Camp News

Don’t Celebrate Too Early: Jared’s Reflections on Vayeishev

Posted on December 8, 2017

Please enjoy a D’var Torah this week from Jared Skoff, Rosh Tikvah 2017. Originally from Cleveland, Jared spent the past four summers at Ramah Wisconsin, after working at Ramah Canada for three summers. This is Jared’s third year working year-round for Camp Ramah, first as a Ramah Service Corps Fellow in Detroit, and now as the Program Director at the National Ramah headquarters in New York City.

Don’t Celebrate Too Early 
by Jared Skoff

Premature celebration is frowned upon in the Ashkenazic Jewish psyche. It is a longstanding superstition for Jews to be wary of premature compliments or congratulations, to ward off Ayin Hara, “the evil eye” that is waiting to ruin your good fortune.

Rabbinic texts are replete with warnings about the evil eye. The rabbinic law code the Shulchan Aruch instructs us, “some say not to make the blessing for two grooms together, because of the evil eye” – a double wedding is too noticeably joyous. Rabbinic sources also connect the custom of breaking a glass at the chuppah with warding off the evil eye, to temper celebration with a minor destruction. To this day, Jewish families will rarely have a baby shower before their child is born. Many will not even utter the name of their child until the official baby naming or bris.

“For generations of Jews…liking is only the first step to losing,” writes Yiddishist Michael Wex, if “they” [evil spirits] know that you love it, “they’ll” try to take it…So, if you’ve got to like something, like it quietly, so no one can see.”

In Vayeishev, Jacob transgresses this cardinal rule of Yiddish neuroticism. Not only does he favor his son Joseph, but he gives him a כתונת פסים / k’tonet pasim, literally a striped tunic, to declare his favoritism to the world. And the evil eye is waiting to pounce.

Joseph’s coat is a public declaration of status. He flaunts his coat of many colors and broadcasts his metaphorical dream implying that one day his father, mother, and all of his brothers will bow down to him.

The brothers’ response? In your dreams! They frame Joseph’s death and sell their favored brother into slavery.

The Joseph narrative foreshadows a longstanding Jewish discomfort with boasting or celebrating before success is a sure thing.

Not only in ancient days, but also in the modern day, this cautious temperament clashes with social pressure to perform. Whenever a wide receiver is fifteen yards away from a touchdown, he starts to lift his hand up in celebration. There are over two million videos on YouTube called “Never Celebrate Too Early,” compilations of athletes quite literally dropping the ball post-celebration and pre-touchdown.

Today’s generation overwhelmingly experiences this pressure to perform through social media. Like Joseph’s ketonet pasim, social media is a modern tool of status and fame. For many of us, rather than a coat of many colors to flaunt, we have an Instagram of many colors. We have social pressure to publish every minor (and major) life update. And we feel pressure to send out a press release when our plans change.

On the internet, every celebration feels public and often premature, as does every disappointment. Like Jacob and Joseph, the more we emphasize and feed off of the social power that our modern day colored coats grant us, the more we entrust our happiness to public scrutiny. Likewise, Joseph’s power as the favorite son fades when his brothers refuse to accept his coat as a status symbol.

Ironically, Joseph’s prediction to his brothers earlier in the story does come true (in next week’s reading). In making his conceited and premature announcement, Joseph undermines his own authentic talents and forfeits his credibility. And Jacob’s gift of the coat, labeling Joseph as the favored one, damages any possible kinship between the brothers. Jacob and Joseph both celebrate at improper times, and whether it is the work of the evil eye or the brothers’ human nature, they both pay the price. Joseph is ultimately able to redeem himself and nurture his true talent by using his predictions to help others, rather than self-promote.

Stripped of his extravagant coat, Joseph’s talent remains.

Jewish tradition teaches us not to let the promise of success get to our head; nothing is automatic without perseverance. But the tradition also teaches us never to give up on our hidden potential and raw talent.

In the spirit of the Joseph story, we can all strive to find and nurture our personal talents, using them thoughtfully and celebrating them humbly, when the time is right.

Kikar Connection: Ramah Profile Jared Skoff

Posted on November 29, 2017

Meet Our Tzevet: Jared Skoff

Background:
I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. I’ve been at camp for 4 summers. Now I live in Harlem and work at the National Ramah office.

