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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

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This Week in America: Reflections and Resources

By Eliana Leader and Geoff Menkowitz This week – a week filled with deep grief and anger over the state of racial injustice in the United States – we have also felt the absence of a vital aspect of the Ramah Darom experience. This week we are supposed to be together at Ramah Darom already, working with […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz

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COVID-19 Summer Update

To our Ramah Darom Community: As you know, we have been closely monitoring developments related to COVID-19 since the onset of this global pandemic. We have examined countless possible scenarios and contingency plans. We have engaged multiple task forces and committees and have considered an array of perspectives and guidelines from the medical community, camping community and […]

Avatar Geoff Menkowitz

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Ramah Darom at Home Through My Eyes 

In the past few weeks, I’ve learned how to make Shakshuka and braid challah. I’ve been part of Ramah movement-wide concerts and taken dance breaks with Rachel. I’ve studied with rabbis, joined in on a panel discussion and taken art classes with both Camp and Retreat specialists. I’ve listened to stories from Chelm and learned about a dozen […]

Avatar Robyn Diamond