By Andrea Rice Yablon
Years at Ramah: 1952-1958
From the 60th reunion celebration book – 2007
Fondest Memories: The friendships I made and the experiences that my friends and I shared during our adolescent and teenage years. Developing a Jewish identity that could never have been developed in any other setting during the 1950’s in Chicago. Studying Talmud and other subjects under the trees. Performing in Leah Abrams’ famous plays. And who can ever forget the shared experience we all had eating tutti frutti tapioca pudding?
How Camp Influenced Me: The paramount goal of my adult life has been to provide my family with a Jewish home and life experiences. As an indirect outcome of my years at Camp Ramah, I developed a lifelong commitment to involvement in Jewish activities and organizations, where I have been able to hold leadership positions and – hopefully – play a role in enhancing Jewish continuity.
I am a Ramahnik Because: I believe that Jewish camping is one of the most important means of developing educated and committed Jews. I still consider fellow campers from the early Ramah years, and particularly my friends from camp, to be part of the same hevra.
My Favorite Place: Sitting on the kikar, particularly on Erev Shabbat. It gave me a sense of community.
What Camp Means to Me: My summers at Camp Ramah and the memories that lingered (both from year to year during my camping years and also from years thereafter) constituted the single most important experience in the development of my Jewish identity. Because of that, my friends from camp remain very important to me half a century (!) after my last summer at Ramah, even if I see them very rarely and don’t even have contact with most of them for long periods of time.