Monthly Archives: July 2014

Gesher Update 2014 – Week 5

Gesher 2014 5It is hard to believe Visiting Day was only last week! It was so great meeting all of you.  The chanichim enjoyed  presenting  their Gesher Fund Project: Mitzpe Layla song and video. They did such a fabulous job, and I could not be more proud of them! After the parents left camp however, the busy day continued! Camp Ramah Nyack came up and the campers watched the annual Nayack-Berkshires basketball game. Even though our counselors lost, the campers cheered on their counselors and enjoyed the event!  Sunday night was our “Yom Daled” breakout where we introduced this week’s theme, Yom “Turn Back the Clocks”. The kids planned a 1920’s Casino Night to kick off the day. Our week also included a DJ dance party, Deal or No Deal (using real Camp-themed prizes), Iron Chef (Sushi addition), and of course, meeting their second month CIT Campers.Yesterday was Yom Sport Breakout. All chanichim were thrilled to lead a camp wide event that  they have participated in every summer! This Shabbat is Shabbat Limud, a tradition started last year in Camp. Each camper will have the opportunity to learn with different camp educators and scholars.

Shabbat Shalom!

Debbie Kruger, Rosh Gesher


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Machon Update 2014 – Week 5

Machon 2 2014 5Machon had a super week, highlighted by our edah play, “The Lion King”.  Immediately after Visiting Day,  our energy was truly focused  on scenery, perfecting our lines, music and dance rehearsals and all the details that make any production terrific!   Some of the parents attended our meeting on Sunday to learn all about the Gesher experience and what’s in store for Kayitz 2015!  Chanichim warmly welcomed me into the edah as their  new Rosh.  We spent Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon  participating in Yom Sport. Blue and Green teams cheered and participated in every sport and then the grand finale relay  races that led into collecting puzzle pieces to complete a huge and intricate CRB jigsaw puzzle.  We are looking forward to a quiet Shabbat  and to our week-long trip starting on Sunday.

Shabbat Shalom!

Jeremy Rose, Rosh Machon


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Bogrim Update 2014 – Week 5

Bogrim week 2014 5The first week of second session has come and gone, as we get ready for our fifth Shabbat. This week began with memorable visiting day, we were all so excited to see friends and family. Yom daled was on Monday, which featured grilled bananas and chocolate, fort building and a dance party! We are gearing up for an exciting Sababa week out of camp.

Shabbat shalom!

Gideon Weiss, Rosh Bogrim


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Solelim Update 2014 – Week 5

Solelim 2 2014 5As we wrap up our first week of second session, it is amazing to look back on our full week together! We loved seeing our families and friends on Sunday, and watched our Tzevet compete against Ramah Nyack staff  in basketball and Ultimate Frisbee.

Monday’s  yom daled, “chillin like a villain”, inspired our inner villains to plan pranks, play capture the hero, and get to know some other campers in the edah!

We welcomed 15 new chanichim to our edah on Tuesday. Highlights of our week included DJ Todd Yahney’s rave, an edah-wide game of bunk mate newlyweds, and seeing Machon’s machazeh –“ The Lion King”.

Yom Sport on Thursday afternoon and Friday was the perfect end to an exciting week in which we enjoyed playing sports, participating in different competitions, and cheering for our teams. Now we  are now definitely looking forward to Shabbat to unwind and relax after a full and fun week!

Shabbat shalom um’vorach!

Zoe Grossman, Rosh Solelim

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Tzeirim Update 2014 – Week 5

Tzeirim 2014 5Tzeirim had a great first week of second session.  On Monday, we played family feud and went on a sightseeing scavenger hunt as part of Yom Family Vacation.  On Tuesday, we welcomed 27 new chanichim into our edah and participated in a full day of our regular activities, plus some wacky relay races at night.  Some of us went up on the high ropes course, and we all enjoyed watching Machon’s play.  We were totally surprised when Yom Sport broke out on Thursday, and after two days of playing hard and cheering loudly, we’re really looking forward to a restful Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom!

Paula Sass, Rosh Tzeirim


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Shorashim Update 2014 – Week 5

Shorashim 2014 5It was so wonderful seeing all of you on Visiting Day! We spent the intersession engaged in Yom Winter Olympics, with all the chanichim split up on teams ranging from Neverland to Atlantis competing against each other. Second session kicked off on Tuesday as we welcomed several great chanichim into our edah. To our surprise, Yom Sport broke out after lunch yesterday which was very exciting for all. We are looking forward to a restful Shabbat after  learning about our own Jewish journeys.

Shabbat Shalom.

Rachel Engelberg, Rosh Shorashim


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Nitzanim Update 2014 – Week 5

Nitzanim 2014 5It’s been an unbelievably busy week as we said farewell to our first month campers and welcomed 34 incredible new members of Nitzanim. On Monday, the full summer campers went bowling and to Carvel to pass the time and spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for the arrival of new friends. On Tuesday, the second half of the summer got off to a roaring start as new campers came in and learned the layout of camp. In the evening, we played a game showcasing the random and interesting talents about each of us. On Wednesday, we watched the Machon production of “The Lion King” and waited out the thunder and lightning while singing songs before going back to our bunks. And on Thursday and Friday, campers dressed up, sang, screamed and cheered for one of the most exciting events of the summer: Yom Sport! It’s been a great week for Nitzanim with the best still yet to come!


