Josh Barash & Devorah Lissek

Our parents were on staff at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin so we met as “staff brats” at around age 6-7. We were fast friends but there was no “romantic interest” until we were campers several years later. Then, in 1983 (my Bogrim summer), I told her good friend Nomi Porten that I thought I liked Devorah but to please not tell her. Within 5 minutes of our “secret” conversation, Devorah came bouncing across the Kikar to me and said, “I hear you like me!” She took my hand and off we went for the first of our many walks around idyllic Camp Ramah. Every summer thereafter we were together, communicating during the year through letters (multiple shoeboxes to prove it!) and our treasured Sunday evening telephone calls. The relationship continued as staff members, we both attended college at the University of Wisconsin, and were married at the end of her junior year (1991).

The growth and development of our relationship is inextricably linked to the love that we received at Ramah and an atmosphere that allows for the development of strong friendships. It also provided us with a safe place to explore and nurture our Jewish values, an integral aspect of who we are as individuals and a couple.

Devorah Lissek and Josh Barash with their two sons.

Devorah Lissek and Josh Barash with their two sons.


Years later, Ramah continues to play an important role in our lives: For the past 3 summers, I’ve worked as a camp physician at Ramah in Wisconsin, two of them with my father, who last worked as a Ramah physician in the early 1980’s! In addition, our two sons, Abe and Eitan, are now campers at Ramah in Wisconsin. Who knows, maybe they’ve already met their future partners!

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