Tikvah Support Program



Inclusion is more than a program at Ramah Darom, it a way of living!

Ramah Darom’s Henry and Annette Gibson Tikvah Support Program is designed for campers with neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Intellectual Disability and Communication Disorder. As part of Camp Ramah Darom, an award-winning ACA-accredited residential camping program, we are focused on providing a traditional, immersive, Jewish summer camping experience to Jewish children with disabilities. Through individualized approach and support by highly skilled staff, campers build friendships, gain a sense of autonomy, develop independent living skills, learn problem-solving skills, grow as members of the Ramah Darom community and most importantly, have fun! The Tikvah program enhances the entire camp, enabling us to teach our campers by experience what it means to live in a truly inclusive Jewish community.

Tikvah Support Dates

Session Entering Grades Dates
Aleph 6-12 Jun. 12-Jul. 9
Bet 6-12 Jul. 11-Aug 6.
2 Week A 6-12 Jun. 12-Jun. 24
2 Week B 6-12 Ju.l 11-Jul. 22
Full Summer 6-12 Jun. 12-Aug. 6

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“The biggest fear a family member has for a child with special needs is his or her future. For children with special needs, the future is never certain nor concrete. Academic programs, extracurricular activities and anything that supports our friends with special needs, are constantly being reshaped. Eligibility is redefined, funding is dropped and the future is unpredictable. But, here at camp, a place I never would have thought to be the constant for individuals like my campers, there is Tikvah, and there is hope.” -Allision Davis

Thanks to the Tikvah Support Progam, Ramah Darom is able to provide a continuum of care for campers with a ride range of needs. Depending on needs and preferences, campers supported by Tikvah may either reside in a mainstream cabin with appropriate support modifications or in our uniquely designed cabin space, which affords smaller cabin groupings and a more homey environment. Whichever cabin a camper resides, they will be a part of an integrated edah with same age peers. In addition, campers throughout camp are supported through Tikvah support to maximize their success at camp.

We also offer a two-week Tikvah program, designed for campers needing a shorter stay in camp to maximize their success.

  • Highly skilled college and graduate-level staff trained to work with campers with disabilities, supervised by professionals in the field
  • Individualized programming
  • Modified schedule with minimized transitions and rest/recovery time
  • Use of visual cues, schedules, and cabin rules
  • Low camper to counselor ratio
  • Smaller cabin groupings available
  • Designated spaces for sensory breaks
  • Nurturing non-competitive environment
  • Thorough preparation, including Social Stories, provided prior to camp

Some words from our director: Ramah Darom’s Tikvah Program a Summer of Inclusion

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For more information please contact Dr. Audra Kaplan, Director of Tikvah Support and Camper Care at akaplan@ramahdarom.org

The Henry and Annette Gibson Tikvah Program at Ramah Darom is supported by generous grants from The Ruderman Family Foundation, as well as many other sponsoring foundations and individual donors.

Interested in working as a counselor at Tikvah? Visit our Employment Opportunities page for more information.

The National Ramah Tikvah Network and Amazing Israel are pleased to announce our first-ever Birthright Israel trip. This free 10-day Israel trip is open to current members of any of our Ramah Tikvah programs as well as to alumni. Applicants must be ages 18-29 and have never participated in a Birthright Israel trip. Tentative dates are December 18-29, 2017. More information.