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Camp Ramah in the Berkshires facts for kids

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Camp Ramah in the Berkshires
Founded 1964; 58 years ago (1964)
Founder Rabbi Jerome (Jerry) Abrams
Legal status 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Purpose To provide camping, education, and boarding for campers under a religious structure.
Location
Director
Aytan Goodman
Board President
Richard Friedman
Business Director
Yoni Saposh
Affiliations National Ramah Commission,
Jewish Theological Seminary of America,
Conservative Movement Judaism
Revenue (2013)
$5,719,049
Expenses (2013) $5,176,329
Staff (2012)
394

Camp Ramah in the Berkshires in Wingdale, New York, is one of nine overnight summer camps and three day camps affiliated with the Conservative Movement of Judaism and the National Ramah Commission. It is accredited by the American Camp Association. The camp sits on 299-acre (1.21 km2) site in Dutchess County, New York, about 30 miles (48 km) southwest of the Massachusetts border and the Berkshire Mountains, on Lake Ellis.

Religious orientation

Camp Ramah is a religiously oriented camp that observes the laws of Shabbat and Kashrut. Hebrew is widely used in all facets of camp life, from the names for buildings, physical infrastructure, and services, to camp activities and programs. Campers attend daily religious prayer services. On Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, the campers execute the traditional Torah service. Also the campers attend classes or programs which the camp has set up to structure their Jewish background.

Counselors and alumni describe their summers at Ramah as one of the most formative experiences of their childhoods and a primary influence on their Jewish identity.

Administration

From 2003 until 2017, the camp director was Rabbi Paul Resnick. Currently, the director is Rabbi Ethan Linden. Rabbi Jerome (Jerry) Abrams was the founder of the camp in 1964. He is now Director Emeritus. Rabbi David Mogilner, Rabbi Sheldon (Shelley) Dorph, David August, and Rabbi Burton Cohen were directors in late 1960 and 1970s.

Special programs

The camp annually holds a Labor Day weekend for alumni of the camp that are 22 years old and over.

Divisions

Campers are divided by age groups, called Edot in Hebrew:

  • Cochavim ("Stars"), entering 4th grade
  • Nitzanim ("Flower Buds"), entering 5th grade
  • Shorashim ("Roots"), entering 6th grade
  • Tzeirim ("Youths"), entering 7th grade
  • Solelim ("Pavers"), entering 8th grade
  • Bogrim ("Graduates"), entering 9th grade
  • Machon ("Institute") entering 10th grade
  • Gesher ("Bridge"), entering 11th grade
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