Favorite camp event and why:
Tzimmes-eating competition on the second day of Shavuot. I have been crowned tzimmes champ two summers in a row.

Skill or life lesson learned at camp that has been useful at home:
I learned how to scrub a bathroom sink. This has been very useful outside of camp.

What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
My Subaru. And smoked fish.

What is one thing about you that may surprise us?
I have a secret Instagram account where I only follow Israeli restaurants and Jewish delis. I have a less secret Instagram where I follow people I actually know but only post photos of bagels.

Camp is….
the best place to buy off-season girl scout cookies.

One hope or wish for 5778:
I hope to become a better listener.

Kikar Connection: Ramah Profile Sean Herstein

Posted on November 28, 2017

Meet Our Tzevet: Sean Herstein

Background:
I am from Minneapolis and grew up at Beth El Synagogue.  I learned about camp during a presentation at the Minneapolis Talmud Torah and started attending in 1991, my Bogrim summer.  I have been at camp (or on Ramah Seminar) for at least one machzor every summer since except for 3 summers.  Currently my wife, two daughters, and I live in Los Angeles where I work at Milken Community Schools as the Middle School Jewish Studies Department Chair.  We have been here for almost 7 years now.

Favorite camp event:
I have so many favorite events at camp, and they sometimes change from year to year.  That said, I have always really enjoyed the Zimriyah.  There is something special about all of the ruach and the sheer volume of the singing.  Aidot show such pride and excitement to represent in the first major all-camp event of the summer. This has especially been strong over the most recent number of summers with the strengthening of the shira and instrumental music programs.  I have always enjoyed playing trumpet along with the musicians at the Zimriyah.  Tzevet muzica pour their hearts and souls into the event and it really makes for a fantastic night.

Skill or life lesson learned at camp that has been useful at home:
When I try to think of a specific skill that I learned at camp I automatically go to davening and reading Torah.  I recevied a wonderful foundation in these skills in preparation for my Bar-Mitzvah, but it was at camp where I really had the opportunity to lead, learn new services, and work on Torah readings.  I even chanted verses from Kohelet for our minyan in Los Angeles using the trope that I picked up by osmosis every Kabbalat Shabbat at camp.

One thing you couldn’t live without:
One thing I couldn’t live without is the freedom to travel.  I so much enjoy road-tripping and visiting friends and family in different cities.  I have even driven from LA to camp twice and I can’t wait to do it again.

One thing about you that may surprise us:
Those of you who have been to camp over the past 25 years, probably know at least a little about me.  I am not sure what would surprise you, other than the fact that I have made a point to work at camp almost every summer since I started as a JC in 1995.  I only missed the two summers when my daughters were born and one summer when I did Ulpan at Hebrew University.

Camp is….
Camp is where I am most relaxed, most myself, and most respected on the basketball court.  Seriously, I am old and slow.  Somehow, at camp I feel like an all-star.  Also, camp is where I get to watch Miriam and Nava fall in the love with the place where I learned to love Judaism.  It’s an amazing opportunity.

One hope or wish for 5778:
Most of my wishes and prayers right now are for health and success for my wife and kids.  That probably sounds cliche, but with so many problems in the world right now it is easier to focus on home.  Maybe I can say that I hope that my girls continue to be aware of the role they can play in improving the world and making it an easier place to everyone to live and thrive in.  We need everyone.

Jacob Just Can’t Escape his Past: Reflections by Adam Schrag

Posted on November 24, 2017

Please enjoy a D’var Torah this week from Adam Schrag, Rosh Kochavim and Garinim 2017. Adam was born in Jerusalem and grew up in the Chicago area. He lived in Tel Aviv and worked as a travel writer before graduating from Knox College with a degree in Creative Writing in the spring.  A native of Chicago and a lifelong Ramahnik who attended both the Ramah Day Camp and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Adam’ spent six summers on staff.

Jacob Just Can’t Escape his Past
by Adam Schrag

When Camp Ramah in Wisconsin was established in 1947, its founders distinguished the camp by making formal education a part of the day for all campers and staff alike, a nod to the camp’s educational oversight by the Jewish Theological Seminary. Tucked away in Wisconsin’s Northwoods, Ramah instantly became an educational and cultural training ground for Jewish youth, setting high standards for how American Jews can live and learn together.

