Virtually the Best Week Ever

Geoff Menkowitz6.21.20

Drishat Shalom Summer Edition

In so many ways, this summer is הָפוּך – upside down. During all other summers, we appreciate disconnecting from technology to form relationships and build community. This year we are leaning into every online tool (Zoom, Band, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and more) to be together during Kayitz BaBayit (Summer at Home).

During all other summers, kids develop independence and experience social-emotional growth from being away from home (not to mention the respite afforded to parents and caregivers). This year, home is all we have, so campers are experiencing Ramah alongside, and sometimes with their parents.

During all other summers, Camp is filled with “ Shehechiyanu Moments”: we celebrate the courage and persistence of a camper the first time she climbs to the top of the climbing tower; we appreciate the encounter with the wonders of creation the first time a child catches a firefly in their hands; we rejoice as children read from the Torah for the first time and take personal ownership over the story of our People. And, in this regard, Summer 2020 is no different!

It has been thrilling to see that, although Ramah Darom is playing out very differently this summer, in so many ways Kayitz BaBayit is proving to be filled with many first-time experiences to honor, celebrate and sanctify. We’ve had our first Zoom-based talent shows (Nitzanim), Ninja Warrior obstacle course races (Nivonim), Dance Challenges (Garinim) and Gesher CIT training. We’ve learned new Hebrew words, welcomed new friends to our Aidot (age-groups), and even had a B.Y.O Glida – Ice Cream Party.

And as every year, Gesher XX prepared an entrance to introduce themselves as leaders of our community, via Instagram stories (@ramahdarom_official). From sharing Camp favorites and our most cherished photos and memories to leading a first-ever, super-fun, all Camp Kahoot Trivia Game, they did a fantastic job.

In so many ways, Kayitz BaBayit is not new – it is campers hanging out with their counselors and friends, sharing, learning, connecting and feeling a sense of belonging.

Join our Kayitz 2020 BaBayit kehilla (community) on Friday at 6:00pm EDT for Kabbalat Shabbat and Saturday at 9:45pm EDT for Havdallah and rikkud (dancing), on our Facebook page. We encourage campers to participate along with parents and siblings (remember to bring your own Siddur).

And finally, I’ll close with a little video fun. Here is a special Shabbat Shalom message from Gesher XX. Enjoy!