There’s no place like camp in the summer

Snait Ben-Herut9.14.21
Originally written for the September issue of The Jewish News of Sarasota-Manatee

Snait zBen-Herut and campers playing a game with Hebrew cards

Thanks to the generous support of The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee, I was fortunate to spend this summer with my husband and two daughters at Camp Ramah Darom, working as Rosh Ivrit, the Head of the Hebrew Program.

Camp Ramah Darom is a Jewish Conservative overnight camp located in Clayton, Georgia, and caters to Southeast American Jewry. Ramah camps are famed for their offerings of adventurous summer camps for Jewish children and teenagers. This year, the Camp celebrated its 25th RAMAHrkable summer with hundreds of happy children and staff, a wonderful feat considering the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Ramah Darom offers a meaningful, fun and inclusive Jewish experience for campers and counselors, as well as the adults who work for the camp during the summer season. The camp has an impressive set of amenities, including many sports facilities, performance stages, an open pool, a large lake (with kayaks, canoes and more),  a spacious dining area, modern bunks and cottages.

What makes Camp Ramah Darom so special for me and others is the emphasis on Jewish communal life and values. The sight of hundreds of kids experiencing Shabbat, celebrating modern Israeli culture through dance and song, and using Hebrew words and expressions to communicate (among themselves and with Israeli Shlichim, emissaries of the Jewish Agency), fills my heart with pride and joy, time and time again.

In many ways, life at Camp Ramah is the manifestation of a fully engaged and vibrant Jewish community. Children who participate in a summer camp carry with them indelible memories for the rest of their lives. More than that, they share an experience of love for Judaism, learn what it means to be a Jewish leader in your own community and among family and friends, and what it means to carry our traditions onto future generations. All this goodness could not have happened without the support of the Jewish overnight camp grants provided by The Jewish Federation of Sarasota- Manatee.

It gives me a huge sense of confidence and optimism to know that any person who is interested in extending their Jewish life to the next generation or to other friends and family members has a place to go for support.

What a boon it is to have the Federation’s support for experiences such as those at Camp Ramah Darom!

L’Shana Haba’a!

About the Author

Snait Ben-Herut

Snait joined Camp Ramah Darom in 2012 working with campers and staff, as a Yoga instructor and a Hebrew facilitator. She has been Rosh Ivrit (Head of Hebrew) for the past few summers and Snait is looking forward to Kayitz (Summer) 2022!

She was born and raised in Israel, moved to the U.S. in 2007, and currently lives in Sarasota FL, where she works as a Jewish Educator in Community Day School of Sarasota. Snait graduated from Tel Aviv University with a B.A. in Educational Counseling. She has an M.A. degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew College, Newton, MA and a certificate in Special Education Teacher from the Seminar Hakibutzim (Tel Aviv).