Ramah Camping Movement Is Strong and Growing
as Summer 2011 Season Opens!
Dear Friends of Ramah,
We are delighted to announce the opening of the 2011 summer season for Ramah camps and Israel programs.
Ramah camping is strong and growing! Our camps throughout North America and our programs in Israel will provide powerful experiences to thousands of our children, teens, and young adults this summer:
- More than 9,000 campers and staff will attend our eight overnight camps, three day camps, and Israel programs.
- More than 1,500 university and graduate students will work as counselors, teachers, and specialists, along with an additional 200 professionals - rabbis, cantors, social workers, psychologists, doctors, nurses, Jewish educators, coaches, and others.
- More than 1,200 individuals will participate in one of the programs offered by Ramah Programs in Israel this year, including 275 participants on Ramah Israel Seminar this summer, 43 students in our high school semester programs in Israel (TRY and USY High), and hundreds more through Ramah Israel Institute's trips for synagogue family groups and Solomon Schechter and other school groups.
- More than 400 staff members participated in National Ramah staff training programs in preparation for the 2011 camp season. This includes 78 Daber Fellows, strengthening Hebrew language usage throughout our camps (with generous funding from the AVI CHAI Foundation).
- More than 200 young people and 45 families will participate in Ramah's 13 special needs programs. Through Tikvah, Breira B'Ramah, and other special needs programs, Ramah camps provide a summer experience for children, teens, and young adults with learning challenges, emotional disorders, and other developmental disabilities. In addition, at Camp Yofi, Camp Ohr Lanu, and Tikvah Family Camp, Ramah offers a camp experience for families of children with special needs.
- More than 200 campers will participate in the second season of Ramah Outdoor Adventure, Ramah's first specialty camp, located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This is nearly double the number of campers that participated in the 2010 inaugural season.
- More than 200 mishlachat members will strengthen the connections between our camp communities and Israel.
- Approximately 30 rabbinical, cantorial, education, and other graduate students from The Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as others from The Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and other graduate schools, will be senior educators at Ramah.
Ramah special needs programs received an enormous boost in funding and public awareness from the National Ramah Commission's first-ever Ramah Israel Bike Ride. Riders from all across North America and Israel raised more than $213,000 from almost 1,600 supporters, and enjoyed an extraordinary Ramah experience in Israel.
- One Covenant Award Winner! Amy Skopp Cooper, Assistant Director of the National Ramah Commission and Director of Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, was recently recognized by the Covenant Foundation for her innovation, inspiration and impact on Jewish education and community. Mazal tov, Amy!
With the help of many Federations, foundations and the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and with the extraordinary efforts of our camp professional leadership and boards of directors, we have been able to meet the needs of the overwhelming majority of families seeking a Ramah experience for their children. It is not too late to support this effort. Please click here to contribute to a Ramah scholarship fund.
As we embark upon our 65th summer of intensive Jewish education within the fun, informal atmosphere of excellent summer camping, all of us at Ramah feel privileged to have this opportunity to influence the lives of more than 9,000 participants in our various camps and programs.
Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, National Ramah Director