A group of us just spent a
wonderful weekend at Camp Ramah, celebrating the 25th anniversary of our
Nivonim summer. We were amazed that despite how much has changed, so much has
remained the same. Ramah still provides an opportunity for young Jewish
children to explore their culture, current events, and build lifelong
relationships, all within the context of a great camp experience. Camp
looked different. But it was also the same.
Camp Ramah is still a magical
place. For starters, the physical camp is still incredibly beautiful. It's hard
to believe camp is home to over 700 people during the summer yet you can still
find a totally private place to hang out with a friend. As we walked towards
the waterfront, visited Machon point, and strolled on the garbage trail, we
felt a deep sense of familiarity. The memories are almost
We spent most of the weekend
just catching up with everyone. Rabbi Soloff also took us on a camp
tour. We saw all of the changes camp had made over the past 25 years. To
be honest, camp is so much nicer from an aesthetic (and apparent safety)
perspective. The Bet Am has had a facelift, the Chadar Ochel is
super-sized, there are flowers planted in front of the cabins. They even built
a staff lounge. Seriously – who thought it was a good idea for staff to hang
out in Rabbi Soloff's house for fun?!?!
Yet despite all these changes,
everything is still in place. The flow of the camp is still the
same, the kikar is still the kikar and sitting in on the deck of the Sifria or
gazing out of the Ohel Yitzchak are still amazing Ramah
What was most striking is that
after all these years, kids are going to camp today and having incredibly deep,
meaningful experiences – exactly like we did. We have amazing
friendships from camp that are rooted in so much history and shared experiences.
Each one of us took away different experiences which helped shape our lives in
particular ways, whether it was through leadership development, music and
theater, sports, how to be a great friend to someone, learning about Judaism,
or how to experience joy by laughing so hard you cry - and we all agreed that
we were grateful we got the opportunity to be here and do that together.
Obviously, the recession
affected camp as it did everything else, 50% of current campers require scholarship funding in order
to attend camp each year. As an aidah we have the ability to make a
difference in the lives of campers by contributing to
the Scholarship fund as part of the NIVO 1990 25thREUNION
CAMPAIGN. Every dollar donated will help ensure that the next
generation of Ramah campers can make it to the North Woods of
Wisconsin – a place that will always have a special place in our hearts. Some
of us decided that we wanted to raise scholarship funds not only for current
campers, but also in perpetuity through a Ramah Endowment established in our aidah’s
name. Therefore, we are now striving to meet a collective goal of $36,000
as an aidah, half to be put aside to create a Nivonim 1990 Scholarship Endowment
Fund that will live on even after our memories have faded and provide
scholarships indefinitely, and the other half being utilized to meet the needs
of current campers today.
Regardless of your means,
wherever you are in life, any support you provide is appreciated. To be part of
our aidah campaign please make a donation below. Alternatively, feel free
to reach out to Sam Caplan, Ramah’s Chief Development Officer at (312) 690-8332
Let's come together now and
again leave an indelible mark on Ramah.
P.S. Check out the video of our
Havdalah service from the reunion – some things don’t change!