Over the years, thousands of campers and staff members have grown Jewishly and personally at camp, much in thanks to the ability to challenge themselves into becoming better people. We’re able — and even meant to — experiment at camp; to try and fail and try again is to succeed and grow.

This week’s Torah portion provides us with a glimpse into a complicated stage in Jacob’s life; one in which he is forced to come to terms with never learning from his mistakes. In Vayeitzei he marries and has children, but not before actions from his past come back to haunt him and his decisions.

It’s worth comparing the trickery related to the fatherly blessing Jacob received that we read about in last week’s parashah of Tol’dot with Jacob’s experience in Vayeitzei. In this week’s parashah, the tables have undoubtedly turned on Isaac’s younger son. Jacob no longer has the leg up, as he did when he tricked his nearly blind father into blessing him instead of his older brother Esau. Laban tricks Jacob, his nephew, by marrying him off to his older daughter, Leah, instead of the younger Rachel. But the fact that Laban may not be the only one to trick Jacob on the night of his wedding is a timely and telling detail.

While Leah is aware she’s tricking Jacob, commentators suggest that Rachel may have willingly contributed to the confusion as well. They write that Jacob and Rachel had anticipated Laban’s deceitful nature, going so far as to coordinate subtle signals to each other so that Jacob would know that he was indeed marrying Rachel on his wedding night as opposed to Leah. However, the rabbis say that Rachel, wishing to spare her older sister from the utter humiliation of marrying second, reveals the secret signs to Leah on the night of the wedding, allowing her to fool Jacob during the ceremony. This interaction allows the sisters to assert some sort of authority in regards to their marriages and future, as it may be the case that they changed the course of the events together.

After Jacob demands to know why he’s been tricked, Laban explains, “לא יעשה כן במקומנו לתת הצעירה לפני הבכירה” / lo ya’aseh kein bimkomeinu, lateit hatz’irah lifnei hab’chirah / “It is not the practice of our place to marry the younger before the older.” This seemingly innocuous and even helpful explanation can be interpreted as a jab at Jacob’s own deceitful and dishonest past. Laban provides Jacob with a sound and moral life lesson that has eluded him thus far.

The lying, deceit and disappointment make Leah feel irrelevant compared to her sister, with the Hebrew text using the word “שנואה” / s’nuah or “hated” to describe her state.  While the widely accepted interpretation is that she feels unloved by Jacob, some commentators believe Jacob may have “hated” Leah because she was a constant reminder of his past wrongdoings. Despite her tremendous strength, Jacob was only able to see in Leah what he most hated and was most ashamed about in himself.

It’s clear that Jacob’s desire to earn his father’s blessing led him down an immoral path. However, it is only in Vayeitzei when he learns that lying and cheating exposed him to a world where everyone participates in the same negative behaviors. His naiveté makes him increasingly vulnerable to being cheated in the same way that he has done to others in the past and he is forced to confront his reality head-on in the next major milestones of his life.

While many of Vayeitzei’s plot details are distasteful, an important takeaway is the importance of learning from one’s mistakes and taking responsibility for wrong-doing. Jacob refuses to face and own up to his past actions, causing him to eventually be deceived by others. The intentional space we have at camp allows us to make mistakes among friends and mentors before working to improve in a variety of ways. Strong relationships and communities require both honesty and understanding to grow and thrive, elements we are lucky to have at Ramah.

Jacob’s reflections: What can we learn from Esau, the Wicked Witch, and the Big Bad Wolf?

Posted on November 17, 2017

What can we learn from Esau, the Wicked Witch, and the Big Bad Wolf?
by Jacob Cytryn, Director

(Thanks to Rabbi Mordechai Silverstein of the Conservative Yeshivah for introducing me to some of the texts referenced below.  And thanks to my son Sam for inspiring this D’var Torah with his summary of the parashah after school.)

History is written by the victors, or so the adage goes.  It makes sense: the losers usually are not around to make any additional contributions to society.  In the pre-modern world, they were usually exiled, assimilated, enslaved, or worse.  One of the key factors in some scholars’ assessment that the Jews slavery in Egypt and subsequent Exodus are based in historical fact is, interestingly, in part because the narrative we tell is so unique.  Rare, if any, are the other cultures who tell a story of their origin in slavery; rarer still are those cultures who continue producing histories and literature of every genre after multiple exiles and centuries of persecution.  A lesson of Jewish history may very well be that, sometimes, history can be written by the losers.