Shabbat Shalom.


Gabe Cohen, Rosh Nitzanim


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Cochavim Update 2014 – Week 5

Cochavim 1 2014 5We are so excited for our first Shabbat in camp after an eventful and exciting week of programming! All of us arrived Tuesday morning full  of energy and had a lot of  fun meeting our new bunkmates, swimming in the agam, and unpacking. On Wednesday  we experienced a normal day full of sports, teva, video, swimming in the agam, and drumming. We also had so much fun watching the Machon Machazeh, “The Lion King”  at night.  Thursday and Friday were filled with ruach and competition as it was Yom Sport, our annual color war competition. Chanichim were split into two teams and played friendly games of sports, trivia, and relay races throughout the two days. During Shabbat, we will be learning about traditions in our camp community,connecting to our theme of “Jewish Communities Around the World”. Looking forward to the relaxing Shabbat.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rachel Siegel, Rosh Cochavim

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Dvar Torah – Parasha Massei

Aaron BrussoApparently nothing in the universe is truly still. On the molecular level things are always moving. Even our bodies are in constant motion though we don’t always notice. And then there are times when we feel movement so deeply in your bones that we cannot remember what it was like to feel still. For many of us that is what it feels like during the school year when life is so busy.

For the Israelites they are feeling constant movement in Parahsat Masei:

They journeyed from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. They journeyed from the Red Sea and camped in the desert of Sin. They journeyed from the desert of Sin and camped in Dophkah. They journeyed from Dophkah and camped in Alush….

Reading the list with no context, Rashi is concerned that one might come to the conclusion that God is literally dragging Israel from place to place with no rest in between. The rhythm of the list gives off the impression that the needs of the Israelites are not being taken into account in this process. Rashi assures us that this is not the case and that there was plenty of time between stops for life to be lived.

But why the list in the first place? And why written this way? The trope, the cantillation notes, highlight the predictability of instability- etnachta, sof pasuk, etnachta, sof pasuk– the only thing you know for sure is that a different place is coming next.

I think the answer is that you don’t know the importance of home until you are homeless. We understand after reading this list that if you are not from somewhere you are from nowhere and anywhere. Even if as Rashi suggests, they spent significant time in these places- it is not the same as having a home.

And that is what this parasha is beginning to define – a home. It is not a place where we have spent time, not even the place where our bodies reside, because as we know, they too on a micro level are in flux.

Home is where our souls connect. A place where our souls connect to something much larger than bedroom furniture or office buildings or coffee shops. A place where our deepest held values and ideas find company and community.

Home is a place that gives rest to your soul even as your body is in motion.

The second half of Masei is devoted to setting up just such a home for the Israelites based on social and civil justice. Cities of refuge and inheritance rights. All the ideals of a place that speaks to the soul. Not a place to stop when it is dark, but a place that actively works to push back the darkness. Not a place to live but a place that supports our efforts to become worthy of having been given the opportunity to live.

Standing on the threshold of entering the land, the Israelites were conscious of the values that they would bring to it so that it would not be moving into a new house but coming home.

The fact that our children’s wanderings stop in the summer and they are able to find a home for their souls at Camp Ramah is a true blessing.

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Shabbat Shalom from Wingdale – Week 5

ResnickAlmost a week has passed since our glorious Visiting Day—-a day I always enjoy—a day to greet parents, friends, and alumni.  I hope that all of you had the opportunity to explore our expansive acreage with your children as they introduced you to favorite spots in camp.   On Sunday evening, we once again hosted Ramah Nyack Staff facing off in basketball and Frisbee competitions.   Cheering for  their madrichim,  our campers easily transitioned back to camp life.

Twenty-four, Ta’am campers (entering grade  3), traveled by bus to camp arriving early Monday morning to be greeted by cheers  and snacks.  Their week has been quite amazing as they climbed the rock wall, went swimming in the agam, cooked in the mitbachon, played sports of all sorts,  melted s’mores  at a bonfire, watched the Machon play ( “The Lion King”),created beautiful art in omanut, danced to funky music, learned lots of Hebrew, and much much more.  Although the Ta’am 1  experience ends on Sunday, we hope that they will return next summer.    We now await Ta’am 2 soon to arrive on Monday.

Second session campers have been totally absorbed in a week filled with great peulot, amazing activities, a play and Yom Sport to top it off.   What a way to start their season!

Our entire Wingdale community is following the news from Israel, informing and supporting staff and campers.  We have decided to join the UJA-NY Federation “Stand with Israel” rally on Monday and will be sending Solelim to attend.  Becoming activists on this level is important for all.

As we pray for peace in the world, I wish all a Shabbat Shalom.

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