Pesach: The Highlight of the Calendar

Penina Grossberg4.16.18
Grossberg cousins jumping lakeside at Passover 2014

Many of my friends anticipate Pesach with dread because of the intense preparation required. Not me. For our family, Pesach is a highlight of the calendar since it is the one time each year when all three generations of our family—from Jerusalem, New York, and New Jersey —gather together. We spend quality time in a beautiful setting engaged in meaningful activities with one another and with wonderful new friends. Guests from all over North America and Israel gather as a community at Ramah Darom to celebrate Pesach. With the gracious and hospitable staff doing all the preparation, we enjoy the festival without cooking.

Penina’s Mother and Father, Millie and Daniel Grossberg, heading to Passover Seder

Here are some highlights of our family’s experience over Pesach at Ramah Darom:

  • Lively family sedarim with thoughtful discussions and spirited singing
  • Yoga (morning and evening) with expert instructors
  • Wine tasting with a chef
  • Singing Israeli folk songs
  • Traditional egalitarian davening
  • Performances by an Acapella group
  • Soothing massage
  • Studying psalms with Rabbi Shai Held of Mechon Hadar
  • Jewelry making with my sisters
  • Canoeing with cousins
  • Spotting wildflowers on daily walks to a breathtaking waterfall
  • Friendly competition in mahjong, scrabble, chess, Bananagrams, and Boggle
  • A daily dose of Talmud with Rabbi Aaron Alexander
  • Studying Israeli literature with our father who is a retired professor and regular teacher at Ramah Darom during Pesach
  • Israeli folk dancing
  • Powerful films
  • Tennis with our sons
  • Hearing birds on the way to breakfast
  • Listening to the sound of running water from the creek running through camp
  • Watching the mist of fog across the lake
  • Sitting in a rocking chair on the porch
  • A nightlife for teens includes climbing the Odyssey, pool parties, Israeli line dancing, cooking contests, tie-dye, talent show and more.
  • My sisters and I lead “Tot-Tefillah” with bubbles, frogs and Pharaoh costumes.
  • Delicious food that is healthy, plentiful and varied (veal, smoked salmon, smoked trout, chicken soup, halibut, duck, lamb, ribs, golden beets, fresh avocado, spaghetti squash, quinoa, brussels sprouts, roasted potatoes, dark chocolate with almonds, brownies & ice cream…yum!)
Penina and her sisters. Left to right: Yaffa Shira from Israel, Penina, and Sharona from New Jersey

It’s no wonder we look forward all year to Pesach at Ramah Darom. Simcha Rabba!

Our family happens to have a long-standing and intimate connection with Ramah camps. My parents met when they were teens at Camp Ramah in the 1950’s and worked on staff in the 1960’s. My father was director of a Ramah camp. All of their children and many of their grandchildren attended a Ramah summer camp (Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, Camp Ramah in New England, Ramah in the Rockies, Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.)

Whether or not you have had any prior camp experience, everyone at Ramah Darom is a “Ramahnik” and experiences the magic.

Join us next Pesach? 

Registration for Passover Retreat 2019 is OPEN and spaces fill up fast.

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To view the full 2018 Passover Retreat photo gallery click below

Photo Gallery