And so it is jarring that, in this week’s parashahTol’dot, as in the previous narratives about Ishmael which we read over the last three parashiyot, the “loser” of the rightfully earned birthright has no say in the narrative and, indeed, is vilified and turned out in an arch-enemy by the later layers of Rabbinic tradition.  On a basic level, a close reading of these narratives in the Torah portray both Ishmael and Esau as sympathetic characters, favored by their respective fathers.  Both Abraham and Isaac express sadness at the loss of one of their sons.  And yet the story we tell is the story of a genetic dynasty, and that dynasty goes through Isaac and Jacob.

Recent years have shown us the value and insight of stepping into a perceived villain’s shoes, perhaps most famously in the musical Wicked and the series of books written by its author, Gregory Maguire, including Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror.  The popular and clever children’s book The True Story of the Three Little Pigs tells the story from the wolf’s perspective: turns out he had a terrible cold that caused all that huffing and puffing.

The implications for camp lie on the very surface of this conversation: living together in cabins is intense and emotions can run high.  When working together at camp it always behooves us to step into the other person’s shoes for a moment, to imagine their story, rationale, and motivation instead of being stuck in our own.  As God addressed Ishmael באשר הוא שם / ba’asher hu sham / in the place where he was, so too do we orient our counselors to build relationships with their campers not based on their interests and where they are but in a camper-centric way.

The vilification of Esau, based primarily on the events of this week’s Torah reading which begin with the intra-uterine struggle of the two diametrically opposed twins and reaches its climax in Jacob’s stealing of Esau’s birthright, is challenged by at least two classical sources, one in the Torah and another in a late collection of midrashim (Biblical interpretations of diverse genres) called Midrash Tehillim.  In Deuteronomy we are commanded by God not to abhor Esau’s descendants, the Edomites, for they are our cousins (23:8).  The midrash provides three reads of the Jacob-Esau tension, as imagined through the genetic offspring of Jacob – the Jews – and the figurative offspring of Esau – the militaristic and cruel Romans.  The first two are de rigeur:  Esau’s figurative descendants are proud of the world they have conquered and the wealth they have acquired, while the Israelites are proud of their familial closeness with each other and their religious heritage in the Torah, respectively.

The third comparison provides a different approach.  It presents the relationship between Jacob and Esau as being represented by the relationship between Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi and Antoninus Pius.  Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi is one of the most prominent and revered figures in all of Rabbinic literature, understood to be the author/redactor of the first canonical work of Rabbinic Judaism, the Mishnah, and a great political leader as well.  Pius most likely represents one of two Roman emperors or an amalgam of both, who lived at the same time as Rabbi Yehudah. The two men have a respectful relationship as it is depicted in the Talmud.  These two leaders learned from each other and can be understood to represent reconciliation and cooperation between those whose relationship has been destroyed.

During the rest of the year and, especially, in the midst of a summer at camp, we would be wise to step into another’s shoes, especially when we are writing – literally or figuratively – the history.  Sometimes we are the victors, and other times we are the losers and are not aware of it.  More often in life, it all depends on your perspective and, with enough perspective, we can all realize the complexity of our relationships and the utter futility of such binary distinctions.  Human to human, heart to heart: that is truth in ways that definitions of winning or losing can never be.

Kikar Connection: Ramah Profile Sarah Levin

Posted on November 14, 2017

Meet Our Tzevet: Sarah Levin

Background:
I’m from Northbrook, IL and I’ve been going to camp since 2008, for 9 summers. I am currently a sophomore at American University in Washington, DC, majoring in history and minoring in marketing.

Favorite camp activity:
The musicals, and more specifically the Nivo play

Life lesson you have learned at camp that has been useful at home:
People respond better to kindness than to anything else.

One thing you couldn’t live without:
Books

One thing that might surprise you:
I have a twin sister

Camp is…
a place where I can be myself

One hope for 5778:
That I am able to live in the present.

Gal’s Reflections on Hayyei Sarah

Posted on November 10, 2017

Please enjoy a d’var Torah this week from our Program Director Gal Atia. A longtime Ramahnik, Gal has held many roles at camp, including Rosh Mishlachat, Rosh Sport and staff trainer. Gal is from Neytanya, Israel, where he lives with his wife and children and works as a special education teacher.

