Delight, Wonder & Light

Anna Serviansky6.9.23

Drishat Shalom from Camp Ramah Darom

We are off to a roaring, ruach-filled Kayitz (Summer) 2023! The weather has been absolutely delightful, with lots of sunshine and a nice cool breeze. The food has been delicious, from our traditional first night fried chicken dinner and a special welcome to Camp cookie delivery to the tzrifim (bunks) to biscuit and egg breakfast yesterday to pizza lunch today. Campers have participated in many activities, including lots of sports. I saw volleyball, soccer, ultimate frisbee and flag football today!

Yesterday, I spent time with our Gesher (oldest aidah) campers. I asked them to tell me what they love about Camp, and their answers literally brought tears to my eyes. Many said that Ramah Darom is like a second home, a place where they have grown up and where their friends are like family. It warms my heart to know that we’ve created this special place, and 70 Darom Lane is where they want to be. I’m really excited to watch Gesher lead our first Shabbat of Kayitz 2023!

At Ramah Darom, each aidah (age division) has an educational middah (value) to guide their summer. For our youngest Ta’am campers, the middah is malchut (wonder). These rising 2nd graders start their Camp journey with a 5-day “taste” of Ramah. As first-timers, everything is new and there is a sense of awe in this place and our traditions. It is incredible to watch these young chanichim become part of our kehillah and see them fall in love with everything our older campers have loved about Ramah Darom for years.

Wonder is also a theme in this week’s parsha. Behaalotecha opens with a description of the seven-branched menorah in the Temple, made of gold, and how it should be “raised up”. This menorah became a symbol of the Jewish people and a sign of light, and light often creates a sense of malchut, wonder.

May we all raise up light in one another this Shabbat and experience malchut as if every experience was our first.

Scroll down to read our Machzor Aleph week 1 Aidah Highlights and click on the arrow below to watch the video.


Ta’am (2nd grade)

  • Set up their bunks and met their counselors and bunk friends
  • Learned some Camp dances
  • Had a very fun medurah (campfire)

Nitzanim (4th grade)

  • Set tefillah goals and learned about Ma Tovu
  • Participated in their first chuggim (electives) and sports
  • Played Ramah-poly to learn the names of places around Camp

Sollelim (5th grade)

  • Played icebreakers to get to know all the members of Sollelim
  • Wrote Shabbat-o-grams
  • Started their awesome activities and sports

Halutzim (6th grade)

  • Learned how we are all connected through icebreakers like Link
  • Started our chuggim (electives) and sports
  • Played “Jeopardy” to get to know our Halutzim tzevet (staff)

Kochavim (7th grade)

  • Participated in a scavenger hunt to find out their play—High School Musical
  • Started chuggim (electives) and auditioned for the play
  • Learned about this week’s parsha with a sweet treat

Shoafim (8th grade)

  • Introduced our tzevet (staff) to the chanichim (campers) through a Taylor Swift parody
  • Had an amazing time “breaking the ice” with literal ice
  • Looking forward to Shabbat, when they will sing the prayers they learned in their Kabbalat Shabbat boot camp

Nachshonim (9th grade)

  • Created goals for tefillah and Jewish goals as an aidah (age division) to grow and learn together
  • Participated in an Israel scavenger hunt where they competed in challenges across Camp
  • Learned about Nachsho Live and began thinking about their theme

Nivonim (10th grade)

  • Played a reflection activity about their first year in high school
  • Started “NivoUniversity,” and began their “majors” which they will focus on for three hours each day and have a “graduation” ceremony at the end of the session. Majors include tipus (climbing), machnaut (camping), omanut (art), rikud (music), fitness and waterskiing
  • Created a tzrif brit (bunk contract) for each bunk that they agreed to uphold among their peers

Gesher (11th grade)

  • Showed their pride by wearing their Gesher first-day tank tops
  • Made a grand entrance into Opening Ceremonies while cheering in Hebrew
  • “Bought into Gesher” during their first night Peulat Erev (Evening Activity) by using get-to-know-you games to earn a ticket into Makom Gesher, where we ended in a dance party

Koach (VocEd)

  • Completed inventory for Cafe Darom’s supplies
  • Met Emily from the kitchen to learn skills for helping in the dining hall
  • Started omanut (art) projects and did a yoga/meditation session