Camp Ramah changed my life. I remember no place feeling more at home as a Jew than surrounded by that environment.
I consider Camp Ramah my home away from home. I enjoy having all of my friends at camp around me and I see Camp Ramah as an escape from the stressfulness of my everyday life during the school year.
Judaism has been a part of my life since I was born. My mother snuck Shabbat candles into the hospital in preparation for my birth and I was born on Shabbos afternoon surrounded by my family and future friends, all welcoming Shabbat and my existence.
The Conservative Movement has always played an important role in my life, the center of which was USY and Ramah. I grew up at Camp Ramah in California where I was a camper for five years before I went on Seminar in 2004.
It was Friday night, June 29, 1956 — the first Shabbat of the first full summer of Camp Ramah in California. One hundred and fifty of us, probably dressed in white, sat nervously on benches in Kikkar Tziyyon, as that area of camp had been named, waiting for the kabbalat shabbat service to begin.
In the course of my junior year at Hebrew University, I met dozens of Ramahniks from across the United States and Canada and was impressed with their common commitment to Jewish life, as well as by their unbridled enthusiasm about Ramah.
In the movies, when the hero or heroine has the defining, life-changing moment, the camera dramatically swoops in, the music swells to a crescendo, and the rain suddenly stops as birds begin to sing.
My first contact with Camp Ramah was in a January 1954 phone call from Rabbi Herman Kieval, z”l, to my mother indicating that he had some scholarship money ($50) in our Pittsburgh synagogue to help send me to Camp Ramah, a relatively new summer camp in northern Wisconsin, where I could keep kashrut, daven every […]
My life’s journey took me down a path of no return when I spent my first summer as a camper at Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts, in 1968. From that point on, I felt the only time I matured each year and learned about life and friendships was during the eight weeks I was at Camp […]
As someone who did not grow up spending summers at Camp Ramah in California, it took me a while to understand the deep connection that former campers and staff members feel for this remarkable place. In my generation, we still speak of the “old” Ramah and the “new” one.