Alumni Buddies


Rick Weisman (left) and Cissie (Jaffe) Samson are both Ramah Wisconsin Alumni who happen to live in the same town, New City, New York and belong to New City Jewish Center (NCJC). Rick was originally from Minneapolis while Cissie hails from Cleveland and they have both been active members of the NCJC for more than 40 years.  They are founding active members of the Sudah Shileshe Community and are there most Shabbat afternoons.

Rick ended up in New City due to a Ramah connection.  While looking for a house in the area he went to visit his niece who was at a seminar at Ramah Nyack.  One of her friends there was from New City and suggested he look there, but that he should first go to NCJC where her mother was the secretary. He went to NCJC and while talking with the secretary in the office in walked the Educational Director, who just happened to be Mike Gretz.  Rick was flabbergasted and said to his wife, “I’m home – here is where we will find a house.” You see, Rick and Mike went to Ramah Wisconsin together. Rick was at Wisconsin in 1955-1958, his last year as a junior counselor.  One of his bunk’s senior counselors was Neil Gilman.

Cissie Jaffe attended Camp Ramah in Wisconsin in 1963 and 1964. The Ramah campers from her synagogue in Cleveland were sent to Ramah Canada but she was fortunate enough to be a “Scholarship Child” who went to Wisconsin. In 1965, she attended the first Ramah Summer Institute in America at Ramah in Nyack, NY under the leadership of Rabbi Joseph Lukinsky, z” l.  Years later, she moved to Rockland County and became a Hebrew teacher at the Ramah Nyack Day Camp. When Cissie moved to New City and came to NCJC, she met Rick and they discovered their Ramah Wisconsin connection. They became buddies and ever since their families have shared many simchas together and they have been an integral part of the Sudah Shileshe community.