Shorashim 2017–Week 7

Shabbat Shalom from Shorahsim 2017!

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Machon 2017–Week 7

Shabbat Shalom from Machon 2017!

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Cochavim 2017–Week 7

It’s hard to believe that we are wrapping up our last full week and that in a few short days we will be saying l’hitraot (until we see you again) to all of our chanichim (campers).

This past Sunday, we all came together as one campe for Rikkudiyah (dance festival). Cochavim had the opportunity to dance in front of the rest of the camp and at the end of the night we all came together for a big dance party!

All day Thursday we had a blast participating in Yom Sport! Each of our chanichim was placed on either K’vutzat Cachol (the Blue Team) or K’vutzat Katom (the Orange Team) and participated in a wide variety of peulot sport (sports activities) in addition to cheering on their teams throughout the day.

Last Shabbat, we read parshat Va’etchanan and one of the highlights of the day was reading the section of the portion that contains the Shema and V’ahavta. This Shabbat, we will be celebrating Shabbat Derech Ramah (the Way of Ramah) with all sorts of activities to show our chanichim how far they have come in just one kayitz (summer) here at Ramah.

It has been such a pleasure having all of your banim uvanot (boys and girls) this kayitz and I look forward to these last days together.

Have a wonderful Shabbat everyone!

Jake Greenberg, Rosh Cochavim

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Gesher 2017–Week 7

Gesher had a wonderful last full shavua of camp! On Sunday night, Gesher joined all of camp in the annual rikkudiah. Gesher had 2 dances – a group dance and a couples dance. We then danced the night away! On Monday, those who have been focusing on Al Hagova all summer, departed for their overnight, where they hiked and learned how to rock climb. On Thursday, Gesher participated and lead the camp in Yom Sport. The day was filled with a lot of ruach, fun, and friendly competition. On Friday, Gesher led a Machene Bet Sport tournament to raise money for tzedakah. With bittersweet tenderness, we are looking forward to our last Shabbat together where we will reflect on our many summers at camp and start to focus on our future connection to Camp.

Shabbat Shalom

Deb Pollack, Rosh Gesher

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Bogrim 2017–Week 7

This week Bogrim is finishing off the summer strong with their edah play, Mary Poppins, Yom Sport, and a whole bunch of amazing bunk activities that range from tie dying to biking around Camp, to late night s’mores, and early morning hikes. Our Shabbat theme this week is Shabbat High school where we will be preparing our chanichim to transition back into the real world as first year high school students. We will focus on maintaining a Jewish identity in high school and discuss a few  academic and social pressures that might surface. Our upcoming week is equally packed with a fun-filled murder mystery day and an awesome last night of

Camp Amazing Race peulah, retracing our steps throughout the summer and reviewing  all of our highlights!

It has been a wonderful kayitz for Bogrim!

 Shabbat Shalom

Na’ama Malomet, Rosh Bogrim

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Solelim 2017–Week 7

The final full week for Solelim was truly an incredible one. We started the week by performing an awesome dance at the annual Rikkudiah. All of the chanichim really enjoyed our special Solelim dance and the big dance party that followed the formal program. During the week, we also participated in fun peulot like Night of 1000 Stars: Apples-to-Apples Edition and a lip sync-dance off battle royale. We were fortunate to watch and perform in the Solelim-Bogrim hatzagah, Mary Poppins on Monday night. All of our chanichim that participated in the hatzagah were stellar. This week’s Yom Hav was split between Yom Sport, the Gesher Tzedakah Tournament, and a few peulot revolving around one of our madrichot, Rachel Kroll. This Shabbat, in Shabbat ShaBye, we will focus on  leaving Camp and of reflect upon the kayitz as a whole.

Shabbat Shalom

Noam Kornsgold, Rosh Solelim

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Tzeirim 2017–Week 7

Wow – we cannot believe this is already our last 2017 Shabbat in Camp! The time has flown by! Sunday night we danced and danced some more at the rikudiah! It was such a blast! On Tuesday, we ventured to Camp Ramah in the Poconos for sports competitions such in basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer and ultimate frisbee.  We were welcomed warmly and  made so many new friends! Thursday’s YOM SPORT was filled with such incredible enthusiasm and ruach from our whole edah led by captains Leo Gold, Joshua Scheingold, Grace Ain, and Ellie Black! Today, all of us splashed down on our amazing trip of the kayitz to Zoom Flume!  Though we are sad to leave Camp, we can’t wait to celebrate our last Shabbat together as a kehillah!

