New York, NY (July 29, 2021)—Henry Kaufmann Campgrounds (HKC) today announced the opening of a new multimillion dollar aquatic complex at its Long Island site in Wheatley Heights. The Steven John Conrad Aquatic Complex features three heated pools--including one with a ramp to provide access for children of all abilities--and a water slide. The state-of-the-art facility was made possible through generous donations from Rosemarie and Mitchell Klipper, Roy J. Zuckerberg, and Maxine Zinder, as well as support from Foundation for Jewish Camp's Yashar Initiative funded by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and was officially unveiled at a dedication ceremony on July 28, 2021.
The aquatic complex is named after Mrs. Klipper’s brother, the late Steven John Conrad, who died in infancy. At the official naming ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Klipper were joined by Theresa Conrad, Rosemarie’s mother, and dozens of local families for an evening of dinner and swimming. The new facility opened in time for the first day of the summer’s camp season on June 28.
Rosemarie Klipper said, “The Klipper family is thrilled to support the Steven John Conrad Aquatic Complex to benefit thousands of happy campers for many years to come.”
“The new aquatic complex at HKC is a wonderful gift to all the campers in our community,” said Congressman Tom Suozzi. “The new facility empowers campers of all ability and mobility to build their confidence and independence while having fun and making memories that will last a lifetime.”
Among those also in attendance at the dedication ceremony were Eric S. Goldstein, CEO of UJA-Federation of New York; HKC president and UJA Long Island chair Scott Jaffee; Skip Vichness, chair of UJA’s HKC Construction Planning & Oversight Committee; Jeff Schoenfeld, past president of UJA and a supporter of other improvements at HKC; and Sarene Shanus, chair of UJA’s Jewish Life Department.
“Jewish day camping can be transformative in children’s lives, and we are deeply grateful to the Klipper family, Roy J. Zuckerberg, The Foundation for Jewish Camp, and Maxine Zinder for their support of this wonderful new aquatic complex,” said Eric S. Goldstein, UJA CEO.
HKC’s Long Island site serves approximately 2,000 campers each summer. It houses four camps, including Sid Jacobson JCC’s Camp Kehilla for children with special needs, Island Quest (a consortium camp that merges day camps from Suffolk Y JCC, Commonpoint Queens, Barry and Florence Friedberg JCC, and Marion & Aaron Gural JCC), Mid-Island Y JCC, and Sunrise Day Camp, which provides free camp for children with cancer and their siblings.
The new aquatic complex is now one of two pool complexes on the campgrounds, enabling more frequent and longer swim periods. Recently, UJA has undertaken other extensive improvements at the Long Island campgrounds including a new modern health center, spacious home bases with renovated restrooms and changing rooms, and refurbished basketball and tennis courts, and ball fields (fall 2022).
Purchased by visionary UJA leaders in the 1950s, HKC represents the largest Jewish day camp program in North America, sitting on 505 acres on Long Island, on Staten Island, and in Rockland County. The campgrounds host camps run by 15 JCCs and YM-YWHAs serving thousands of campers every year, including many from low-income families, as well as those with special needs and serious illnesses. The camps housed at HKC award nearly $5 million in scholarships per year.
About UJA-Federation of New York
Working with a network of hundreds of nonprofits, UJA extends its reach from New York to Israel to nearly 70 other countries around the world, touching the lives of 4.5 million people each year. To date, UJA has allocated $67 million to help respond to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Aid has supported New Yorkers facing food insecurity, UJA partner organizations providing essential health and human services to New Yorkers, Jewish Community Centers, low-income students, single parents, and dignified Jewish burials. For more information, please visit www.ujafedny.org.