Hundreds of Ramahniks have fallen in love and married someone they met at camp or on a Ramah Israel program. Below are Ramah marriage stories from the 1950s.
Yes, romance is key to this one - and it goes a lot deeper and longer than the stories you might find in a Hollywood movie. This romance is now 56 years old!
Sam Schafler was a rabbinical student at JTS the year when I, Sara Edell, arrived from Toronto, Canada to NY to be a student at the Teacher's Institute.
While we were aware of each other in 1948, we began going together in 1949 when I was 15 and Judy was 13. We were both members of the LTF (Leaders Training Fellowship) and saw each other at meetings during the ensuing year.
Rabbi Burton Cohen and Roberta Cheskis Cohen z”l belong to the couples who married in the first decade of Ramah Wisconsin. Burt attended camp in 1947, the very first summer, as a camper, and Bobbie began her Ramah Wisconsin career a few years later as a participant in the Chug Limud (Study Group). They were married on September 5, 1954. Over the years, Burt went on to serve on staff as Madrich Tzair, Madrich, Rosh Aidah, Camp Director, and National Ramah Director. Bobbie served as Madricha Tzeira, Madricha, teacher to the service staff, and chanutiah manager. Their consecutive record of years at Conover was fairly unblemished until they moved to New York City in 1975. Of all the seasons, they spent only one, 1954, in another Ramah camp, Camp Ramah in Connecticut. Bobbie gave birth to three Ramahnik offspring: Yehuda (father of Wisconsin Ramahnik Joe), Ilana, and Ayala Cohen Podhoretz (mother to Wisconsin Ramahniks Shayna, Shiri, and Isaac).
Leah Abrams, drama counselor, arranged for the two of us to play in a Tisha B'av night performance as Jeremiah and Bat Yisrael.
When Marshall was just 21 years old, his mentor, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, suggested that he take the summer to study hebrew at Camp Ramah in the Poconos. It was on the bus ride into camp where he met his future wife.
I was from Minneapolis. Jody was from Chicago. We both had a strong Jewish background, and the environment at Ramah clearly nurtured our love for Judaic studies, culture and heritage.
Margie Weingarden and Moshe Tutnauer met at Ramah Wisconsin in 1956. We were both meltzarim! After a year of long distance communication (Moshe was at JTS and Margie at Wayne State in Detroit) we were married at camp on August 25, 1957!
I was a camper waitress in the Machon and my Rosh Edah was Chaim Potok. Stanley was a counselor of the youngest campers, or staff brats, as we called them affectionately.
Immediate attraction on many levels; besides, it was cold at night!
Saul Shapiro and Miriam Klein Shapir met at Camp Ramah in Connecticut in 1954 and were married in 1958.
Sander Mendelson and Adina Newman Mendelson met in 1957 at Camp Ramah in Connecticut and were married in 1958.
I am submitting this information on behalf of my sister and brother-in-law of blessed memory. I do not know how long they each attended the Poconos but all of their children and most of their grandchildren have attended Ramah.
Since Paula and I married - after meeting in the Poconos - we served as staff members (with our children) in the following camps: Connecticut, Palmer (at two different times), Canada, and Berkshires.
We met on the last couple of nights in August 1956 when I came up for just 10 days as a substitute madrich.
Camp Ramah connected us with a group of people who observed Judaism in a natural and positive way.