Reflections on Hayyei Sarah
by Gal Atia

I find it interesting that Sarah is the only matriarch or patriarch whose name is included in the name of a Torah portion.  While the name of this parashah, Hayyei Sarah, may suggest that the content is primarily about Sarah’s life, that’s not the case.  The opening pasuk (verse) tells us that Sarah has died at the age of 127.

There is an interesting example of gematria (in which each Hebrew letter has a numerical value) in the opening pasuk of the parashah:

וַיִּהְיוּ חַיֵּי שָׂרָה, מֵאָה שָׁנָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים
Vayihiyu chayei sarah, me’ah shanah, v’esrim shanah v’sheva shanim
Sarah’s lifetime – the span of Sarah’s life, came to 127 years.

The numeric value of the word ויהיו (came to) is 37 and a midrash interprets this fact to say says that this word reflects on the 37 years of Sarah’s life from the time she gave birth to Isaac until the day she died.  Sarah’s life, then, as much as it is defined by all her years, is symbolically emphasized at the outset of this parashah as centering on her relationship with Isaac.  It is Isaac’s future, a replacement of Sarah’s personality and role in Rebecca, and a reconciliation between Isaac and his brother Ishmael which make up the central narratives of the rest of the parashah, foreshadowed by the Rabbis’ read of the first word.

After Sarah’s death, Avraham sends his servant Eliezer to find a wife for Isaac by giving him very clear directions. Eliezer stops by a well and prays to God to give him a sign to help him identify the perfect bride for Avraham’s son.  Eliezer states in 24:14:

והיה הנער אשר אמר אליה הטי נא כדך ואשתה ואמרה שתה וגם גמליך אשקה, אתה הכחת לעבדך ליצחק ובה אדע כי עשית חסד עם אדני
V’hayah hana’ara asher omar eileha hate na chadeich v’eshteh v’am’rah sh’tei v’gam g’malecha ashkeh, otah hochachta l’avd’cha l’Yitzchak uvah eida ki asita chesed im adoni.
Let the maiden to whom I say, ‘Please, lower your jar that I may drink,’ and who replies, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels’—let her be the one whom You have decreed for Your servant Isaac. Thereby shall I know that You have dealt graciously with my master.”

Rebecca does just this, and Eliezer knows she is the bride destined for Isaac.

Rebecca goes to Israel with Eliezer to meet Isaac.  Yitzchak falls in love at first sight, while Rebecca falls off her camel – presumably also in love – as well.

The ending of this parashah is particularly meaningful as Isaac and Ishmael reunite after many years apart to bury their father Abraham.  I pray for a future that will allow us, the sons and daughters of Isaac, to come together in peace with the sons and daughters of Ishmael, in understanding and with respect, just like our ancestors.

שבת שלום
Shabbat Shalom,
Gal

Kikar Connection: Ramah Profile Adina Romaner

Posted on November 7, 2017

Meet Our Tzevet: Adina Romaner

Background:
I am from Dallas, Texas. I spent 5 summers at camp as a camper, and 2 as a counselor, in addition to participating in Ramah Israel Seminar. I am currently at Indiana University in Bloomington studying non-profit management.

Favorite camp event:
Yom Sport because it brings together every aidah and gives Nivo the chance to really lead the camp and show everyone the kind of strong leaders they can be.

Skill or life lesson learned at camp that has been useful at home:
At camp, I learned how to live with others regardless of our relationship. This was very useful to me beginning college as I am able to cooperate with anyone I come across in a productive way and move past any differences.

One thing you couldn’t live without:
I could never live without the friends I have made at Camp Ramah. They are the first people I turn to in any situation, good or bad, and I cannot imagine the person I would be without them.

One thing about you that may surprise us:
I am an Israeli citizen.

Camp is….
A state of mind where everyone can relax and be their true selves among the friends that have become family.

One hope or wish for 5778:
I hope that 5778 brings amazing friendship and happiness to myself and my loved ones.

Reimagining the Binding of Isaac by Jonah Harris

Posted on November 3, 2017

Please enjoy a D’var Torah this week from Jonah Harris, Rosh Solelim 2017. Jonah spent six years as a camper at Ramah and worked on staff for six summers, including three summers as Rosh Nagarut (woodworking). After graduating from Tufts in 2015, he worked in Chicago as a structural engineer for two years. He recently moved to New York to begin his master’s in structural engineering at Columbia University.

