What’s Happening at Ramah
Ramah Camps Open for 2010 Summer Season
by Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, National Ramah Director, June 2010/Sivan 5770
Ramah camping is strong! Our camps will provide powerful experiences to thousands of our young leaders this summer:
- More than 9,000 campers and staff will attend our eight overnight camps, three day camps, and Israel programs.
- More than 115 campers will participate in the inaugural season of Ramah Outdoor Adventure, Ramah’s first specialty camp, located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
- 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.
- Approximately 30 rabbinical, cantorial, education, and other graduate students from JTS, as well as others from Ziegler and other graduate schools, will be senior educators at Ramah.
- More than 200 mishlachat members will strengthen the connections between our camp communities and Israel.
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.
Among the many inspirational accomplishments of Ramah, our special needs programs deserve particular mention. Through Tikvah 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. This summer, more than 200 young people and 45 families will participate in Ramah’s 13 special needs camper and family programs.
Ramah Programs in Israel is having a very successful year, with more than 1,500 participants in our various programs. This summer's Ramah Israel Seminar will have approximately 300 participants--10% more than last year. Almost one-third of Seminar participants opt to begin with an intensive week of travel and learning in Poland; in addition, we are delighted this summer to introduce a second Seminar option, Seminar Yarok, which is focused on the major advances in environmental conservation taking place in Israel. Together, Ramah and USY will send more than 560 of our high school students to Israel this summer for travel experiences in the context of intensive Conservative Jewish education.
During this past year, 48 students participated in our high school semester programs in Israel, either for four months on Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) or for two months on USY High. And throughout the year, Ramah Israel Institute brings synagogue family groups and Solomon Schechter and other day school eighth-grade groups to Israel for two-week educational experiences.
Ramah continues to thrive as a result of our partnerships with Conservative Movement organizations: synagogues; Solomon Schechter day schools; Women's League and the Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs; USY, Nativ and KOACH; and Ziegler, Machon Schechter, and JTS. Ramah also partners with other Conservative Movement affiliates throughout the world, including the NOAM youth movement; the NOAM-Ramah summer camp in Israel, Masorti Olami, Marom and Marom Olami; the Conservative Jewish summer camps in Argentina; and Ramah Yachad in Ukraine.
As we embark upon our 64th 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 the thousands of participants in our various camps and programs.