Shira Gura

I attended Ramah Poconos for three summers (Bogrim, Shoafim, and Machon) and without a doubt can say those summers were the most poignant experiences in my life, in regards to deepening and strengthening my Jewish identity.

There, besides all the fun that comes with attending a summer camp, I learned in the easiest and most practical ways what it meant to and how to live in a Jewish community. That Judaism is something dynamic, not static. It’s about learning how to live with others, how to make decisions with others, how to get along with others, all in a Jewish context.

These three summers were the impetus for my desire to travel to Israel in high school and then return so many times and in many different contexts until finally deciding to make aliyah with my husband and children in 2009. We currently live on Kibbutz Hannaton in the Galilee, which in so many ways, feels like living at Ramah on a daily basis.