After my first year of rabbinical school, I knew I had to find my way to Camp Ramah. As a child and a teen, I had not gone to overnight camp, but I knew about the magic of Camp Ramah. So in June of 2001, I piled all three kids into the car and headed to Camp Ramah of California where I served as a Morah (teacher) of Judaic studies for the various edot (age divisions).
Two of my children, Sarah and Talia, were in the Gan childcare and the oldest, Jessie, was enrolled in her first summer as a camper. My husband, Jeff, would drive up from Los Angeles to join us for Shabbat. And what was so special about that summer? Everything! I got to see the magic of Camp Ramah in action as kids of all ages immersed themselves in a completely organic Jewish living environment. I saw kids grow into themselves, with confidence and a blossoming love for Judaism. At age seven, my daughter Sarah was convinced that she was way too old for the Gan, and decided to spend as much time as she could with Machon (the 10th graders), which she loved to call, “The Machonies.” Later in rabbinic school, I had the privilege of running the Passover Institute at Camp Ramah of CA. Over the course of several years, my family and I spent unforgettable Passover holidays there together. Fast forward seventeen years later: All of our daughters grew up at Camp Ramah, moving through the edot, one going on Ramah Seminar and all of them serving as staff – a lifeguard, a Rosh Edah (head of an age division) and more.
And now, my heart is at Ramah Galim. As a rabbi at Congregation Kol Shofar in Tiburon, I am inspired by and grateful for having our own Camp Ramah right here in Northern California. It is here that I direct my rabbinic energies – serving on the Ramah Galim board, making my way to camp for my third summer now. I am proud to tell my grown children about all of the incredible things happening at Ramah Galim. Led by a fantastic and inspiring staff, headed up by Rabbi Sarah, there is truly something here for everyone: The gift of the beautiful ocean, multiple tracks to appeal to so many different interests, and the heart and soul of Ramah, grounded in a love of Judaism and a profound respect for each other. It’s Ramah in my heart, Ramah on my mind.