Monthly Archives: June 2015

Message from Rabbi Paul Resnick

ResnickWith 800 people living, growing and thriving here in camp, the amount of activity and relationship forming is mind boggling. I want to share my view with you of a mere 24 hours in camp.

Waking up to chirping birds, blue skies  and bright sunshine set the stage for an incredible day in Machane Ramah. I passed the Al Hagovah shack where a group of nine Solelim campers and three staff members were preparing for this summer’s first multi-day bike trip. With great weather, the trip’s mission, designed  to promote relationships between  campers and staff members and to push the campers physically in the art of biking, will surely be accomplished.

Walking further, I joined Cochavim’s tefillot and was inspired by the world renowned musician Mikey Pauker, who lead the boys and  girls in a rendition of Hallelujah before  their outdoor morning breakfast bishul . Please see his work at:

This past Sunday’s intermittent rain did not detract from a full day of activity. One alum parent said to me,” … even on a day like today the kids are smiling. Wow, that is just amazing.”  Indeed, the kids were smiling and engaged in a variety of activities. From sports in the Ulam to waterfront staff organizing indoor games in Beit Am Aleph and Bet to Hebrew and Judaiaca classes to cooking in the  Mitbachon, to woodworking and to Omanut [arts and crafts], the camp was humming.

Sunday was also Yom Bogrei Ramah, at which over 50 alumni from Gesher  2005 to Gesher  1980 came to see  friends and to spend time in the place they grew up. Alumni from as far away as Boston and Maryland and up and down the eastern seaboard reminisced and were impressed by the new buildings and fields that they have never seen .

But for me, a tremendous highlight is beginning of a series of BBQs that I host in my house each summer. In the first week of Camp, Ari and  I invite – all 295 staff members—in smaller groups—to say thank you for working in Camp, for working hard and to hear their impressions of their first few days of Camp.  Here are just a few of their comments:

  • One Amir farming staff member just got up and  said ” thank you rabbi for having me on staff” and gave me a big hug!
  • One second year Mishlachat told the story that a year ago she did not know anyone on staff and this coming year she will be starting to study at Ben Gurion University and will be rooming with a member of the mishlachat – an “only in Ramah” story!
  • One staff member told us the story of teaching a Bogrim camper in his bunk how to dribble a soccer ball. He knew how to do it from childhood – he’s from Argentina  – and though it only took ten minutes to teach the skill, the camper smiled proudly at acquiring this new skill.

I look forward to sharing more insights as the summer progresses.

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2015 Bogrim – Week 1

Bogrim 1 Week 1What an unbelievable start to Kayitz 2015! After a busy first day, Bogrim 2015 settled into our jam packed daily schedule. The migrashim (sports fields), mitbachon and ropes course are filled with chanichim who have settled into their summer home in Wingdale. This Shabbat, we will explore responsibility in our different communities as well as enjoy a fantastic puzzle filled puelat erev. Next week, Bogrim embarks on an inaugural tiyul through Pennsylvania!

Shabbat Shalom,

Gideon Weiss, Rosh Bogrim

Bogrim 2 Week 1

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2015 Tzeirim – Week 1

Tzeirim 1 - Week 1 Tzeirim had a fantastic first half-week of camp! We unpacked, settled in, reunited with old friends, made new friends, and began learning a flash mob to do for all of A-Side. On Thursday, we delved right into our regular shigra (schedule) full of sports, high ropes, Ivrit, rikkud, omanut, and bishulim (cook-outs). In our peulat erev (evening activity), we played some “Minute to Win It” games in which the edah was divided into groups and two groups competed against each other at five different stations. All the chanichim and madrichim loved it! Now we’re really looking forward to a relaxing Shabbat , getting to know each other better, and exploring our understanding of responsibility in relation to our lives.  Shabbat Shalom!

Mirit Sands,  Rosh TzeirimTzeirim 2 - Week 1

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2015 Cochavim – Week 1

Cochavim 1 week 1We’re off to a stellar start in Cochavim 2015! After a whirlwind first three days, filled with swimming, unpacking, sports, human bingo, puppet making, nature crafts, omanut,  shirah, ivrit, yehadut, Israel programs with our mishlachat, and peulot tzrif (bunk activities), we’re moving on towards our first Shabbat, in which we’ll explore what makes the Shabbat community at CRB so special. We are so excited to be part of the largest  edat ha’cochavim in Camp history, and can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer brings!

Shabbat Shalom

Didi Kalmanofsky, Rosh Cochavim

cochavim 2 week 1

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Dvar Torah – Parshat Hukkat

Rabbi Esther Reed Cropped (2)Do you like to sing? If so, you’ll want to hear about this…In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Hukkat, God tells Moses to instruct the children of Israel to come together so that God can give them water. Immediately after that, Israel breaks into song, literally singing “Spring up, O well, sing to it!”

