Legacy Society members’ photos and stories demonstrate the impact of the Ramah experience in every generation.
Harold P. Benson
Camp Ramah was and is the single most important foundation for me to identify, feel and act as a Jew, as an avid supporter of Judaism, of learning, of Torah and its commentaries, of Israel, and of Jerusalem. I am equipped to carry on our tradition of devotion and survival, and I always have and always will be equipped for this. The emotional, spiritual, and intellectual equipment came from several places, but perhaps fundamentally, it came from Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and from my first trip to Israel in 1966 with the Ramah Seminar. Thus, the last best mitzvah I can do is to leave a part of me with Camp Ramah.
David B. and Sophia M. Berger
David B. and Sophia M. Berger were dedicated pioneers in the early years of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. David started his involvement with Ramah in the mid 1950’s and subsequently served as an active member of the Camp Ramah in Wisconsin Commission for several decades. Not only did David and Sophia support the camp as donors, they believed in the essential role that Camp Ramah could play in energizing and sustaining the vitality of the Conservative Movement. The David B. and Sophia M. Berger Israel Scholar-in Residence Endowment Fund, established by their children and friends in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary in 1989, is a living legacy to their commitment to Ramah.
Julie Strauss and Joel Brown
Julie and Joel with their children (from left) Jonathan and Ezra
The impact that Ramah has had on our kids – and on our family – makes Ramah an easy focus for family Tzedakah and we are happy to provide for Ramah in our legacy planning. It is clear that our family’s ability to benefit from the unique opportunities provided by Ramah could only have been realized through the commitments – financial and otherwise – made by many families before us. Providing for Ramah in our estate planning is a simple way for us to provide for future campers for generations to follow.
Deborah Shalowitz Cowans and Bruce Cowans
Bruce and Deborah with their children (from left) Aaron, Naomi and Deena.
Betsy and Scott Forester
Betsy and Scott pictured with two of their three children, Benjy and Shira.
My involvement with Ramah has been a highlight of my life. I love the work I’ve done and the accomplishments I’ve helped to create. I always look forward to Ramah meetings. I have been privileged to learned from Ramah pillars such as Irv Robbin z”l, Lou Winer z”l and Al Kopin z”l. I have worked with Rabbi Soloff, Rabbi Sykes and Jacob Cytryn as Directors. I have worked with Business Managers including Mike Hoffenberg and Benji Bearman. I met my wife Betsy at the Soloff’s house and my children Rena, Benjy and Shira have grown up at Ramah and love it as much as Betsy and I do. The future of Ramah is very important to Betsy and me. Just as others looked to the future, we are doing the same for those who come after us.
Marvell Ginsburg (z”l)
Marvell center, pictured with (from left) Samantha Kopin, Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, Brett Kopin and Beth Ginsburg Kopin.
My three children and future son-in-law attended Ramah as campers and as staff members and Camp Ramah has been an important factor in strengthening the Jewish neshamas of my grandchildren. Both my son, Rabbi Jonathan Ginsburg, and my son-in-law, Dr. Jeff Kopin, attribute their skills in organization and administration to their experiences as Roshei Eidah. Kol HaKavod to Camp Ramah!
Leslie and Bernie Goldblatt
Dr. Leslie and Bernie Goldblatt with their children Aviva, Leora and Talia & Ari Derman
We feel that the Camp Ramah experience has been one of the most important building blocks of our children’s Jewish identity. As such, it is vitally important for us to support Camp Ramah and ensure its wellbeing for future generations. Our way to do that is to include Camp Ramah in Wisconsin in our estate planning. Our children, ages 28, 23, 21 (none of whom yet have children of their own) already talk about sending their children to Camp Ramah. What we do by supporting the legacy campaign is to help make that happen.
Nami and David Goldenberg
I feel very fortunate to have come from a family with such a strong history and commitment to Ramah. While David is technically a “non-Ramahnick,” he knew when he married into the Dobrusin/Rozenfeld clan that Ramah would inevitably play a role in our future. In 2009, at my 13 year Nivonim reunion, I had the pleasure of introducing David to the place that has been like a second home to me, my parents and grandparents. David and I hope that one day we too will have the nachas my Bubby and Zayde have had of seeing our family grow up at Ramah. By making a commitment to Ramah’s legacy society, we can help to ensure that families in the future will have that joy as well.
