I’d worked the previous summer as rosh mayim at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires and returned for a day’s visit. I noticed Sarah Klagsbrun—a first-year instructor whom I’d remembered vaguely from when she was a camper—and made a mental note of the wide smile (and yes, the red bathing suit). Maybe things are different in Wisconsin or Georgia, but there weren’t too many blonde-haired, green-eyed Jewish women where I’m from.
Six years later, I was with two Ramah friends when one mentioned that he’d once gone on a date with Sarah, but she was too busy with medical school and didn’t seem interested. I thought I’d try. So I asked Richie Friedman, who knows everyone, to get me her number. In hindsight, I probably could have contacted Sarah’s parents, who are another Ramah couple (Poconos).
I called Sarah and asked her on a date. It was the night before her anatomy exam, but actually my timing was good. She and her roommate had just been calling out for their basherts during a study break.
Six months later, we were engaged at camp. Berkshires used to have a pre-season “day in the country” for alumni. I asked my old waterfront buddy, Mark Neustadt, to park a boat with the ring in it by “the rock” across the lake. I nervously swam out with Sarah, we got into the boat, and I returned home with my fiancée.
Now we have Eliana, a third-grader at Solomon Schechter School of Manhattan who just spent a week in Ta’am Ramah and is returning next year. There’s Benji (1st grade), whose good buddy at Nyack is Gabe Gerstel, whose dad Jon I met on my first day as a camper there when we were 8. And there’s Ari (7 months). I’m on the Berkshires Committee, overseeing facilities. I swim out to that rock every time I can.