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National Ramah Commission, Inc. of The Jewish Theological Seminary

July 18, 2011

 16 Tammuz 5771

  Magic Moments from Across the Ramah Camping Movement


Camp Ramah in the Berkshires

Ramah Day Camp in Nyack

Camp Ramah in California

Ramah Outdoor Adventure

Camp Ramah in Canada

Ramah Day Camp in Philadelphia

Chicagoland Ramah Day Camp

Camp Ramah in the Poconos

Camp Ramah Darom

Ramah Israel Seminar

Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp

Camp Ramah in Wisconsin

Camp Ramah in New England

 


wisconsinCamp Ramah in Wisconsin
The collaborative efforts of a group of Tikvah and Machon campers culminated in the inspirational Tikvah Arts Festival, a presentation of visual art, dance, and drama expressing creative interpretations of Jewish texts that highlight the values of tzedakah and gratitude.

Camp Ramah in Wisconsin 

poconosCamp Ramah in the Poconos
Fifty Shoafim campers and staff members traveled on the camp's first-ever trip to Ramah's newest camp in the Colorado Rockies, where they enjoyed an incredible week of outdoor adventure. Both Ramah Poconos and Ramah Outdoor Adventure were highlighted in this article about Ramah and other Jewish camps' programs in environmental education.

Camp Ramah in the Poconos 

roaRamah Outdoor Adventure
First-time camper Dvir G. was called to the Torah as a bar mitzvah in front of the entire camp. His mother later wrote: "Dvir's bar mitzvah was incredible for him. He loved saying his haftorah, and everybody cheering him and dancing for him and the genuine happiness that surrounded his day. He wouldn't choose to do it anywhere else, now that he has done it at Camp Ramah."

Ramah Outdoor Adventure

newenglandCamp Ramah in New England
A member of the mishlachat, a secular Israeli who returned to camp because of her love for the Judaism she experienced at Ramah, had her first aliyah to the Torah on Shabbat.
Camp Ramah in New England
Ramah New England mishlachat
at April training session in Israel

chicagolandChicagoland Ramah Day Camp
On July 13, the camp celebrated its bar mitzvah year with "Yom Yud Gimmel," a special day of games, relays, and hands-on activities revolving around the number 13 and its significance in Jewish life. Madrichim accompanied their enthusiastic chanichim on a "walk" through a Torah scroll that was completely unrolled, giving campers of all ages a new visual, spiritual, and physical appreciation for the Torah.

Chicagoland Ramah Day Camp

   
canadaCamp Ramah in Canada
Dressed all in white, Alonim campers welcomed Shabbat with song and dance on the new bamah, with its breathtaking view of Skeleton Lake. Alonim campers, the oldest edah at Ramah Canada, spend the summer in leadership experiences including serving as CIT's, assistant specialty instructors, and as leaders of the always-popular Yom Sport.

Camp Ramah in Canada   

berkshiresCamp Ramah in the Berkshires
Extra meaning was added to Shacharit tefillah when a mishlachat (Israeli staff) member who had never before worn tefillin put on his grandfather's tefillin for the very first time. Bringing shlichim from across Israel's religious and political spectrum is one of the many unique aspects of the mishlachat program at Ramah. A summer experience at Ramah demonstrates that there is more than one path to an observant, committed Judaism.

Camp Ramah in the Berkshires

seminarRamah Israel Seminar
After a week in Poland seeing both the glory of Polish Jewry as well as the massive destruction, Seminar participants arrived in Israel, and with unbridled joy, danced and sang at the Kotel Plaza.

Ramah Israel Seminar 

philadelphiaRamah Day Camp in Philadelphia
Campers in the Arazim edah demonstrated their pride as they showed off the "fruits of their labor," the rewards of working in the camp's Gan Ramah. As part of the teva (nature) program, not only do campers learn to plant, harvest, and tend to the garden, but they also feel a sense of satisfaction and gratification as they donate these beautiful vegetables and fruits weekly to the local Mitzvah Food Pantry.

Ramah Day Camp in Philadelphia

nyackRamah Day Camp in Nyack
Another "routine" day began with hundreds of campers and staff dancing their hearts out to Israeli music on the migrash (front lawn) of camp. Each morning, to start the day, there is a palpable feeling of joy and excitement as campers race to the bamah ("stage") for their special edah dances, and as they eagerly approach the microphone with bakashot (requests) for their favorite songs.

Ramah Day Camp in Nyack  

jerusalemRamah Jerusalem Day Camp
During "Shavuat Mayim/Water Week," campers learned about the importance of water as a natural resource, exploring the topic of water conservation in a visit to the interactive "Waterworks" exhibit at the Bloomfield Science Museum of Jerusalem. They are fast learners - back at camp during the week, they found a leak in one of the water hoses and wanted to fix the leak immediately!

Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp 

daromRamah Darom
As they led the camp in "America the Beautiful" on July 4th, Gesher campers dressed in red, white, and blue held their siddurim, which contain not only tefillot but also our national anthem and other patriotic readings. This striking moment was a reminder of how Ramah campers learn to live and love Judaism in a way that also brings meaning to our experience as Americans.
Camp Ramah Darom

Darom campers celebrating July 4


californiaCamp Ramah in California
The Machon edah gathered at beautiful Lake Casitas for dinner and Ma'ariv on the final evening of their week-long journey, the annual Tza'ada hiking trip, a highlight of the camper experience. Machon this summer is led by rosh edah Benji Davis, a long-time Ramahnik who recently made aliyah and is currently serving in the IDF.

Ramah California 

   

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