What’s Happening at Ramah
National Ramah Receives $600,000 Grant for Outreach to Unaffiliated Families
Sep. 5, 2012—The National Ramah Commission is delighted to announce a major new grant from the Zell Family Foundation and the AVI CHAI Foundation to pilot a new program to bring more children with little or no Jewish institutional affiliation into Ramah day camps and overnight camps.
With funding of $600,000, National Ramah will work with select Ramah camps to begin implementation for the 2013 camping season. Camps will hire recruiters to identify families who might be interested in the Ramah experience, and will hire educators prior to the summer to help campers learn some basic Hebrew, tefillah, and other Judaic skills to make their adjustment to camp successful. During the summer, extra staff will help support these campers socially and educationally. Follow-up programs will be planned post-summer for campers and families, and during the summer for day camp families.
According to the terms of the grant, National Ramah will pilot these outreach efforts in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Toronto. Each of the next few summers, we hope to include up to 10 new campers in 5 of our camps (overnight camps in Canada, Poconos, and Wisconsin; day camps in Chicago and Philadelphia), and hopefully provide a bridge for them to affiliate with other Jewish communal institutions as a result of the Ramah experience.
Sam Zell, an alumnus of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, and the AVI CHAI Foundation have made this grant in recognition of Ramah's leading role in inspiring children from all levels of Jewish background to build strong Jewish identity in a joyful manner.
While some unaffiliated families attend Ramah now, this new program will help Ramah pilot new outreach methods combined with year-round support so that many more children can benefit from the Ramah experience.