you have further questions, please contact our Registration and Financial Assistance Manager, Ben Simrin, at ben@tawonga.org or 415-543-2267. Ben will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

I. Timeline

  • Starting as early as November: Register for Camp Tawonga programs, and indicate on your registration application your intent to apply for financial assistance. When your financial assistance application is ready and loaded into your CampIn Touch account, you will get an email notifying you.
  • Early February: Financial assistance application deadline – applications submitted after the deadline will be considered if funding is still available. If you submit your application after awards are granted, please note that it will take two to three weeks to process your application and email your award. Check back soon for our finalized application deadlines.
  • Mid March: Financial assistance awards are granted via email.

II. Process

1. Register for a Camp Tawonga program

During the registration process, you will be asked two questions regarding Financial Assistance:

  1. Are you interested in applying for financial assistance from Camp Tawonga? Answer: Yes
  2. How much financial assistance do you intend to apply for? Answer: Please list the dollar amount of how much financial assistance you intend to apply for from Camp Tawonga only. Note that this is a placeholder and it’s ok to adjust this figure when you actually apply. 

At the end of the registration process, you will be asked how you wish to pay for your camp fees.

Please indicate the following:

Payment method: credit card or e-check
Payment preference: one-time payment or interest-free payment plan

One-time payment: Your total fees less your deposit and placeholder financial assistance amount will be charged on the full-fee payment date in March. When financial assistance awards are granted at the end of March, we will replace your placeholder financial assistance amount with your actual financial assistance award. If your award is less than your indicated request, we will bill you for the additional fees owed at that time. You can choose to pay the additional fees in a one-time payment or on an interest-free payment plan.

Interest-free payment plan: Your monthly payments will be calculated on the assumption that you will receive the full financial assistance you apply for. Financial assistance awards are granted at the end of March. At that time, we will replace your placeholder financial assistance amount with your actual financial assistance award. Your monthly payment plan will be automatically adjusted.

Note: When your registration is processed, you will receive notification from our Registration and Financial Assistance Manager informing you of your status: registered or waitlisted. If you are registered in a program, your $100 deposit per child per program will be charged immediately (no charges will be made if you are placed on a wait list). If you register before we grant awards, a placeholder financial assistance amount will be entered as a payment on your account to indicate that you intend to apply for financial assistance. This placeholder amount will remain on your account until financial assistance awards are granted. The placeholder financial assistance amount assumes you will receive the full financial assistance award you intend to apply for. It decreases your balance, so you will only be charged the amount you indicate you can afford to pay. If your award is less than your indicated request, we will bill you for the additional fees owed at that time. We stop adding placeholder financial assistance amounts to accounts after awards are granted. If you register for a program and wish to apply for financial assistance after awards are granted, you may do so but you will be billed for the full program cost until you apply for and are granted an award.

2. Submit your financial assistance application

Application

Your financial assistance application will be available for you to fill out in your CampIn Touch account and we will notify you when the application is ready. Log in to your account, click on the “Forms and Documents” tab, click on the link to the application, fill out and submit your application online.

2021 Financial Questions on Application

There are few financial questions on the application. Please answer the questions to the best of your ability. If you do not have the requested 2021 financial information, please estimate the numbers. If you do not have a tax return, please contact our Registration and Financial Assistance Manager, Ben Simrin, at ben@tawonga.org or 415-543-2267 to discuss the appropriate financial documentation to submit.

3. Receive your financial assistance award

Financial Assistance Awards

These will be emailed to you by the middle of March. You must accept or decline the award within two weeks of receiving your offer.

Accept

If you choose to accept your award, you will move forward paying for camp as described above.

Decline

If you decline your award and choose to cancel from the program within the timeframe listed, you will receive a full refund of all fees paid for that program to date.

Questions/Concerns

If you have questions or concerns regarding your award, we encourage you to contact our Registration and Financial Assistance Manager, Ben Simrin, at ben@tawonga.org or 415-543-2267 to have a discussion regarding financial assistance options and how to make camp affordable for your family.

Application

My family is attending Family Camp, and in our CampIn Touch account, I see financial assistance applications listed under each family member’s name. Do I need to fill out one application per family member for family camp?

No. Families attending family camp only need to fill out one application per family. It does not matter which application you choose to fill out and submit.

I have multiple children attending multiple programs. Do I need to fill out more than one application?

Yes. You must fill out one application per child-per camp program.

How much financial assistance should I apply for?

You should apply for the amount of financial assistance that you need. No request is too big or too small.

How long is the application and what types of questions will I be asked to fill out?

The application is short and should take 5-10 minutes to complete.

How do I access the financial assistance application?

You can find your financial assistance application by logging into your CampInTouch account with your email and password, clicking on the “Forms and Documents” tab, and then clicking on the link to the application.

Financial Information

The application asks me to submit the first two pages of my 2021 tax return with my application, but my taxes are not complete. What should I do?

For 2022, you have the option of submitting either your 2021 tax returns, OR your 2020 tax returns and your 2021 W-2 forms. If you do not have a tax return at all, please contact us so we can discuss the appropriate financial documentation to submit.

The application asks me to submit financial information from 2021, but I don’t have that information yet. What should I do?

There are a few financial questions on the application specific to your 2021 finances. Please fill them out as accurately as possible. If you do not have the requested information, please estimate the answers.

I think I make too much money to apply for financial assistance. Should I still apply?

We encourage anyone, regardless of their income, to apply for financial aid if they need it. Tawonga strives to grant awards to all applicants, so the likelihood of you receiving some assistance is high, regardless of how much money you make.

Other

Who can I contact with additional questions regarding financial assistance?

Please contact our Registration and Financial Assistance Manager, Ben Simrin, at ben@tawonga.org or 414-543-2267. Ben is happy to answer any questions you may have.

What if I do not receive enough assistance and want to cancel from the program?

You must accept or decline your award within two weeks of receiving your offer. If you have questions or concerns about your award please contact our Registration and Financial Assistance Manager, Ben Simrin, at ben@tawonga.org to have a discussion regarding financial assistance options and how to make camp affordable for your family. If you choose to decline your award and cancel from the program you will receive a full refund of all fees paid for your program to date.

How much financial assistance should I expect to receive?

Tawonga tends to grant anywhere from about 5-85% of session fees to applicants, depending on their individual circumstances.

What is the likelihood that I will receive financial assistance?

The likelihood of receiving a financial assistance award from Camp Tawonga is high. Almost every individual who applies for assistance receives some, if not all, of the amount they apply for.

Timeline & Process

When are financial assistance awards granted?

Financial assistance awards will be granted in mid March. We will notify you via email of your award.

When is the financial assistance application submission deadline?

The financial assistance application submission deadline will be in early February. However, if you register for a program and apply for financial assistance after the deadline, we will accept and consider your application if funding is still available. If you submit your application after awards are granted, please note that it will take up to three weeks to process your application and grant your award.

When are financial assistance applications available to fill out?

Financial assistance applications will be made available for you to fill out in your CampInTouch account and you will be notified when the application is ready. In order for an application to show in your account, you must indicate on your registration interest in applying for financial assistance.

We Are Here to Help!

If you have any specific questions about payment plans, discounts, grants and loans, please feel free to reach out to Ben Simrin at ben@tawonga.org or 415.543.2267. He will be more than happy to hear from you.

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