Camp Ramah Northern California |

Camp Ramah – Northern California Summer Camp

We are a specialty camp that combines the excitement of developing one’s skills and passions in a specialty area with the full experience and magic of a traditional Ramah summer camp. Come help us make waves in Northern California as we create an unforgettable camp experience and community together!

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What's New at Camp Ramah

The Transformative Power of “Not Mine” by Rabbi Sarah

At camp and other educational institutions, we have become accustomed to relying on a rhetoric of empowerment: we strive to help our students, campers, and staff “take ownership,” “be empowered,” and “feel at home.” While I’m certainly all for teaching a person to learn to fish, as we say, and empowering the next generation of leaders with inspiring ideas and relevant skills, I think we may at times overemphasize the language of ownership to the detriment of the equally important counter-rhetoric of “it’s not mine.”

The Torah and Rabbinic texts teach us that the earth does not in fact belong to us humans, and in doing so, presents a strong countercultural message about the power of being a guest in another’s world.

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Growing Jewish Leaders by Alana Tilman

The not so secret ingredient to a magical summer at Camp Ramah is the incredible tzevet, staff, who work tirelessly over the course of the kayitz to craft an amazing summer for all campers. Ramah Galim is proud and privileged that already at this point in the year, so many of our staff members are already committed to returning to camp in 2018. We’re grateful that these emerging Jewish leaders and educators share in our vision of creating a kehillah kedoshah , a holy community at Ramah Galim and are excited to spend their summers as live-in role models for our camp community.

Knowing that the tzevet play such a key role in a camper’s experience, staff training and staff development is one of our top priorities.

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Building Heartfelt Community – One Year to The Next: New Year Aspirations by Rabbi Sarah

 

אָנֹכִ֛י אֲכַלְכֵּ֥ל אֶתְכֶ֖ם וְאֶֽת־טַפְּכֶ֑ם
“I will sustain you and your children.”
Genesis 50:21

The Torah has a funny way of perpetually being relevant to our lives. Indeed, it is probably no coincidence that as we reflect on the year 2017 and look forward to sustaining some habits and changing others in the year ahead, so do our ancestors Jacob and Joseph undertake this endeavor in this week’s Torah portion.

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It’s About Family Connections, Taking Responsibility and Living in a Real World: Camp Commentary on Parshat Vayigash by Rabbi Shalom Bochner

In this week’s Torah portion, the story of our forefather Joseph and his brothers reaches its dramatic climax. Joseph frames his younger brother and his father’s most beloved son for a crime he didn’t commit, then jails him in an Egyptian prison. Judah desperately pleads for his younger brother Benjamin’s freedom for the sake of their father. He even asks to replace Benjamin in prison! Judah appeals to Joseph’s emotions by describing his father’s suffering, and then he takes personal responsibility, which is one of the clear morals of the Torah’s lengthy story of sibling rivalry. Joseph finally breaks down and calls out: “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?!” It’s a made-for-film moment in the Torah, and by the end of the portion, the entire family including their father Jacob, is reunited. The scene ends with all of the brothers weeping and hugging.

Camp is a place where such emotional connections are forged…

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The Root of Hanukkah: Some Torah for Your Latkes by Rabbi Sarah

Last year my daughter Lielle got her first hanukkiah – a homemade one crafted by her grandparents with her favorite animals flanking the candle holders. She studied it for a long time, rather nonchalantly, trying to decipher its purpose. It did not play music or light up; it could not be cuddled or stacked – what exactly did it do? It was not until we lit the first candle of the holiday and sang the blessings together that Lielle (and it) alighted with joy.

I have been thinking amidst this season of intense shopping about how lucky she and all our children are to be surrounded by “things” that not only entertain, communicate, or move, but also that ritualize their lives and educate their hearts and souls.

The very root of the word Hanukkah itself alludes to this multiplicitous gift.

 

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