Family Camp

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.

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

Welcome Muddah …: Greetings From Family Camp

02/14/2011 - 19:00
Special To The Jewish Week

I’ve learned a few odd habits of New York parents. One of them is that, in this fast-paced town, families often wrap up summer plans in February.

Elicia Brown

Alef Bet Learning for Kids on iPad

At a recent Family Camp experience with twenty other young Jewish families, I noticed something that had changed from the previous year's gathering. iPads. This year, they were everywhere. You might think that it was the adults using Apple's slick tablets to read books, check email, or play Angry Birds. But it was actually the youngest of participants who were using the iPad, which could be the most expensive toy for the under 5 demographic.

Jewish children will use Mom & Dad's iPad to learn the Hebrew alphabet
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