Reimagining the Binding of Isaac: What would the story look like at Ramah?
by Jonah Harris

In this week’s parashah, Vayera, God provides Abraham with the most iconic and controversial test we can imagine, the binding of Isaac, known in Hebrew as the Akeidah. In a scene many modern-day readers view as appalling, Abraham does not question God’s request to sacrifice Isaac on the altar. After God sends an angel to intervene, saving Isaac’s life, God blesses Abraham for his obedience and reveals that his descendants will be numerous and powerful. Most people read this passage and assume its main purpose is to test Abraham’s trust in God.

I want to reimagine this troubling story of complete faith and place it in the context of Ramah – a place built on the power of relationships, trust, and supported exploration.  Through this lens, which I’ll admit I have never found anywhere in the Torah or Rabbinic commentaries, it is Isaac who grows the most in this story, and his growth is one of the reasons that Abraham’s descendants will succeed.

At camp, the beginning of the story is closely related to conversations we have quite regularly, about prioritizing different values we hold dear when they are in conflict with each other.  Do we skip class to help make a minyan? Do we leave the comfort of our American life and volunteer for the Israeli army?  What sacrifices are we willing to make for the values that are important to us?

The narrative itself, through this Ramah lens, is not one of near silence between a father and the son he is prepared to sacrifice.  It is rather a story of an older mentor (counselor) and a young child (camper) on a journey of self-discovery.  Though neither knows exactly where they are traveling, they do so together, bolstered by their trust in each other and the power of their relationship.  Instead of coming this close to death at the end of the story, the entire plot has been reshaped so that Isaac’s growth as a Jew and as a human being are the central lasting message, and it is Isaac’s maturation that merits the intervention of the angel and the blessing of Abraham’s descendants.

Parents who choose to send their children to Camp Ramah are entrusting us with their care and sacrificing time with their children and the real dollars it takes to get children to camp.  They send their children to a temporary home, living communally in a unique environment.  While at camp, children flourish as they explore their own Jewish and personal identity, within the cocoons of trust and deep relationships Ramah provides.  Each summer campers take risks. They volunteer to read Torah, learn to use power tools (after training and under supervision, of course), sing and act in Hebrew in front of hundreds of people, try a new sport. All of these risks lead to more independence and a greater sense of self, and none of this would be possible if they stayed at home each summer.

Choosing to reimagine the akeidah this way also allows us to make sense of a phrase that, in its original context, drips with foreboding and puts a palpable chill in the air.  The story (Genesis 22:8) describes Isaac and Abraham, ascending the mountain together – וילכו שניהם יחדו / vayeil’chu sh’neihem yachdav / and they walked, the two of them, together.  To anyone who has spent any time at Ramah, this is one of the most regular of sights: two people walking together.  In the akeidah it feels like an opening scene in a psychological thriller or slasher movie.  In our reimagined version, what the akeidah would be like in the world we create at Ramah, that phrase, and that scene, makes us feel very much at ease.

Kikar Connection: Ramah Profile Ari Weinstein

Posted on October 31, 2017

Meet Our Tzevet: Ari Weinstein

Background:
I grew up in St. Louis Park, MN, and have been in Boston for the past few years. I’m currently a senior at Tufts University, and I’ll be graduating in the spring with a degree in history and sociology. I was a camper at Ramah for 6 summers, and I was on staff three times.

Favorite camp event:
My favorite camp event is the aidah machazemer (musical), because every member of the aidah works together to create something to show the rest of camp.

Skill or life lesson learned at camp that has been useful at home:
Something I learned at camp that’s stuck with me is how to clean a very messy bathroom. It is so important!! Both in life and in daily nikayon.

One thing you couldn’t live without:
I don’t think I could live without eggs. They are my favorite breakfast food and a good source of protein.

One thing about you that may surprise us:
My allergy to bananas. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone else with that allergy! I wish I weren’t allergic to them because they’re a great on-the-go snack.

Camp is…
the reason for most of my closest friendships. My friends that I made at Ramah, whether we met right away in Halutzim or not until working together on staff, are thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and kind.

One hope or wish for 5778:
To visit more museums in Boston before I graduate!

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