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COVID-19 Update #5- March 25, 2020

Dear Camp Ramah in Northern California Families,

We hope this email finds your family healthy and safe amidst the difficult times in which we find ourselves. It was such a blessing to see many familiar camp faces at our virtual Havdallah last Saturday night.  We’ll be joining together again this Saturday evening, March 28 at 8pm PST over Zoom here.  I hope you can join us for a camp-style Havdallah with onesie pajamas, song, and dance.

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COVID-19 Update #4- March 18, 2020

Dear Ramah Galim Camp Families,

I hope this email finds you feeling healthy and connected to family.  Amidst these overwhelming times, I have adopted a daily gratitude practice as part of my morning prayers, asking myself each morning, “What I am feeling grateful for?” as a rise from bed to be a mother, camp leader, teacher, and more each day.  Today I am grateful for the food in my pantry and the songs my daughter Lielle makes up that rhyme and make me laugh.

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COVID-19 Update #3- March 13, 2020

Dear Ramah Families,

Today like many of you, I got the email:  School cancelled next week.  As many of us prepare for weeks of remote learning and social distancing, here at Camp Ramah in Northern California we would like to offer our campers and families some opportunities for reconnection.

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COVID-19 Update #2- March 10, 2020

Hi Ramah Families,

We wanted to update our camper families with regards to the health and safety of our camp community. We continue to closely monitor developments surrounding the COVID-19 situation in partnership with our medical director and the larger Ramah community. We will follow any protocol that our medical director, the CDC, and our local health department recommends. Camp Ramah in Northern California, together with our partners in the summer camp industry, is currently planning to operate fully this summer.

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COVID-19 Update #1- March 3, 2020

Dear Camp Families,

We know that you are all concerned with the global spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and wanted to let you know what we are doing to prepare for the coming season. As always, your children’s safety remains our top priority. We hope to update you on a regular basis as more information becomes available.

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Bar-ista Mitzvah by Seth Golub, Ezra Coordinator

This summer, participants in Camp Ramah of Northern California’s Ezra (vocational training) program were excited and proud to launch a full-service café, serving freshly-ground coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and espresso drinks for the Ramah Galim staff.

The eponymous Café Ezra was inspired by similar programs at other Ramah locations, the café was seen as a way to provide a much needed service to hard-working camp staff, while providing a unique opportunity for Ezra participants to gain experience with a wide range of business, customer service, and food-handling skills.

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Wheels Turning: Parshat Vayigash by Heather Renetzky, Rosh Chinuch

My journey to Ramah Galim was a long time coming. I spent most of my life “Ramah adjacent.” My brother was a Ramah Ojai camper and staff member and my years in United Synagogue Youth (USY) had exposed me to some of the ruach (spirit) of the Ramah universe. Yet, I was nervous to make the leap and come to camp myself. Would I feel at home? Would I be able to connect with people? Would it live up to my expectations? Even as a potential staff member, I was nervous!

In Parashat Vayigash, Jacob has similar qualms about journeying to Egypt. His sons have just returned from trying to acquire food in Egypt, where they discovered that Joseph, who they threw a pit and thought to be dead, is actually alive AND in charge of all of the rations! When they share this information with Jacob, he finds this very hard to believe. After so much anticipation, could it all be real?! With a few more convincing words from his sons, Jacob’s “spirit is enlivened” and he decides to make the journey.

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2020 Ramah Galim Gala

 

Join us in celebrating five years of Camp Ramah in Northern California where we will be honoring

Janis Sherman Popp and our fifth year camper families. 

Sunday April 26, 2020

4:00pm-7:00pm

Proceeds to benefit camper scholarships – help us give the gift of camp to every Jewish child

Registration and details to follow

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Parshat Noah, Sukkot, and Performing Arts by Mark Lazar

As I sit here in Tel Aviv, contemplating this week’s Torah Portion, Noah, and its relationship to Camp Ramah Galim, my mind rattles with endless connections. Obviously the grand Pacific Ocean, and the sightings of nature above and below, reminds us of the endless flow of rain showering down from the heavens. Whether it be whales, dolphins or seals, one can’t help but get excited about these glorious beasts. And occasionally, we are reminded of the flood with light drizzle which keeps the scenery green.

What did Noah contemplate on the ark in terms of building a new community after the water receded? What values did he dream would replace the old selfish and destructive society which God found to destroy as per the ancient text? 

At Ramah Galim, community, based on love and respect of each and every individual and love of Jewish values permeates the environment. The goal is to provide a safe haven for each and every camper (and staff member) to explore themselves, others, Judaism and their personal course of exploration whether it be around nature, water or, in my case, performing arts.

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Beginnings and Endings, by Rabbi Jaymee Alpert

This Shabbat, we conclude our reading of the Book of Numbers with the double-portion Mattot-Mas’ei.  At the beginning of Parashat Mas’ei, Moses recounts the places the Children of Israel have encamped along their forty-year journey through the wilderness.  While the list might seem a bit dry to us as readers (there is not a lot of detail as to what happened where), I imagine that for the Israelites, it was a reminder of all the places they had been and the things they had experienced in each place.  What a fitting parashah for the end of camp!

By now, it is likely that your child has shared some camp memories with you.  Perhaps they have told you about the places they went, the friends the made, or some of the things they experienced.  Spending two or four or six weeks at Ramah Galim, after all, is a journey filled with growth. At camp, kids are encouraged to try new things and to take risks that will help them stretch and evolve.

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