by Jennifer Phillips, CEO/President
In the wrap up of 2023, one thing is for sure—Keshet’s community does incredible things when we come together. Your generous support of our year-end campaign continues, and we are well on our way to creating a brighter tomorrow for so many kids, adults and families. I can’t thank you enough for your support of Keshet’s mission and work.
Recently, I was at a School Day Out program where I saw our community of belonging come to life. As the kids were doing an art project, I noticed two parents sitting to the side of the room so I introduced myself. I learned that their son was at Keshet for the first time, and they hadn’t realized that other parents wouldn’t be there. Their son had never attended a program without them before. Keshet staff invited them to stay while also letting them know that they didn’t have to. As the program concluded a few hours later, the mom came up to me with tears in her eyes; she had never seen her son so accepted by staff and other kids. Incredibly, after just one day with Keshet, they all felt comfortable enough for him to return the next day…on his own.
For 2024, we want to create more moments like this one where people are welcomed and supported in the best possible programs. There’s a lot on the horizon at Keshet this year, including:
Offering three new day camps: After 30 years, we are closing the chapter on Keshet’s Teen & Tween Camp and reimagining Keshet’s summer offerings to best the needs and interests of today’s campers and families. Camp Keshet North, Camp Keshet South and Keshet On-The-Go will cover more geography, interests and ages than we have in the past.
Welcoming more adults to GADOL: As the need for adult services continues to skyrocket, we have a responsibility to expand our programs. Over the year, we will continue to slowly increase enrollment at GADOL by 15% to accommodate those aging through Keshet’s programs as well as new local adults whose day program closed in December. To do this, we need to hire more exceptional staff, reimagine our offerings and move into a larger space.
Reintroducing Keshet’s volunteer program: Community involvement is key to Keshet’s success, but, since the pandemic, our attention to volunteers has taken a back seat. Plans are underway for a renewed volunteer initiative managed by a new volunteer coordinator.
These plans are just the beginning of everything there will be to share in 2024, and I want you to be a part of it. Mark your calendars for Keshet’s Rainbow Banquet on Sunday, March 10 where we will celebrate our community and impact.
Wishing you a 2024 filled with happiness, good health and belonging.