We look ahead with great excitement to the beginning of a new camp season. As anticipation builds for summer 2010, the lay and professional leadership of the Ramah Camping Movement continues to plan, innovate, and train our staff for the opening of Ramah camps and programs throughout North America and Israel.
This is a particularly special year for Ramah, as we eagerly look forward to the opening of Ramah Outdoor Adventure in the Rockies, Ramah's extraordinary first specialty camp and our movement's eighth overnight camp.
Increasing access to the Ramah experience for a greater number of families, despite the difficult economic climate, remains a top priority. This year, there are more camper incentive programs and scholarship funds available to families than at any previous time in Ramah's history. Please help us spread the word and share this news with potential new Ramah families. (Click here to donate to Ramah scholarship funds.)
We hope you enjoy this issue of Kolot Ramah, which provides a glimpse into our wonderful camps and programs. We are certain that 2010 will be another summer of incredible vibrancy, bringing the joy of Jewish living to more than 9,000 children, teens, and young adults.
Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, National Ramah Director
Ramah Outdoor Adventure in the Rockies Prepares for 2010 Opening
This summer marks the inaugural season of Ramah Outdoor Adventure (ROA) in the Rockies, Ramah's first specialty camp. ROA campers will have outstanding outdoor adventure experiences that teach Jewish values and leadership skills through exciting activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, wilderness survival, orienteering, wilderness arts and crafts, bouldering and alpine field sports. Intense community building will take place at the base camp at the Ramah in the Rockies ranch, as well as on adventure trips.
We are thrilled that the newest National Ramah Commission (NRC) staff training program, the "Daber" Fellowship Program, is currently underway, aimed at strengthening Hebrew language usage at all Ramah camps. This program, sponsored in partnership with the AVI CHAI Foundation, is open to select counselors, specialists, and rashei edah for intensive Hebrew language and leadership training, with generous stipends available to all participants. For more information on how 2010 staff members can become "Daber" Fellows, please contact your Ramah director.
The NRC continues to increase the number of inspiring staff training programs serving staff members from all the Ramah camps. This year, NRC programs of professional development include the Weinstein Institute for Counselor Training; the Winer Institute for Rosh Edah Training; the Israel Shabbaton for Shlichim and North American staff studying in Israel; JTS-sponsored conferences for our camps' directors of education; the JNF-Ramah Alternative Winter Break service trip to Israel (pictured left); the Ramah Israel Leadership Initiative sponsored by the Legacy Heritage Foundation, the Shapiro Fellowship seminar at JTS, seminars for emerging Ramah professionals, and the Ramah Philanthropy Initiative for teens.
New Ropes Courses Lift Campers
At Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, the low ropes course fosters teamwork and high ropes course provides individual challenges.
While some must wait until summer to travel with Ramah to Israel, the 48 participants in Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim and USY High, Ramah Israel's spring semester high school programs, just had a wonderful Purim celebration in Jerusalem. In addition, the Ramah Israel Institute offers inspirational custom-designed educational trips for synagogues, schools and families year-round.
Masorti and USCJ: Ramah's Partners in Youth Programming throughout the World
Read about Masorti and USCJ youth programs around the world.
Taking Ramah Home
Inspiring activities enable campers to bring their two-month experiences at Camp Ramah in New England to the other ten months of the year.
JTS Teachers Institute Celebrates Its 100 Year Anniversary
Organizations and movements such as Camp Ramah, the Ivry Prozdor High School, and the modern congregational school education system all trace their origins to the Teachers Institute (TI), which opened in 1909 as the official teacher-training department of The Jewish Theological Seminary.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…