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Silver Linings & Support

This summer has been filled with ups, downs, and silver linings. Chanichim (campers) have shown resilience, bravery and kindness in the face of uncertainty. They were given what seemed like an impossible circumstance and approached it with grace and determination to make this summer count. While we don’t need to tell you that circumstances were less […]

Avatar Robbie Medwed

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Gaining Work Skills Virtually

The news of Camp Ramah Darom’s closure this summer was difficult to process for campers and staff alike. At Camp, our Tikvah Vocational Program (TVP) participants would have worked as tzevet (staff) in the gan (daycare for staff children), omanut (art), rikud (dancing), in the Camp office or at Café Darom. The opportunity to build […]

Avatar Becky Birch

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Our Last Shabbat of the Summer

Each summer, we look towards our final Shabbat with trepidation because it signals the beginning of the end of our time at Camp. Shabbat leads into Nachsho Live, which leads into packing, which leads into turkey dinner, closing ceremonies and then departure. We are also always eager and excited about the last Shabbat because we […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz

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Unexpected Emotions; Profound Outcomes

The creative counselors who have been conducting Zoom zaniness are not running our extraordinary virtual program, Kayitz BaBayit, all on their own. They are supported by a cadre of senior members of our Camp staff who are also volunteering their time this summer. The professional development and mentorship which they provided for our staff enabled […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz

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This is Not a Trick–It’s Magic

I often speak and write about “the magic of Ramah Darom.” It sounds like a marketing tagline and, admittedly, one that is not particularly creative. But many of us connected to Ramah Darom cling to this phrase because of how difficult it is to accurately articulate the wondrous personal growth that takes place at Camp, […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz

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Imagining a Getaway

I’m feeling tired. Like, really tired. It’s officially been four months since my family and I began living life exclusively at home—four months of working in my windowless basement, cooking every meal and cleaning up every mess. I am with my children, whom I love and adore, ALL. DAY. EVERY. DAY. I started out as […]

Avatar Eliana Leader

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Connections, Reflections & Inspirations

Drishat Shalom Summer Edition   On one of our Kayitz BaBayit sessions with Kochavim (7th grade) this past week, I overheard someone say, “I have a bad connection!” It is a common phrase that was familiar to us even before we all adopted Zoom-lifestyles. But I couldn’t help noting how this ordinary utterance, acknowledging poor […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz

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Virtually the Best Week Ever

Drishat Shalom Summer Edition In so many ways, this summer is הָפוּך – upside down. During all other summers, we appreciate disconnecting from technology to form relationships and build community. This year we are leaning into every online tool (Zoom, Band, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and more) to be together during Kayitz BaBayit (Summer at Home). […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz

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I am Inspired

On a Friday in early August 2018, I took my first trip up I-985 to spend Shabbat at Ramah Darom during Camp Yofi – our program for families with children with autism spectrum disorder. If I’m being completely honest, I worried it might be an incredibly awkward weekend since it was effectively a two-way interview: an opportunity for some Ramah Darom Board and staff members to get to know me as the potential future CEO, and the chance for me to decide whether I was really ready to make a substantial career change to come work for Ramah Darom. Fortunately, the weekend turned […]

Avatar Wally Levitt

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This Summer Counts

My simple message for this week is that this summer counts. In the Zoom meetings we held with each Aidah (age-division) immediately after our cancellation announcement, the question of t-shirts came up in almost every single one – even the meeting with Tzevet (staff). Will there be a t-shirt this summer? Will I still earn my 5-year shirt? Will […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz