Camp Ramah

A Camp, A Bar Mitzvah And A Family's Respite

They say that it takes a village to raise a child.  I say that it takes a village… and a synagogue or three, an edah (Amitzim) and a family camp (Ohr Lanu) at Machaneh Ramah and a loving, supportive family.

On Sunday, October 12, 2014, my son, Jacob Gruen, became a Bar Mitzvah at age 13 at Adat Ari El in Valley Village, CA.  He led the Sh’ma, received his talit and blessed it, carried the torah, had an aliyah and read the torah, marched with a lulav and an etrog and said the Kiddush. He also sang a number of songs, including a solo of Adamah B'Shamayim (which he first learned at Camp Ramah) with his Kolot Tikvah choir led by Cantor Michael Stein of Temple Aliyah.  To many, this would not seem extraordinary.  However, Jacob has autism, which manifests in him as moderate speech and social deficits and academic delays.

TIPTOE 2014: First Place

The Ruderman Family Foundation and Camp Ramah teamed up to create a video contest drawing on contestants' experiences at inclusive summer camps. Simone Rotman took top honors.

 

Summer Camp, Meet Online Dating

The secret to Jewish continuity might be at hand, new website baits.

10/08/2014
Staff Writer
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For Lucy Cohen, now Cohen-Cirlin, marrying Jewish was always a priority. The daughter of a Conservative rabbi and a Jewish educator, marrying out was “not really an option,” she said in a recent phone interview.

Jaclyn and Max Gorney met at Camp Ramah California, during the summer of 1988, married January 2013. Courtesy of Reshet Ramah

Another Kind Of Holy Land

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on Ellen Seidman's blog: Love That Max: Special Needs Blog

Last Wednesday, I headed to family camp with Max for five days. I figured we'd have fun; I had no idea how meaningful our time there would be. It was full of firsts for Max—and the discovery of a whole other kind of holy land.

As a a teen, I was a counselor at two Camp Ramahs in New York and loved it. After I found out that the Ramah in the Poconos had a five-day Tikvah Family Camp for kids with developmental disorders and social learning disorders, I signed us up. (The Ramah Tikvah Network offers family, day and overnight camps at nine locations.)

Fireman Max with his new friend June. Courtesy of Ellen Seidman

A Return To Camp Ramah

08/18/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
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The campers and staff of Camp Ramah in Nyack danced with the crazed enthusiasm of people who had just won a $100 million jackpot. It was just past 9 a.m., the last Friday of camp in Rockland County, New York, and the Hebrew song playing was fittingly called "Lo Normali." I could not help but think that this amount of energy was freakish.

The author and a camp friend show just how seriously they take their summer fun. Courtesy of Alan Zeitlin

What Conservative Judaism Has To Offer

02/11/2014
Special To The Jewish Week
Story Includes Video: 
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It’s hard to be in the middle. Politically, the far right has put mainstream Republicans on the defensive, and the left has sent centrist Democrats scurrying to identify with populism. Religiously, fundamentalism on the right has opposed any form of change, and an aggressive atheism on the left has mounted a war against traditional beliefs. Yet, while the extremes may sometimes foment revolutions, the middle keeps society going. And the middle is the hardest place to be.

Francine Klagsbrun

Special Needs Israel Experience

How do you create a meaningful Israel experience for young adults with special needs? Video blogger Aaron Herman spoke with Covenant Award winner Howard Blas, Director of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in New England, Tali Cohen, Director of Tikvah Vocational Services and participants about their unique Israel experience.

'I Get The Job Done' At Ramah's Guest House

I came to the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in New England in 1997 and was a camper in the Amitzim (the brave ones) division of the Tikvah program for campers with disabilities for about five years. Coming to Ramah was mostly my parents' idea. We were looking for a Jewish camp mostly, and that was basically it.

Jason Belkin

How Noah Met Amy

03/05/2013
Jewish Week Online Columnist

The odds were not in their favor. It is highly unlikely that two old friends would just bump into each other on a subway platform in Manhattan. 

Noah Borenstein and Amy Heller

To Revitalize Conservative Jewry, Build On Camp Ramah

02/05/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

Those of us who have grown up in the Conservative movement have heard the conventional wisdom for years — Camp Ramah is the best and most successful program that the movement ever developed. We would even hear this from Jews across the spectrum who admire with envy this jewel of a program that formed lifetime bonds among alumni and created a community of knowledgeable, proud, energized, committed, Zionist young Jews.

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