Ramah Tikvah Programs: A Standard for Jewish Inclusive Camping
Ramah Launches Its First-Ever Summer Sports Camp
In the late 1960’s, Herb and Barbara Greenberg, two teachers working in the field of special education, approached several Jewish summer camps with a novel idea: why not include children with disabilities at camp?
At the time, this was an unheard-of idea, and the Greenbergs encountered a lot of pushback and opposition.
Inclusion from Camp Ramah to Israel
“We started RSA because we felt that there was a great demand for a summer camp that could provide elite sports instruction in an inspiring Jewish summer community, and in the process enable us to expand the Ramah umbrella,” - Gabe Nechamkin, Ramah Sports Academy board chair.
At Camp Ramah, Inclusion Is a Mission
"Tikvah at Ramah is as natural and integral to Jewish summer camping as Shabbat, campfires and color war. For that reason, after nearly 25 years of working with Tikvah at Ramah, I sometimes forget how extraordinary it is that campers with disabilities are seamlessly included in Jewish camping." - Howard Blas, National Ramah Tikvah Director
For Ramah Campers, It’s Time to Play ‘Wheel! Of! Torah!’
"At Camp Ramah, we try to individualize programs that benefit each type of camper who comes through our door. I meet individually with families. I talk to parents. I meet with teachers and educators to figure how we could we make camp successful for all different types of kids. I work with typical campers, too, to see how we can make camp successful for them." - Elana Naftalin-Kelman, Tikvah Director
BaMidbar Launches Jewish Wilderness Therapy Program
Wheel! Of! Torah!” That’s what campers were shouting at Camp Ramah in Northern California, their eyes fixed on the one lucky kid who got to spin the brightly colored rainbow wheel in front of the crowd. Well, it was actually “Galgal! Shel! Torah!” but the energy was the same, as kids last summer got ready for a camp activity that turns analyzing Torah portions into something very much like a game show.
S’more and S’more Jewish Summer Camps around the Bay
“There’s a lot of stigma about mental health issues and addiction across the board, but especially in the Jewish community.” — Jory Hanselman, Director of BaMidbar Wilderness Therapy at Ramah in the Rockies. “Using a wilderness-based environment is critical to building self and understanding personal responsibility as well as resiliency, so winter provides a powerful tool to really bring a lot of presence in the program.”
Ramah Does WHAT??
Camp Ramah in Watsonville is offering campers an array of four-week “intensives” this summer: scuba diving, surfing, horseback riding and musical composition. Enrollment was up in 2017, the camp’s second year, and Rabbi Sarah Shulman, the director since Day 1, said she expects it will grow again this summer, drawing third- to 12th-graders mostly from the Bay Area....“It has been a pleasure to be a part of the collaborative and collegial overnight Jewish camp community in Northern California with such supportive partners,” Shulman said.
The 2018 National Ramah Winter Leadership Training Conference
Ramah does WHAT?? Rabbi Mitch Cohen, National Ramah director, says that he often hears, "Wow, I had no idea that Ramah was doing that!" Everyone knows that Ramah runs outstanding day and overnight camps, some of the best and most inspiring Jewish educational organizations in the world. But did you know...
The 2018 National Ramah Winter Leadership Training Conference, held January 4-7, was a tremendous success. This year’s gathering took place at Camp Ramah in Ojai, California. The four-day conference featured several tracks, including an expanded Bert B. Weinstein Institute for Counselor Training for college freshmen, as well as training for counselors of campers with disabilities (Tikvah), veteran staff (“vatikim”), division heads (rashei edah), and year-round Ramah Service Corps Fellows and Ramah College Network Fellows.