Blog | Camp Ramah Northern California - Part 4




Monica Shapiro’s Passover Article: Reflecting and Taking Action

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. 


The Fifth Child at Seder This Year By Rabbi Sarah Shulman

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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

Registration and details to follow