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A Message from Our New CEO

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Walter (Wally) Levitt27.08.18

I’m writing from Toronto (where, believe it or not, it’s 91 degrees today) to share my excitement for the journey ahead at Ramah Darom.

Like many of you, I have a deep affection for Ramah and the transformative Jewish experiences it provides for children, teenagers, families, and adults. I’ve seen the impact first hand: for the last fifteen years, Ramah has been the central Jewish organization for my family. Our three kids (Jonah, 20; Ben, 18; and Talia, 16) have spent their summers at various Ramah camps (Canada, Rockies and Northern California) and have each spent a high school semester in Israel with Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim. My wife Beth has been camp doctor at Ramah Canada (I’ve spent many weeks at camp in the important role of “doctor‘s husband”!) and she has participated in the Ramah bike ride three times. I was part of the incredible Ramah Poland trip last summer, and we’ve spent Passovers as a family at Ramah California – although our original intent was to come to Ramah Darom, but it was sold out.

Wally and his family in Toronto, with their dog Latte (who doesn’t like to sit still!)

Needless to say, when the opportunity arose to join Ramah Darom I jumped at it. After a long career in the private sector (yes, I’ve had the chance to work with Jon Stewart, Trevor Noah, Amy Schumer and others – happy to share those stories in person), I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling than focusing my energy around growing an organization that’s so close to my heart. Ramah Darom is unique in the Ramah family – I saw it with my own eyes attending Camp Yofi just a couple of weeks ago – and I recognize that there’s so much to learn. In my first few months, I look forward to visiting our many communities and meeting campers, staff, parents, donors, and supporters to better understand all the ways Ramah Darom has been part of your lives, and to hear your perspectives about where we should be focusing in the years ahead.

Ramah Darom is indebted to the legendary Fred Levick. He has left an indelible mark on the organization and it’s genuinely impossible to fill his shoes. I’ve already warned Fred that he will need to stay by his phone at all times as I may have a question or two (or a hundred). I’ve also had the chance to get to know Geoff, Eliana, Sharon, Anthony, Todd, and others on the Ramah Darom team and have been so impressed by their passion, talent and commitment.

I’m grateful to Howard and the Board for giving me this amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to make the move to Atlanta later this year; thanks in advance for welcoming this Canadian to the south. And I promise to do my best to leave all my “ehs” and “aboots” north of the border.

In the meantime, feel free to be in touch at wlevitt@ramahdarom.org.

Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy new year. L’Shana Tova, and I look forward to meeting you all very soon.

Wally

For a copy of the official Press Release please click here.