Last month, a group of Ramah Darom supporters – including several of our original founders, many former and current staff, plus some newer supporters – spent a weekend together on our Clayton campus. Dubbed “A RAMAHrkable Shabbat”, it was a gathering originally planned during our 25th year celebrations that – like so many other events – was postponed due to the pandemic. In this case, it was definitely worth the wait.
Every retreat at Ramah Darom is amazing, but this weekend was truly special. For starters, our campus was even more beautiful than usual with colorful fall leaves everywhere and three days of gorgeous sunshine. The weekend program was filled with great learning and discussions led by Rabbi David Wolpe. There were many Ramah Darom stories and memories shared, friendships renewed and several new friendships created, plenty of joyful singing and dancing, and of course absolutely amazing food. The weekend culminated with a true celebration: the groundbreaking for our new Program Center replacing the Beit Am Katan.
On Shabbat afternoon, Eric Singer – our first Board President – led a discussion about the founding of Ramah Darom. It was wonderful listening to Eric’s stories that were punctuated (and sometimes corrected!) with impromptu comments from Julian Brook and Effie Spielman – both of whom have been part of our community since before we even had a campus.
Ramah Darom’s success these last 26+ years is due in large part to the vision, tenacity and tireless fundraising of our founders like Eric, Julian, Effie and many others. We are indebted to these visionaries, and are also so thankful for all those who have supported Ramah Darom in the ensuing years. Your continued generosity has enabled tens of thousands to benefit from a Ramah Darom experience, and you have truly helped inspire their lifelong love of Jewish values, tradition and community.
As we celebrate “American Thanksgiving” (yes, that’s how we Canadians refer to it!) please join me in expressing our deep gratitude to our founders and everyone who has contributed to building our special, close-knit community since 1997. We are so proud of Ramah Darom’s achievements in our first quarter century and can’t wait to see what the future brings. And thanks to each and every one of YOU for being part of our Ramah Darom kehillah (community).
Happy (American) Thanksgiving.