What’s Happening at Ramah
"Wear Your Ramah Shirt to School" Day: November 15, 2007
by Ari Magen
(Ari Magen, who completed his camper years at Ramah Poconos this summer, decided he would create an event on the Facebook website dedicated to encouraging all his edah (division) friends to wear their Ramah Poconos t-shirts to school on November 15, 2007. When he began this effort, he had no idea how powerful a tool he was creating for the entire Ramah movement. Over 1,000 students saw his message and joined the effort. Please see Ari's message below. This is a great story about the power of internet networking, pride in Ramah and the foresight and creativity of one young man.)
This whole project started with a different event on Facebook that an acquaintance created just for Ramah Poconos Gesherniks. Every Geshernik was going to wear our edah shirt from this past summer. I saw that and thought "What a good idea," so I went on Facebook and created an event called "Wear Your Ramah Shirt to School Day." When I created it, I was only thinking about the Poconos campers wearing their shirts. I didn't even think about the other Ramah camps. The next day, I logged on and started to see comments. I expected to see a few comments from my friends, but I realized that these weren't chanichim (campers) from Poconos, but from all of the other Ramah camps. Since I intended for the event to be just for the Poconos, I was very surprised to see other people joining in. But, when I went back and re-read the title of the event, I realized that Poconos wasn't in the title. Then, I thought "Wow, this was a great mistake that I made!!"
I began receiving questions such as, "I was in Israel this summer, can I still participate?" or "I work, can I wear my shirt anyway?", or “I wasn't at camp this summer but I want to join in. Is that okay?" My favorite question was, “I wear a uniform to school, what should I do?" Realizing that people were taking this so seriously, I changed the description of the event to, "Wear your latest Ramah shirt to show your Ramah pride!!! This is open to all Ramah camps, from Poconos to Israel and everywhere in between!!!
Every couple of days I checked to see how many people were "Attending." After the third day or so it had reached 100 people. After about 3 weeks, there were over 900! Then I put out a challenge to try and get to 1,000 people. By the time I went to bed the night before, there were 1058 people. When I got to school, I saw a few of my friends wearing their shirts. Then, I decided to text a camp friend in another school and asked, "Is anyone wearing their Ramah shirts?" She texted back, "Yeah, we all did! It was so fun and so cool."When I got home from school there were a few messages on my Facebook account about the event. One said, "I totally remembered and wore it under my uniform and didn't get caught!" Another said, "It is amazing that you did this! My mom was a Ramahnik and we talked about how amazing this idea was -- she is slightly jealous. We all need Ramah in our lives and we all need these special days while we are not at camp. When I woke up this morning I was soooo excited about today! I am in my fourth year of university and tomorrow my edah is having a little reunion at the University of Michigan so this was a great segue into the weekend."