Shabbat Shalom

Hannah Lorman, Rosh Tzeirim

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Nitzanim 2017–Week 7

Nitzanim’s last full week of camp was a blast! On Sunday, we danced all night at the rikkudiah! Yesterday’s Yom Sport was spectacular with the orange and blue teams competing in basketball, gaga, kickball, trivia, and more. Our final Shabbat together will certainly be bittersweet, but we’re excited to take this opportunity to soak up every last wonderful bit of kayitz 2017!  See you next summer.

Shabbat Shalom

Sarah Davis, Rosh Shorashim

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“Dear Evan Hansen”–Summer 2017@CRB


Summer 2017 is the summer of “Dear Evan Hansen” at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires.  Starring a Tony Award-winning Ramah alum, many of our New York-based campers have been buzzing about this particular Broadway show. I can often hear the songs blasting from bunks or being sung around camp.  As the Director of Breira (the program for campers with special needs at CRB), the plot, songs, and message of “Dear Evan Hansen” ring even deeper.  The image of the kid, “on the outside always looking in” isn’t fictional; these are real children that I work with, with names faces, likes, and dislikes.  Children who desperately want to be included.

Here at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, we have long strived to include and welcome all campers in the Ramah experience.  For 15 years, we have been working to include the campers who might be like Evan: a lonely camper, “waving through the window,” struggling to connect with others. Over the course of Kayitz 2017, staff throughout Camp Ramah in the Berkshires will support over 20 campers with various disabilities.

This kind of support takes many forms.  Sometimes counselors take on the role of social engineer, looking at bunk/edah dynamics and helping form groups or partners to enable a Breira camper’s success.  Or they may serve as a friendly ear, listening to the trials and tribulations of the day as the camper gets ready for bed.  Sometimes our counselors are cheerleaders, celebrating when a Breira camper tries something new and then being a photographer to capture the moment of their success.  Breira counselors are not just limited to human roles: they are alarm clocks, tissues, chairs, water-bottle holders, and sounding-boards.  Breira counselors wear many hats in a given day, each dependent on the individual need of the camper they are supporting and the dynamics of the other campers in the bunk.

The question we constantly ask is: how can we become a more inclusive and welcoming community?  We measure the success of the Breira program not only by the success of the Breira campers, but also the other campers in the bunk and the edah.  I have seen friendships form between Breira campers and non-Breira campers.  Sometimes these friendships are driven by the more typical campers.  But sometimes a Breira camper has a special interest or focus, and another camper in the bunk shares that interest.  Campers who have been on the fringe socially, have found their camp friendship because we as a CRB community have been able to support a camper with a disability.  Dear Evan Hansen has resonated so strongly because we all know what it feels like to be left out.  The Breira program is working to build empathy and kindness throughout the camp community.  This way, we all feel included and supported.

Here at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, all sorts of relationships are formed and cultivated no matter who you are or what sort of supports you might need to be successful.  We try to live by the lesson that Dear Evan Hansen teaches us: “Today is going to be a good day. Because today, today at least you’re you and – that’s enough.”

Elizabeth Chipkin, Director of Breira B’Ramah, Camp Ramah in the Berkshires


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Cochavim 2017– Week 6

We had another jam-packed week of fun and excitement here at Machane Ramah b’Berkshires (Camp Ramah in the Berkshires)!

This past Tuesday, we came together to observe Tisha b’Av (the Ninth of Av) by hosting peulot with the theme “What role does food play in our lives?” We had the chanichim (campers) decorate “seder plates” with foods that were most significant to them and create Shabbat placemats (we will be laminating them and sending them home with our chanichim).

On Thursday morning, we had lots of ruach (spirit) in our tefillah (services). We studied the b’racha (blessing) in the weekday Amidah (a central prayer in Jewish liturgy) entitled V’lirushalayim which is all about praying for Jerusalem. Each of the chanichim then wrote prayers, thoughts, and prayers in the form of notes to be placed in the Kotel (the Western Wall) by some of our Israeli chanichim (we have three!).

Later that day, we hosted Yom Meluchlach (Messy Day) where we made oobleck, shaved balloons (with straws!), and played drip, drip, drop! We closed the day off with a massive paint fight! It was certainly a messy day for the books!

On Friday we had our Cochavim tiyul (trip) and we went bowling at DolrBill’s, played around at the Children’s Movement Center, and topped the day off with ice cream at Carvel!

We are all excited for another beautiful Shabbat together! This week’s theme in Cochavim is Shabbat Giborim (Heroes)!

Shabbat Shalom,

Jake Greenberg, Rosh Cochavim, Kayitz 2017

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