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December 05, 2013 - Image 38

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-12-05

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

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Camp Ramah in Canada: Jewish
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38

December 5 • 2013

ore than 500 young camp-
ers and staff members from
the Metro Detroit area,
Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Rochester and
Toronto come together to enjoy tra-
ditional camp activities infused with
Jewish learning and couched in Jewish
living at Camp Ramah in Canada,
part of one of the largest camping
movements nationwide. The camp is
organized through the Conservative
Movement's Jewish Theological
Seminary.
Rabbi Steven Rubenstein of
Congregation Beth Ahm in West
Bloomfield visited Ramah Canada last
summer and brought a number of
prospective families with him.
"Being at Ramah is inspirational: he
said. "The mach [spirit] was excellent
and the kids seemed to be having such
a great time. In addition to all that we
do to instill a love of Jewish life for
our kids when they are at home, if you
want your child to have a Jewish heart,
I don't think you will find a better
place than Ramah."
Ramah offers a diverse sports pro-
gram and a waterfront that boasts
waterskiing, canoeing, kayaking,
wind surfing, sailing and swimming
instruction for all campers.
Campers take overnight trips and
learn pioneering skills in Canada's
gorgeous Algonquin Park. A corps
of Israeli staff members is brought
to camp each year to help inspire a
love of Israel, and the entire staff uses
many opportunities to permeate daily
activities with Jewish learning.
Rabbi Aaron Starr of Congregation
Shaarey Zedek in Southfield said,
"Camp Ramah is an exceptional camp.
Not only does it offer traditional camp
activities, but also the campers are
immersed in truly joyful Jewish liv-
ing.
Rabbi Jonathan Berger, Ray Beit
Hasefer (rabbi in residence) at Hillel
Day School of Metropolitan Detroit in
Farmington Hills, said, "As a Jewish
educator, I was constantly inspired by
the creativity and dedication of the
counselors, who are responsible for
planning fun and meaningful Shabbat
activities and discussions on Jewish
topics:'
Local community educators, leaders
and rabbis are called upon to recruit
campers and staff members and are
encouraged to visit the camp to teach

Marni Cherrin and her daughters, Bri
and Emma, of Huntington Woods

and engage with campers and staff.
Dr. Ron Polster, director of Camp
Ramah in Canada, said, "We recognize
how much rabbis and community
leaders contribute to our experiential
Jewish living environment, and we
appreciate the significant role that
they play as Ramah ambassadors back
in the communities that we serve:'
Perhaps the camp experiences that
have the most impact on all who attend
are the friendships that are made.
Rabbi Starr's wife, Rebecca Starr, an
alumna of Camp Ramah in Canada,
said, "My best friends are still those
that I met at camp so many years ago.
There is a common language and expe-
rience that we share that stays with us
throughout our lives. I am so excited
for my own children to have the same
experience and to make Jewish friends
from other places:'
Marni Cherrin of Huntington
Woods agrees. "Some of my best
memories as a child are from Camp
Ramah. It is the place that gave me
a Jewish soul by integrating Judaism
with the joys of summer camp in a
beautiful surrounding:' she said. "I am
lucky enough to experience this once
again through the eyes of my own
children. My oldest attended camp
last year. When she arrived home, she
said, 'Now this is my Ramah, Mommy'
At that moment my heart was filled
with joy."
Detroit campers are eligible for up
to 50 percent off camp tuition this
year if registered before Dec. 31. For
more information about Camp Ramah
in Canada, contact the office at (416)
789-2193 or email info@campramah.
com.



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