American Friends of Jordan River Village Foundation


Founded by the late Paul Newman, Murray & Marilyn Grant, and Chaim Topol, Jordan River Village is Israel's only free, year-round, overnight camp for all children living with serious illnesses and disabilities.


The Friends of Jordan River Village engages in fundraising activities, public outreach, and community engagement to support children living with serious illnesses in the Middle East reach beyond their medical conditions to experience the fun and healing benefits of overnight camp.


This unique endeavor was a dream of its founders Murray and Marilyn Grant, and spearheaded by Chaim Topol and Israeli philanthropist Sara Lahat. After years of fundraising efforts with international and Israeli donors and foundations, and working with the Israeli government, the Jordan River Village opened in August 2011 and since has changed the lives of more than 10,000 campers.


Jordan River Village hosts 3 primary types of sessions: Our flagship weeklong sessions, family weekends, and educational sessions. Our campers leave their illnesses and disabilities at the door and participate in a wide range of camp activities including trying our adventure park, horseback riding, swimming, parties, camping activities, sports tournaments, petting zoo, therapeutic engagement with dogs, and participating in various workshops such as arts & crafts, cooking, music & drama, archery, and kite building. All activities are fully accessible for all campers.


Parents, teachers, doctors, and social workers see a transformative difference in children who attend the Village. A Yale University School of Medicine study concluded that these experiences help campers thrive in ways that improve their health and ability to cope with their disease including: improved confidence, higher self-esteem, lower illness-related stress, a greater sense of independence, and increased interest in social activities. In addition, the entire family's emotional well-being is enhanced by the effects of a camper's experiences.

Goals this year

This year, we seek to welcome more than 1700 campers in 39 sessions.

Board Members

Claude Bernstein, Chairman

Gail Androphy, Executive Director


Claude Bernstein, Chairman

Toby Deutsch

Sara Lahat

Yvette Lowenthal-Mulderry

Avishay Nachon

Kayla Niles

Neil Ruben

Michelle Schwartz

Elaine Shay

William H. Weitzer, PhD

Murray & Marilyn Grant (z"l), Founders


United States, Israel


American Friends of Jordan River Village Foundation

244 Madison Ave., Suite 482

New York, NY 10016


Be the first to join this group