A Passover Message on Ramah and Israel
As Jews throughout the world prepare to sit down at the Seder table to re-enact our historic journey from slavery to freedom, we take great pride in Ramah's commitment to helping secure a strong Jewish future in all of our communities, deeply connected to our homeland in the State of Israel.
Israel Education at Ramah
We, the leadership of Ramah, are proud that Zionism is a central part of our core mission, as we nurture within our campers and staff members a deep and enduring love for the State of Israel.
At Camp Ramah, campers and staff develop a positive, personal, and meaningful connection to Israel. Many Ramah alumni have chosen to either live in Israel or spend significant periods of time in Israel, and are actively engaged in strengthening Diaspora-Israel relations.
Every summer, Ramah camps hire hundreds of Israeli shlichim as counselors, teachers, and program specialists. These Israeli young adults represent diverse opinions on the many political, religious, and social issues in modern Israeli society. Our North American campers and staff members develop friendships with these Israelis, with relationships often lasting for many years.
We believe in preparing our young adults to engage in dialogue about the many complexities facing Israeli society today. Ramah camps develop and implement thoughtful, sophisticated, and age-appropriate Israel programming covering a wide range of topics and themes. We program and educate about Israeli history, culture, politics, and daily life, including complicated issues that demand educational nuance. And every summer, hundreds of teens participate in the Ramah Israel Seminar, which provides on-the-ground, first-hand educational encounters with contemporary Israel.
Our campers and staff members hold a range of opinions on many contemporary issues, including Israel. In fact, many of our teen campers and staff members describe Ramah as one of the only places that provides a civil and supportive atmosphere in which they can debate and explore their views with others from North America and Israel who may disagree.
We do not, however, permit the sharing of educational messages at camp that do not support the existence of a strong, secure, and democratic Jewish state in Israel. Accordingly, we do not allow educational messaging that supports BDS. We also do not permit the expression of hate or racist ideas against any group, including the Palestinian people.
We look forward to welcoming over 11,800 young people to our camps and Israel programs this summer. As we have done for more than seven decades, Ramah will continue to create educational communities based on meaningful and lasting connections to Judaism and Israel.
L'Shanah Ha’Ba'ah B'Yerushalayim and Chag Sameach,
Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, Director
Amy Skopp Cooper, Associate Director
Dr. Jeffrey Kopin, President
National Ramah Commission, Inc. of The Jewish Theological Seminary