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The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future

Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future: Philip Chosky Fund Makes an Impact

March 11, 2014

A $1 million commitment has been made by the Philip Chosky Charitable Foundation to the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future, in support of the Counselor in Training (CIT) program of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh's Emma Kaufmann Camp (EKC). The largest program-directed endowment in the history of the JCC, the pledge from the Chosky Foundation creates an endowment that will support the CIT program for generations to come.

In recognition of this signature gift, which ensures an enhanced Jewish experience for the hundreds of children who attend the Morgantown, WV-based EKC each year, the CIT program has been re-named the Philip Chosky Counselor in Training Program at Emma Kaufmann Camp (aka Chosky CITs). "Our commitment to youth training and development becomes enduring," said Brian Schreiber, JCC President and CEO. "And by re-naming our program 'Chosky CITs,' Philip Chosky's legacy is extended as well."

The Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future (CFJF) is an endowment initiative within the Jewish Community Foundation, the planned giving arm of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. Established in 2010, CFJF has secured $20 million in commitments.

The Chosky Foundation gift qualifies for a matching opportunity extended by the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future (CFJF) through September 30, 2014. The $1 million matching grant was created by donors to CFJF who are committed to concept of strengthening the future of the Pittsburgh Jewish community by investing in identity-building programs for Jewish youth, such as the CIT program.

Studies show that Jewish overnight camp is one of three top engagement areas proven to build enduring Jewish commitment among youth, along with educational peer trips to Israel and Jewish day school. The Chosky CIT Program capitalizes on two of those areas, as it incorporates a three-week Israel experience for participants.

EKC's CIT program, long a proven model of building leadership from within, thus supporting continuity in camp leadership from generation to generation, has advanced significantly over the past seven years as part of EKC's physical and spiritual renaissance. In 2007, EKC became the first overnight camp within the JCC movement to develop a foundational leadership and experiential Israel seminar for all CITs. Since the new model was instituted, 313 teens have participated in the CIT program. More than 55 applications have been received already for 48 participant spots for the Chosky CITs program this coming summer.

Philip Chosky (1925-2011), a Pittsburgh native, was an owner of Rosedale Technical Institute and the Electronic Institutes. When the school was sold, he established The Philip Chosky Charitable & Educational Foundation, which has provided major support to the JCC and other cultural arts and education programs all around Pittsburgh. "As an adolescent, Phil benefited from his experience at the Irene Kaufmann Settlement in the Hill, a predecessor of the JCC," said Schreiber. "He wanted to provide that connection and benefit to future generations."

"EKC's program for CITs is an incredible example of innovation, a great demonstration of new ways to infuse Jewish meaning into experiences for youth," said Jeffrey H. Finkelstein, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. "With this extremely generous commitment from the Chosky Foundation -- which will grow significantly, thanks to the Centennial Fund matching grant now in effect -- EKC will be able to cultivate leadership skills in many more generations of CITs.

"It's our sincere hope that other benefactors will take advantage of the CFJF matching dollars to expand programming in areas that resonate with them and their families -- while creating an enduring legacy."

For more information about the Centennial Fund for a Jewish Future or the matching grant initiative, please contact Jewish Community Foundation Associate Director Sharon Perelman at 412-992-5216.