Mindy and Jeffrey Gordon
Mindy and Jeffrey with their children, Jonathan, Hannah and Matthew.
We asked our children, “Why do you think it is important for us to include Ramah in our estate plan?”
They answered, “To ensure that future generations will have the same opportunities and benefits that all of us have been privileged to enjoy. Judaism encourages us to give back.” Ramah has helped make our children who they are today and we are very grateful.
Nina and Arnie Harris
Mark and Ruth Harris and Family
Mark, Alex, Jacob, Ruth and Evelyn Harris (z”l)
The year was 1964 which now seems like a lifetime ago. My mother and father packed my trunk, said goodbye and off I went from Indianapolis for my first summer at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. Little did I know that this simple train ride would lead to a 13 summer journey for me as a camper, Ramah Israel Seminarist, counselor and Waterfront Director. Not only did my parents have the good sense to send me to Ramah but also my sister, Paula and brother, Ben. Now my wife, Ruth and I continue the journey by sending our two boys. Both Alex and Jacob “graduated” from Ramah Day Camp and now Alex after being in Wisconsin for seven years will be going on Ramah Israel Seminar with Jacob in Bogrim. Our three generation involvement in Judaism has been greatly influenced by our Ramah experiences and we feel a responsibility to ensure that future generations can also share in this amazing experience called “Ramah.” Therefore we are proud to be a part of the Legacy Society. We have been fortunate to receive; now it is time to give back.
Beth and Dr. Jeff Kopin
Beth and Jeff pictured with two of their three children, Gabi (top) and Brett.
Back in the 1940’s there were these incredible visionary leaders who had this crazy idea to buy a plot of land in the Northwoods of Wisconsin far away from our big population centers and start a Jewish camp. They started a Jewish camp that literally revolutionized Jewish education – that’s what we’re talking about with Ramah. So now it’s our turn. It’s over 60 years later and it’s out generation’s turn to see to it that we move the ball forward…To see to it that 30 years from now, 40 years from now, 50 years from now and even beyond, that that vision of the founders of camp had so many years ago is safe and secure. We have to give the gift of Ramah to future generations and legacy giving is one of the ways to do that. – Jeff Kopin
I can’t think of anything more amazing than a legacy that we can leave behind to ensure the future of Ramah. Camp Ramah has been a powerful experience for our kids and our family. It was given to us and now we have the opportunity to give back. – Beth Kopin
Elyse and Dr. Ron Less
We began our Ramah journey as campers and staff from 1980-1992. We went on hiatus until 2007 when our children started their love affair with the camp. Our family’s connection with Conservative Judaism and the American Jewish community has been wonderfully influenced by Ramah. We are so thankful for the generations that created and nurtured this amazing institution. We feel a responsibility to share that with others. Being part of the Legacy Society gives us the opportunity to “pay some of that forward” to future generations.
Edward and Roslyn (z”l) Marks
Our daughter, Robin Marks, was a Ramah camper some 30 years ago. Her Ramah years built a firm basis for leading a fulfilling Jewish life. This continues on with many “Ramahniks” who live in San Francisco where she now resides. She and her Ramah friends hold holiday services together every year and invite others to join them. The camp really inspires those who attend.
Barrie and Steve Orloff
Barrie and Steve are shown with children Sam, Dani and Noah.
There is a tremendous amount of competition today for summer activities but there is only one Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. It is at camp that our children obtain the Jewish literacy that will sustain them for their lives. In the process they also have an immense amount of fun. It is important for the Conservative Movement that Camp Ramah Wisconsin thrives and continues on for our grandchildren and great grandchildren. Because of this we currently support Ramah and have provided for it in our estate planning. Joining the Legacy Society was a natural step for us and so easy to do and we encourage others to carry on this sacred responsibility as well.
Tamar Rubin and Adam Parker
Tamar and Adam are shown with their children, Rosie and Solly.
Camp Ramah in Wisconsin is the place where we met each other and many of our closest friends. Camp is where conversations with friends, counselors, and teachers helped us to define who we were and who we wanted to be. Camp gave us a model for how to live a thoughtful, joyful Jewish life. Camp Ramah provided a space for us to grow and become who we are, while nurturing and guiding us along our journey. We are immensely grateful for the legacy Ramah has left in our lives.
