National Ramah Commission Appoints Three New Educational Leaders
The National Ramah Commission (NRC) is delighted to announce that three outstanding Jewish educators, Richard S. Moline, Rabbi Amy Bolton, and Meir Hoyzman, have joined the Ramah team of dedicated professionals:
Richard S. Moline, Director of Reshet Ramah: Alumni and Community Engagement
Effective January 1, 2013, Rich will become Director of Reshet Ramah, the groundbreaking new Ramah initiative for alumni outreach and community engagement. Rich has many years of experience in Jewish education and communal leadership. During his years at the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, he served as Chief Outreach Officer, Director of Youth and Young Adult Services, and Director of College Outreach.
Rich has dedicated his career to advancing Jewish identity formation for teenagers and young adults throughout North America and Israel. His long-time connection to Ramah includes not only summers as a camper at Ramah Wisconsin, but also many summers there as a visiting faculty member. Rich has degrees from the University of Illinois in Psychology and Jewish Studies, as well as a degree in Jewish Studies from Spertus College.
As Director of Alumni and Community Engagement, Rich will lead a team of professionals and lay volunteers dedicated to advancing Jewish engagement through the power of the Ramah alumni network. Ramah will benefit greatly from Rich's wealth of experience with thousands of alumni who have participated in Ramah camps, USY, Solomon Schechter schools, KOACH, Hillel, and other youth and campus programs. This will enable us, through Reshet Ramah initiatives, to enhance existing partnerships with many of the organizations within the Conservative Movement and the Jewish community at large, as well as to build new coalitions for increased Jewish engagement.
Dr. Jeffrey Kopin, Chairman of the Reshet Ramah Board of Directors, states, "There is enormous excitement over the potential reach of Reshet Ramah programming, and Rich Moline is the perfect candidate, given his outstanding personal and professional skills, to lead our effort to further connect Ramah alumni and engage them, throughout their lives, with deeper Jewish learning, observance and joyful connections to community."
Reshet Ramah is supported by generous grants from the Maimonides Fund and The AVI CHAI Foundation.
Rabbi Amy Bolton, Community Outreach Coordinator
Earlier this fall, Rabbi Amy Bolton joined the NRC staff part-time as Community Outreach Coordinator. Amy brings her background in organizational development and community outreach to her new position, which will focus on overseeing Ramah's new pilot program to bring more children with little or no Jewish institutional affiliation into Ramah day camps and overnight camps. This pilot program is supported by a grant from the Zell Family Foundation and The AVI CHAI Foundation and will focus, in the first stage, on the Ramah Canada, Poconos, and Wisconsin overnight camps, and the Ramah day camps in Chicago and Philadelphia. In cooperation with all our camp offices, Amy will also work on increasing our outreach and connection to rabbis, hazzanim, educators, and synagogues.
In addition to serving on the education staff at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack for the past two summers, Amy has experience working in a variety of interdenominational, interfaith, and multi-cultural settings including synagogues, camps, and social service agencies. Along with her group facilitation and spiritual counseling responsibilities as Director of The Living Room at Jewish Family Service in Teaneck, NJ, Amy was on their management team and chaired their social media committee. Previously, she was the founding chaplain and co-Bereavement Director of the Martin and Edith Stein Hospice in Central NJ. Amy was also a member of the spiritual counseling and bereavement team of Holy Name Medical Center Hospice and Palliative Care in Teaneck, NJ.
Amy was ordained and received her master's degree in Rabbinic Studies from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University, and received her bachelor's degree in Psychology with a concentration in Neural and Behavioral Sciences from Haverford College. She also holds a Certificate in Informal Education from the Melitz Institute for Zionist Youth Education in Jerusalem.
Ramah Programs in Israel
Meir Hoyzman, Executive Director, Ramah Programs in Israel
Beginning January 1, 2013, Meir Hoyzman will become Executive Director of Ramah Programs in Israel. Meir brings to Ramah his extensive skills in organizational management and educational leadership, including 17 years of experience as a director in the fields of Jewish camping and Israel experiences for youth and young adults.
Most recently, Meir served as Director of The Israel Experience: Educational Tourism for English-Speaking Countries. There, he managed a $15 million budget and supervised 122 full-time and seasonal staff members, all dedicated to providing teens and young adults with high quality short- and long-term educational Israel experiences. Meir spent many years as a director in the Young Judaea Zionist camping movement, most recently as Director of Camp Tel Yehudah, their national teen leadership camp, from 2002-2007. Meir also directed Young Judaea's alumni outreach program in Israel, Merkaz Hamagshimim, which created a strong network of support for alumni who were visiting Israel or moving to Israel, as well as for Israeli alumni of various programs in North America.
Meir was born in New York and grew up in Israel, and served as a commander in the Golani infantry combat division. He has a degree in Jewish History, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in Education and Organizational Management from Hebrew University.
Meir follows a decade of excellent leadership by Dr. Joe Freedman, who will continue to work with us for the coming months to ensure a smooth transition. Meir will lead a team of outstanding professionals who continue to operate our Ramah Israel Seminar, The Ramah Jerusalem High School (TRY), Educational Trips for Synagogue and School Groups (RII), and the Ramah Day Camps in Jerusalem.
Ramah is the camping arm of Conservative Judaism. Together, our programs provide Ramah experiences for over 9,000 children, teens, and young adults annually. The National Ramah Commission of The Jewish Theological Seminary provides oversight, educational planning, and coordination on behalf of the network of Ramah camps throughout North America and Ramah programs in Israel. For more information please visit www.campramah.org.
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&…