If you or anyone in your community is going to Israel this summer...
please consider the Ramah Mini-Seminar for Adults and the Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp, two of the many wonderful opportunities available through Ramah Programs in Israel. You will find more details below.
In addition, we encourage you to scroll down to see the Yom Ha'Atzamaut newsletter sent earlier this month to participants and alumni of our Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) high school program.
The Ramah Mini-Seminar for Adults, July 11-15, is designed for adults (college-age and above) who have been to Israel before and who are looking for something different and in-depth. The Mini-Seminar is five day-long tours to less-traveled sights in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and places in between. Participants are expected to arrange their own accommodations in Jerusalem, and each day they will be picked up and dropped off at a central location in the city. Price per person is only $500, which includes five full days of guiding, entrance fees and transportation. Click here for a complete itinerary, detailed information and registration form.
The Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp is located on the beautiful, pastoral, secure campus of the Goldstein Youth Village in the San Simon neighborhood of Jerusalem, just ten minutes from downtown. Campers can look forward to an exciting co-ed day camp with daily tefillah, sports, arts and crafts, music, Israeli dancing, swimming, drama, exciting field trips, community service, and more! A hot kosher lunch rounds out the camp day. The Ramah Jerusalem Day Camp prides itself on its warm and welcoming environment within the framework of Jewish tradition. Free choice activities (chuggim) allow campers to explore their interests, and a CIT program for entering 9th and 10th graders is set to begin this summer as well. Click here for more information, prices, FAQ, and registration forms, or email the camp director, Melissa Ser.
Scroll down to see the TRY Yom Ha'Atzmaut Newsletter.
Spring 2010 / 5770 Aviv
Happy Yom HaAtzmaut!
As עם ישראל celebrates 62 years of independence in Israel, TRY is happy to join in on the fun. This year's students are planning on enjoying the atmosphere in downtown Jerusalem on Monday night and then continuing the tradition of "על האש" or a BBQ on the beach near Tel Aviv. I have been told time and again by TRY alumni that they recall the experiences of the Yamim (Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut) as some of the most special moments of their program in Israel. There is no better time or place than Yom HaAtzmaut in Jerusalem on TRY to feel the excitement and energy of the modern State of Israel.
Now is the time to start identifying friends, neighbors, relatives who you think would be good candidates for TRY next year. If you know any 10th-12th graders who might benefit from what TRY has to offer, please forward them this newsletter or direct them to the TRY website (www.ramah.org.il/try) for more information.
TRY 2010 includes some new twists on a great experience. For instance, as you will read below, we have revamped our Tefilah program - making it more interesting and dynamic. And we are partnering in a new tzedaka project with SHUTAF, a camp for special needs children here in Jerusalem. We have also added some more study time and designated study halls to encourage better study habits and academic results.
Enjoy this issue of our newsletter and feel free to spread the word on the excitement and benefits of the TRY experience.
Kol tuv and Hag Atzmaut Sameyach,
Daniel Laufer Director, The Ramah Jerusalem High School Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim - TRY and USY High
What's Up with Tefilah? Ilan Bloch
The tefilah experience on TRY 2010 is truly innovative! We attempt to offer both an intellectual and emotional/spiritual experience through presenting special tefilah sessions which are facilitated by guest moderators. These sessions deal with issues connected to Jewish philosophy and the individual components of the morning tefilah service. We have also been privileged to have our Va'ad Tefilah (Tefilah Committee) organize special activities (such as Yoga Minyan and I-Pod Minyan, amongst others) for the entire group on Friday mornings, as well as musical services, which are accompanied by guitar with lots of singing.
The tefilah program, which aims to help the students deal with matters of faith development in an informal, interactive and experiential way, is non-coercive and non-judgmental. It aims to create a safe space in which students can explore matters of spirituality and Jewish learning, without prescribing a particular Jewish path, but rather by guiding TRY students on their own personal Jewish journeys, wherever these may lead.
TRY10 - What we have to say ... so far!
"I love the way we do tefilah on TRY because the traditional way is too routine, and the speakers and the discussions we have get me thinking. I liked when we spoke recently about what mitzvot mean in the Conservative Movement and the time we wrote our own prayers for the amidah." Karly
"Our Tefilah sessions have brought meaning to what I am praying not just saying words." Briana
"I enjoy Spanish class as we are able to speak our minds in Spanish and have fun at the same time." Coby
"After a full day of learning about the Shoah we sat in a circle - first as a class, and then we all got together and sang songs. It was so special being together as a group after learning about the tragedy of the Holocaust." Reina
"My favorite experience so far was when we had 'solo time' by the sand dunes. It was very spiritual being in the open desert alone with my thoughts." Allie
"I am really looking forward to the 'night hike' because when we go to the desert at night it is so meaningful to me. As my teacher explained we will be having discussions in the desert separating the dark times of Shoah and into the light of the State of Israel as we go from night to dawn to day." Mimi
- Avram Mlotek ('04) on his upcoming marriage to Yael Kornfeld
If you have a celebration or simcha that you would like us to share with your fellow alumni, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
This year on TRY our students are working smarter than ever. Weekly study halls, supervised by rotating members of the general studies faculty, give our students the edge they need to succeed. A later wake-up time twice a week allows students to get the sleep they need to do better in their classes.
In addition, Israel Core Course teachers now have a formal role as homeroom teachers, greeting students first thing in the morning twice a week, checking in with them, and making sure they are on top of all their work, not just in ICC. Every night, at least 90 minutes are set aside for quiet homework hours. In short, students are getting the tools they need to succeed in their classes.
To live in Israel and to learn to love this country for all of its history, blessings, and challenges is an amazing gift. To make your tax deductible donation online, click below:
Under the Program Designation drop down menu, please select "TRY Scholarship Fund."
For more information on TRY and USY High, please visit our website www.ramah.org.il/try For any queries regarding TRY please contact Judy Greene, Coordinator, at Ramah Programs in Israel, via email at email@example.com,or by phone at 212-678-8883.
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditorfor Landingham & Kaepernick, our angels in the wings
Sometimes, it isn't about nuance. Sometimes it just comes down to facing the storm, calling God out, standing at the center of a whirlwind holding your ground.
No cathedral is immune to agony, no soul impervious to life itself
no nation purely noble. If it were any other way, there would be no need for cathedrals in the first place.
To kneel is to submit
to lower oneself
to step down
To kneel is to call attention
to touch the Earth's face
to listen to those
whose blood saturates
the very roots of our story.
To kneel is to step aside
to step outside
to invite others to come closer
To kneel is not to stand
not to stand
not to stand idly by. Speak your truth, God damn it.