Former Camper, Now a Counselor, to Play Football at Brown

Jaron Holzer5.28.23
Levi in football uniform holding ballLevi Linowes, a Ramah Darom camper for the past seven years, will attend Brown University to play football this fall – but not before returning to Camp as a counselor this summer.

His decision to spend his summer at Camp is driven by his desire to “inspire younger kids and provide them with a role model.”

Linowes began playing football around fourth grade when he “just kind of fell in love with the game.” He acknowledges that his journey as a Jewish football player has been a unique one. “It’s hard…trying to balance football and Judaism and Jewish holidays.” He cites instances when games fell on Shabbat and Rosh Hashanah as sources of some of the most difficult decisions he’s had to make.

Levi (left) with friends at Camp in 2021 during Kabbalat Shabbat, the service that welcomes in Shabbat.

At Camp, however, “there are no distractions” that prevent him from engaging with Jewish tradition, notes Linowes. “Every Friday night, you have Shabbat; every Saturday night, you have Havdallah…things you want to do and that you’re present to do.”

Not only does Camp aid Levi in connecting with Judaism, but also, it gives him time to “decompress” and “focus on himself.” He says that Camp is a “good place to relax, rewind, and get back to the values that drive [him] as a person.”

Linowes is eager to bring his connection to Judaism and Jewish values to Brown. His transition will be made easier by the fact that the football stadium stands roughly 500 feet away from the Hillel on campus. He is grateful for the large Jewish community at Brown and believes its presence will be “super important” to him,” especially since he won’t have many Jewish teammates on the ball field.

Levi will study Sports Medicine and Kinesiology at Brown, and he aspires to remain involved in sports when his playing days finish.

Levi and friends during Yom Sport (Color War Day) at Camp in 2021.

Despite the excitement surrounding his future, Linowes continues to focus on staying grounded and living in the present. Therefore, his current focus is on fostering a Camp environment that is both enjoyable and beneficial for campers. “If I can inspire one or two kids to work harder to achieve their goals, that’s what I want to try and do,” remarks Linowes.

Levi describes Ramah Darom as a “community…that just wants to see people succeed.” At Camp this summer, he hopes to help young Jewish children realize “what they are capable of accomplishing” in sports and in the game of life.