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A Virtual Summer of Inclusion

“Inclusion is not a program, Inclusion is a mindset. It is the way we treat others and the way they treat us. Inclusion is the opportunity to learn together and from one another.” The quote above is from Lisa Friedman, an expert in Jewish Disability Inclusion, and her words speak directly to Ramah Darom’s mission. […]

Avatar Becky Birch

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CIT Experience BaBayit

Becoming a Gesher CIT (counselor-in-training) is often a highlight of the summer for our oldest campers. For many of our current staff, their experiences as CITs helped them shape their own skills and goals as they prepared to become staff members. In a typical summer, Gesher campers spend every Monday and Thursday with their CIT […]

Avatar Robbie Medwed

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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