It is with great delight that we join together to encourage the development of a new Camp Ramah in Northern California.
As former residents of one of the fastest growing Jewish communities in the country, we both are well aware of the extraordinary vibrancy, creativity, and commitment of Northern California Jews. We also know that as a result of waiting lists and significant travel distance, many Northern Californians don't have the opportunity to participate in the magic of Camp Ramah.
Camp Ramah, the camping arm of the Conservative movement, is a place where Judaism can be lived 24/7 surrounded by natural beauty. Lifetime friendships are formed, bonds to the Jewish people and Jewish practice are forged, Hebrew becomes a living language and the connections between ritual and social justice are concretized.
In addition to the extraordinary opportunities for our youth, a local Camp Ramah can offer family camps, adult education and spirituality retreats, and a kosher site for congregational events and personal celebrations. The presence of a Camp Ramah within easy driving distance can transform community life.
Our Rabbinic and Education schools are populated by Ramah graduates as are our Boards. Ramah graduates are leaders in every major Jewish organization, not to mention many secular non-profit and civic initiatives.
Anyone who has spent time at Ramah personally knows the power it has to change lives. We look forward to seeing Camp Ramah in Northern California bring a new generation closer to Judaism and how the energy of Northern California will infuse Camp Ramah.
We are committed to supporting this project in any way we can, both personally and institutionally.
With best wishes,
Arnold M. Eisen, PhD and Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson
Arnold Eisen is the Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. Bradley Artson is the Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.
I've been having a wonderful time traveling around our region talking to rabbis, lay leaders and potential Ramah volunteers. We're starting our focus groups throughout Northern California and Nevada in November. If you'd like to be a recruiter, facilitator, host, or note-taker at your synagogue or school, please let me know immediately. I'm filling in my grid.
As always, email is an effective way to reach me: email@example.com or call me at 650-867-8048.