Rabbi Saadia Gaon wrote in the 10th century that each person would respond to their friend in singing the song. Thus, many voices would rise together to sing, and some would lead “call and response” singing as well. The metaphor of singing together relates to the idea that each person can bring a song in their own voice to contribute to the community. Whether a camper or a staff member loves to swim or play sports, loves tefilla (prayer) or radio, each person brings his or her own unique qualities to make camp Ramah special.

This text also made me think about the wonderful experience of singing at Ramah. From Friday night to Shabbat afternoon in the Hadar Ochel (dining hall), from spirited prayers to various times during the week, Ramah has many opportunities for campers and staff alike to come together in song. The summer is just getting started, but we are all jointly singing songs from our tradition, raising our spirits (but hopefully not any water) to express our joy and gratitude.

“If you Wanna Sing out, Sing Out!” by Rabbi Esther Reed, Yoetzet Solelim & Bogrim

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Shabbat Shalom from Wingdale – Week 1

ResnickCamp is a beautiful place. The amazing lush green of our soccer and Frisbee fields adjoined by high ropes and our farm are stunning.  The view of the agam early this morning with the midst gradually lifting  was breathtaking. Overlooking A-side from the tree house, one can easily spot the softball field, tennis courts, mitbachon and Beit Am Aleph.

Camp is a spiritual place. I had the privilege yesterday to pray with Tzeirim [entering 7th graders] as  the sun illuminated Camp. Today, I started my day in the tree house with Nitzanim [entering 5th graders]. What a perfect new location for Nitzanim – to hear chanichim pray with enthusiasm and gusto was truly inspiring.

rainbowCamp is an amazing place. During the first 46 hours of Camp, a community is already developing. Campers playing softball, throwing Frisbees, learning Hebrew, dancing in the dance studio and participating in dozens of activities across Camp demonstrates our well organized and intentionally designed program.

And finally Camp is a warm and welcoming haven. We have created a staff community made up of our own Camp veterans and individuals and from Argentina, Israel and England.  Our camper community is vastly diverse with new and returning campers from public schools and day schools.

What is remarkable about this beautiful, spiritual and magical place is that all of us, together, form the kehillah [community] of Kayitz 2015.

Have a wonderful Shabbat.

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2015 Gesher – Week 1

Gesher 2 week 1What an extraordinary start it has been for the biggest and best Gesher ever! The arrival of 77 smiling and excited chanichim, who are ready to be leaders in Camp, was certainly one of the highlights of day #1. Gesher continued with their traditional annual first night bowling trip and had a blast. On Thursday, Gesher enjoyed a bishul boker, breakfast cooked by the campers themselves, as well as their first day of Chug sports. While the rest of camp slept, late on Thursday night, Gesher practiced singing Shabbat songs on the stadium court in preparation for leading z’mirot for the entire Camp on Friday night. Hard to believe it’s only been two days. It’s going to be an unforgettable kayitz 2015!

Gabe Cohen, Rosh Gesher

Gesher 1 week 1

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2015 Machon – Week 1

 Machon 1 week 1Machon has had an incredibly exciting first few days at camp!

Switching the chaf  and vav in Machon,  the word becomes muchan, which means ready. Machons summer theme is  muchan, and Machon is ready to embrace kayitz 2015  with full force! We are a small, but powerful edah of 57 awesome chanichim who have already demonstrated their ruach and love for Ramah. We are looking forward to a wonderful first Shabbat together as Machon 2015!

Shabbat Shalom,

Zoe Grossman,  Rosh Machon
Machon 2 week 1

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2015 Solelim – Week 1

 solelim 2 week 1Solelim had such a terrific first week at Camp!! On Wednesday, chanichim were greeted in Wingdale by their excited madrichim! After unpacking, our initial day was filled with ice breakers, sports, swim, and the traditional grilled cheese and fries lunch.  Ending the day with an amazing peulat erev, Solelimers enjoyed running all over the machaneh playing games and learning about special B-side locations. This morning,  Boker Yisrael, orchestrated by our Israeli staff (mishlachat),  we learned about our personal connection to Israel. Everyone is anticipating a great first Shabbat in Camp, where we will explore our new identity as B-side campers. The first week has been a true success.

Deb Pollack,  Rosh Solelim

solelim 1 week 1

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2015 Shorashim – Week 1

Wshorashim 1 week 1hat a fabulous beginning  to Kayitz 2015 in edah Shorashim! Blessed with perfect sunny skies, our 82 smiling campers started this summer on such a high note. Our first peulat erev, (night activity), “Spin it to win it”, was a huge success–  the first of many fantastic peulot to come. Our Shabbat theme,“Shabbat Shabbat,” will allow our chanichim the opportunity to discuss the meaning of Shabbat  at home and to explore the many reasons why Shabbat in Camp is so special and magical. Tzevet Shorashim ( Shorashim staff), feel privileged to have such a remarkable group of chanichim and cannot wait to make this kayitz the best summer of their lives.

Shabbat Shalom.

Sam Teitelbaum, Rosh Shorashim

shorashim 2 week 1

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