New Year, Big Plans

Wally Levitt9.22.22
Colorful Shofar art created by summer campers

If you’re like me, this Rosh Hashanah feels very different – and in the best way possible.

After almost three years of Covid-induced uncertainty and anxiety, this is the first Rosh Hashanah where I feel much more confident and optimistic about making plans for the new year. Gone is the persistent feeling that we should “wait and see what the next couple of months bring”; I am looking forward to the new year with determination and excitement – and without all the hedging! Beth and I are once again syncing our (admittedly complex) calendars and scheduling our back-and-forth trips between Toronto and Atlanta for the next many months. We’re planning Shabbat dinners with friends well into the fall. And we’ve already booked flights to visit our son and his girlfriend in Jerusalem in February. For the first time in a long time, it feels both sensible and appropriate to plan ahead.

At Ramah Darom – after an incredibly successful year where we welcomed over 750 kids to summer camp, saw the return of a sold-out Passover retreat and hosted more than two dozen groups and retreats – we are also enthusiastically planning ahead. As we look to 5783, we have some very exciting things happening on our Clayton campus:

Program Center "It's Happening"I’m thrilled to share that we have reached our fundraising goal for Phase 1 of our Kadima! Campaign and will begin construction on our new Program Center later this fall!

If all goes as planned, this new building – replacing the Beit Am Katan (the original Dining Hall) and the first major addition to our campus in almost a decade – will be ready for summer 2023. We’re incredibly grateful for the generous donors who have helped us arrive at this moment, and are thankful to our amazing Facilities Committee for their expertise and guidance. You can see renderings of the new Program Center, as well as plans for Phase 2 of our Kadima Campaign here.

B'teavon adWe are delighted to announce our newest Ramah Darom retreat, B’teavon! It’s a 4-day culinary exploration through the tastes, history, diversity and connections of all things Jewish food in partnership with The Gefilteria (co)LABS. We’ll have amazing guest chefs including Adeena Sussman (author of Sababa) and Todd Ginsberg (from The General Muir) plus a variety of workshops, demonstrations, food and wine tastings, and evening entertainment – all surrounded by all the beauty of our breathtaking campus in the North Georgia Mountains! Registration for B’teavon just opened this week and we’re hoping to start a new Ramah Darom tradition over Presidents’ Day Weekend.

We’re also looking ahead with excitement to Kayitz 2023 at Camp Ramah Darom. As of this writing, we already have over 520 campers signed up – record enrollment this early in the year. The good/bad news is that some bunks are already at waitlist! We’re thankful to all the Camp families who place their trust in our team. This summer, we are also introducing a new musical theater specialty program, Ramah Bamah (stayed tuned for more information). The Camp team is already hard at work planning for a kayitz filled with tons of fun, amazing memories and an endless supply of joyful Judaism.

As you can see, there’s lots happening in the year ahead at Ramah Darom and we look forward to spending time together with our extended community inside the gates of 70 Darom Lane.

אַשְׁרֵי הָעָם יֹדְעֵי תְרוּעָה

Happy is the people who know the joyful shout

Psalms 89:16 | תהילים פ״ט:טז

This Rosh Hashanah, may the sound of the shofar awaken our spirits and signal a year ahead filled with nothing but happiness and health.

Shana Tova U’Metuka to you and your family from all of us at Ramah Darom.


Shana Tova art created by a Ramah Darom summer camper

Shana Tova and shofar artwork were created by Camp Ramah Darom Kayitz 2022 campers.