This reflection was originally published in the Camp Ramah in Wisconsin 50th Anniversary Book.
In the summer of 1996, our aidah celebrated its 25th Nivonim reunion. It was a Shabbat of wonder and grace, reminding us all of the power and importance which Ramah played in shaping our lives. I am grateful for the many friendships which continue up to ths day that are a result of my Ramah experience. In 1969, as a camper in Bogrim, I met the woman who was to become my wife 10 years later, Phyllis Gorin. The fact that the landscape of our lives covers such shared ground has been a real blessing for us. Somehow the turbulent years of the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, Ramah gave many of us a vision of a world that could yet be perfected through our actions. It was a tremendous gift, one that continues to influence me long after my camping years have ended.
Sadly, Ramah also introduced many of us to death and yet provided for us a way to make meaning out of loss. Ohel Yitzhak is such a fitting tribute to the tragic death of Rabbi Zicky Bonder (z”l). Its presence at Ramah links his memory, our generation’s camping experience, and Ramah’s continued growth. May the next 50 years be as full as the first 50, and may Jews continue to celebrate Ramah until 120 and beyond!