What’s Happening at Ramah
Conservative Movement Israel Programs Show Sharp Rise in Numbers
United Synagogue Youth (USY) and Camp Ramah will be sending some 650 teenagers to Israel this summer, according to the directors of the two Conservative Movement youth programs.
“We are thrilled with the tremendous increase in demand for our Israel programs,” states Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, Director of National Ramah. “We are proud that Conservative youth and their families understand that our trips are critical components of the ladder of Jewish educational experiences. Zionism is alive and well in our youth programs and camps, and the connections we have with Israel are deep and expanding."
Jules Gutin, Director of United Synagogue Youth, points out that while the number of youngsters attending Israel programs decreased sharply over the past several years due to the unrest in Israel, they are once again starting to climb. He attributes the rise in numbers to “parents’ realization that Conservative Movement trips have continued to offer the same excellent programming they have always provided, while putting security first.”
According to Yossi Garr, Shaliah for United Synagogue’s Department of Youth Activities, “One factor in the significant increase in numbers this year is the trust that has been established between parents and our youth organization.”
USY offers a Parents Trip each Fall for parents who are considering sending their children to Israel. This year, all of the parents who participated in the trip have chosen to send their children to Israel for the summer. This coming summer, USY will offer its first-ever summer Parents Trip. This 13-day trip to Israel will cover all the highlights of USY Israel Pilgrimage.
Mr. Garr also notes that enrollment in NATIV -- USY’s year-long Israel leadership program -- will be the largest ever, with more than 75 high school graduates preparing to live in Israel next year.
United Synagogue Youth (USY), serving 9th - 12th graders, is the youth arm of the Conservative Movement, affiliated with The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.
Camp Ramah, serving campers aged 8-16 and staff members 17 years and above, is the camping arm of Conservative Judaism, affiliated with the Jewish Theological Seminary.