Just as camp created space for us, we are now thinking about how we can continue to make a space for Ramah in our own lives. Each year, we give what we can to support a new generation of campers and staff, and when we started thinking about providing for our own family’s future, it felt natural to include Ramah in our estate plans. We joined the Legacy Society because we believe in Ramah’s role in helping shape the lives of future generations. It feels only fitting that we make a lasting commitment to a place that has played such a defining role for us and our family.
Roselind and Sheldon Rabinowitz, seated, with their children (left to right): Victor, Joy, Elyse and Julie
We were first introduced to Camp Ramah in Wisconsin when visiting two of our children on Visitors’ Day. Although we had heard much about the program, it was exciting to witness their various activities in action. Our campers were most anxious to introduce us to their new friends, counselors, and staff. Since then, some of our grandchildren have not only attended camp, but have become counselors and participated in Ramah Israel Programs.
Although our home and lives had strong Jewish ingredients —Shabbat and holiday dinners, kosher home, Hebrew school, and often attending synagogue, we feel Camp Ramah had a tremendous effect, not only in the identity of our participating children and grandchildren, but on their involvement in Jewish life. The atmosphere, education, and friends that children take away from their experience at Ramah lasts a lifetime. We feel Camp Ramah is the single most important ingredient to Jewish continuity. These are the reasons we feel it is important to support Ramah financially.
Betty and Dr. Irving Rozenfeld (z”l)
Betty and Irv pictured with four camper grandchildren and one staff grandchild (and the parents of those grandchildren) on Visitors’ Day 2009.
Our relationship with Camp Ramah began in 1961 when our oldest child, David, became a camper and Irv started as camp doctor for two weeks. Subsequently all of our children – Debby, Ellen, Jon and Ranna became campers and then staff. Irv continued as a camp doctor for 18 summers. Our oldest grandchild, Nami Dobrusin, became a camper in 1992 to be followed by our other grandchildren: Yael, Shai, Ethan, Emily, Jordan, Sydney, Noah and Rebecca. We again returned to camp for Visitors’ Days. M’Dor l’Dor! For this we feel truly blessed and grateful that the values and the total experience of camp are continuing to impact our family. We want to insure that this legacy continues to future generations.
Robin and Rabbi Steven Rubenstein
Robin and Steven with their children, Ari and Tali.
Louise (Malamud) and Steven Schoenberger
As a couple who met at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, we appreciate the important role that Ramah has played in our relationship and our lives. We had the opportunity to visit camp this summer and introduce our children to the place that was a second home to both of us for many years. We also had the opportunity to see current campers enjoying the Ramah experience just as we did. The experience reaffirmed our commitment to do our part to ensure Ramah’s continued vitality and growth.
Margaret and Alan Silberman
Ramah transformed our lives and the lives of our children, making Jewish knowledge, Jewish practice and Jewish identity an integral part of who we are. We have an obligation to pay back for all that we have gained from our Ramah experience.
Pictured are Gabrielle, Sharone, Ilan, Aliza, Rachel and Arielle Small with their grandmother, Sarah Small
In 1972 my late husband Mendel and I sent off our 12 year old son, David, for his first summer as a camper at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. Since that time our younger son, Michael, also enjoyed summers as a Ramah camper. Both David and Michael came back to serve in various staff capacities, and Michael even met his wife, Sheila, while both were counselors one summer. Now Michael’s three daughters continue the Ramah Wisconsin tradition and David, Debbie and their three children are enthusiastic members of the Ramah New England community. The Small family’s love affair with Ramah continues.
Mayer (top left) and friends at camp in 1947
It has been my privilege to witness Ramah’s success in the eight week, 24/7 immersion of kids in a total Jewish world. I have included Ramah in my estate plan so this vital experience can be perpetuated.
Lisa and Steven Tenzer
Steven and Lisa with their children Ari and Deena.
Reuben and Tami Warshawsky with sons Daniel and Josh
Camp Ramah is a place where Judaism lives seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It is a place where campers come each year to learn about themselves, build new skills, develop amazing friendships, and experience Jewish life at its best. And, as we are learning through our sons Josh and Daniel, it is a place where counselors come every year to renew and reenergize their Jewish spirit and share their love of Ramah and Jewish life with a new group of campers.
We have joined the Camp Ramah Legacy Society because we are committed to ensuring that Camp Ramah continues to be a vibrant second Jewish home for future campers. In this way we can proudly show our love of and recognition of the value of Camp Ramah for today and for the future.