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A Black Box

A Black Box. No windows. No light. Inside, it is hollow…or is it? It sounds cold, closed, uninviting…like a jail cell, or worse. It could be scary, lonely, and grim. Who would think to find freedom in such an environment? But….it feels different. It is insulating, secure, and only limiting to those who are bound […]

Avatar Rachel Dobbs Schwartz


Striving for Disability Inclusion Everywhere

My camp lens is always on! In every experience I have, class I take, activity I partake in (Jewish or not), I think about camp. But more specifically, I think about my job as the Inclusion Specialist in Ramah Darom’s Tikvah Support Program. I’m always thinking, how can we bring this model into camp? Or, […]

Avatar Allison Davis


Coming Together

On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, close to 300 Ramah Darom campers, parents, and current and former staff members gathered together at Congregation B’nai Israel in St. Petersburg, Florida to grieve alongside hundreds of other family and friends, to honor the memory of Leslie, Mitchell, Hannah and Ari Weiss, and to provide support to their families. […]

Avatar Fred Levick


Remembering The Weiss Family

I am here today representing friends, parents, alumni, staff, and lay leaders from Camp Ramah Darom who have traveled from across the region to be able to show love and support to the family members of Mitchell, Leslie, Hannah, and Ari. And to convey heartfelt condolences on behalf of thousands in our Camp community, across […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz


My Best Friend Ari

My Name is Ethan Fine, from Dallas Texas.  I was fortunate to know the whole Weiss family.  From my visits to Tampa and many FaceTime calls, Mitch and Leslie became almost like second parents to me and through my best friend Ari, I got to know Hannah too. I first met Ari when we were […]

Avatar Ethan Fine


Where Was G-d?

“G-d was the outpouring of love and consolation that occurred in the Synagogue and the Church social hall after the service. G-d was all the Campers, parents and current and former staff that came together to show their devotion. G-d was the commitments to continue the work that Hannah and Ari had only just started”. […]

Avatar Howard Zandman


Winter Break Family Camp

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending Winter Break Family Camp (WBFC) at Ramah Darom in Clayton, GA (about 2.5 hours North of Atlanta) for the second year in a row. When I have vacation time, I like to travel, and travel days are filled with a morning activity, an afternoon activity, […]

Avatar Erica Sue


The First Time

I remember driving to Camp for the first time. Persimmon Road was only paved a small amount of the way, so the ride to Camp was quite a bit different than it is today. The softball field was then a soccer field, and there was no climbing tower, swing, or Odyssey high ropes course. The present-day dining […]

Avatar Rachel Dobbs Schwartz


Tu B’Shevat Together

When people ask me what allows for Jewish culture to thrive, generation after generation, despite any of our past or present challenges, there is one clear asset which manifests consistently: adaptability. Our ability to adapt our ancient wisdom to new scenarios, to adapt our lifestyles to new environments, to adapt our historic customs to contemporary […]

Avatar Rabbi Goldstein


Why Inclusion Matters

A Reflection on the Ruderman Inclusion Summit by Aimee Halstuk, Ramah Darom Inclusion Support Counselor Tenacious, strong-willed, empathetic and free-spirited are four words I use when describing myself. From skiing down a mountain, graduating from university and traveling abroad I have never let having a physical disability hinder me from enjoying life, or so it […]

Avatar Aimee Halstuk