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January 22, 1993 - Image 71

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-01-22

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


( - .A1VJA


A Camp
Ramah board
recalls her
fond summer
at the camp.

R ah or Rainah

by Rusty Rosenthal Rosman

amp Ram-
ah was a
name to
me as I
grew up
knew so
many kids who went to
Ramah in Wisconsin. By
the time I decided that I
was brave enough to go
so far from home, Camp
Ramah in Wisconsin had
far more applicants than
space. The letter that
came to say "sorry" also
said that the next year,
1960, a new Ramah was
opening so there would
be plenty of room for
everyone who wanted to
The new Camp Ramah
was in Canada and it

sounded like it was a
million miles from home.
To get there, the 23 of us
from Detroit and Flint
had to meet the sleeper
train in Detroit at 7:30
p.m. and take it to
Toronto. At 7:30 a.m.,
buses took us and our
luggage (mountains of it,
so it seemed!) to a To-
ronto synagogue where
we had breakfast, and
then we boarded buses
with tons of kids from
Toronto to drive forever
to get to camp. When we
arrived at Camp Ramah
in Canada, we were
speechless. It was huge;
it was old; and it was so
strange to all of us.
As with any group of
kids who live and play
together and at Camp

Ramah, daven together,
we learned so much from
each other. In 1960, most
all directions given to
the campers in their
bunks as well as in the
the dining
Hadar Ohel
room — and during all
other activities were
exclusively in Hebrew.
As all of us from
Michigan were after-
school Hebrew students,
it was a tremendous
boost to our knowledge of
Hebrew as a living lan-
guage.We spent an hour
and a half each day in
classes — usually under
one of the beautiful trees
that edged the lake —
and hours and hours in
the coldest lake in the
whole world — Skeleton

We fished; we water-
skiied; we sailed; we
canoed and we swam
miles. The camp is locat-
ed in a cove on the lake
and had been built in the
early 1920s. It was called
Camp Winnebago back
then and I know two peo-
ple who went there - one
lady is in her 70s and the
other in her 50s. After
comparing notes with
them, I learned that the
camp was always old and
the lake was always on
this side of frozen!
Camp Ramah was such
an awakening for me. I
had never been so far
from home and I never
had heard or spoken so
much Hebrew. I was fas-
cinated by the davening
and the ability of the

boys who davened. I
wasn't used to davening
each day so I was really
impressed that they
knew how to do all those
prayers. My Hebrew
reading speed was
mighty slow but that
summer helped me speed
up my reading and
helped me be more com-
fortable with the siddur
and the prayers.
One of my fondest
memories about Camp
Ramah in Canada was
about something they
didn't have. The camp
was brand-new in 1960
as a religious camp and,
therefore, lacked many of
the religious objects we
are so used to seeing in a
religious setting. I was
Ramah page 72

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