Asher Schlusselberg’s Reflection

I was brought up in a small town in West Texas, with an even smaller Jewish community. In my day school class, there were eleven kids at our largest, but we usually had around nine students. My first summer at Ramah Darom, I was surprised when two of my bunkmates, both from Atlanta, had never met! How could that be?

I’ve been spending summers at a Ramah program almost every year since 1997. Even now, out of college with a masters degree, I still use a portion of my free time every summer working at Ramah. It is a great exercise for my mind and a Judaic treat to spend a week or so at camp.

When I was in college, I always scheduled my summers around Ramah. As a business school student, it was difficult to frame working at camp when all of my fellow students were vying for a position at an investment bank or accounting firm. While Ramah certainly didn’t help me build Excel modelling skills, it certainly taught me to be a leader. To this day, the most formative leadership experience I have ever had were my summers as a Rosh Eidah. I learned to manage people (feisty 19 year olds!) and manage expectations, both skills that I use every day. Furthermore, working at camp in a leadership role was a fantastic experience for a young business school student; where else can you have basic management autonomy for ten weeks? It was a great place to test what I was learning firsthand, and it left me with a confidence for public speaking and decision making that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.

I am thankful for the gifts and experiences of summers at Ramah. In addition to friendships and knowledge of Judaism, Ramah has given me the opportunity to grow as a leader, which is a skill I use everyday.