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Now more than ever, we need reminders, and not just that we have another Zoom call in 15 minutes and should eat and drink something beforehand! While we need those reminders too, we also need to be reminded of the larger context of our lives. We need those words of encouragement and love from friends and family – the phone calls, the group virtual game nights playing Psych!, the “I love you” text messages. We need these relationships to be reminded, and to remind others, that while now we are separate, we are not isolated.
We read two Torah portions this week, Acharei Mot and K’doshim, and they too serve as reminders of the larger context of our lives, of why we do the things we do, and who we are. In K’doshim, we are reminded of our holiness three times:
It goes without saying that Passover will look much different this year for many people, our family included. Typically at this time of year I am feeling the strain and stress of kashering the kitchen, shopping for food, developing the menu, welcoming family from near and far, and planning for an interactive Seder for our three children and our guests. Like many of you, our Seders are typically filled with blessings, stories, songs, poems and more. And as my mom has shared in years past, we’ve come a long way since the Maxwell House Hagaddah she grew up using as a child in her apartment in Brooklyn.
This article was published in eJewish Philanthropy on March 30th, 2020.
In another week, we will be sitting with our families around the virtual seder table, equipped with google docs and pdfs to keep us on the same page. In telling the story of the Exodus, we will read about four children: the wise, the wicked, the simple, and the one who does not know how to ask. This year, amidst the uncertainty that has come to be our new norm, we also feel the presence of a fifth child. This child admits, “I don’t know,” reflecting the truth her inquiring parents hold just as much as she does. The fourth child knows not how to ask; the fifth child knows not how to act.
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.
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.