Young Adult Engagement on University Campuses and in Communities
April 2018 / Nisan 5778

The Ramah Camping Movement, with generous foundation support, has launched numerous new programs that engage hundreds of college students on campus, in their local Jewish communities, and in new Ramah training programs. This investment is helping to create a strong Jewish leadership pipeline as we give young adults numerous opportunities to envision and plan events and participate in meaningful Jewish programs. In any given week, young adults--our "Amitei Ramah"--organize over 20 Ramah events across North America.

You can read more in our recent article, " Extending the Ramah Mission: 7 Years of Remarkable Growth."
On Our College Campuses
With support from a new grant, we have strengthened the Ramah College Network and have appointed part-time network coordinators (all upperclassmen) on 12 college campuses, including Binghamton University, Brandeis University, Cornell University, Emory University, Indiana University, University of Maryland, Muhlenberg College, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh, Princeton University, and Washington University in St. Louis. 
Ramahniks bake hamentaschen at two Ramah College Network events (Muhlenberg College and Cornell University) 
Ramah College Network coordinators create a strong sense of community for Ramahniks (and friends of Ramah) on campus. In addition to continually reaching out to new and prospective students, they organize Shabbat and holiday programs, social activities, and various gatherings. Since inaugurating the program in fall 2017, over 50 programs have taken place. Just as impressive, over 90% of the Ramahniks on these campuses attend the Ramah events on a regular basis! This year’s schedule of campus activities have included challah baking, Shabbat dinners, Rosh Chodesh learning, Sukkah decorating, Ramah Jeopardy, Tu B’Shevat seders and gardening events, Purim celebrations, Israeli Zumba parties, cooking competitions, and havdallah gatherings. 
In Our Communities
Ramahniks, including many college students serving as Ramah Service Corps Fellows, run after-school workshops including the Ramah Art Studio and the Ramah Performance Academy, weekly ShabbaTeeny and BimBam Shabbat family programs, a holiday-themed Escape the Room, a large-scale Jewish music concert and Family Fun Day, numerous Purim celebrations, and a havdalah Israeli dance party. 
Ramah Davidson Metro Detroit Fellows play Purim trivia at the Detroit community-wide Purim celebration, hosted at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Students at Park Avenue Synagogue in New York, NY love Ramah Performance Academy, a project of the Ramah Service Corps.
Thanks to the work of these young adults, Ramah has an active and growing presence in many metropolitan areas, including Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, Madison, Mexico City, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and the River Towns of Westchester County, NY. 
Ongoing Training and Jewish Engagement
In January, more than 100 college students joined us at the National Ramah Winter Leadership Training Conference.This year, there were 40 participants in the Leadership Institute for College Sophomores, a brand new track that included leadership training at Disneyland. Several weeks later, Ramahniks spending the year studying in Israel joined together with the 2017 mishlachat for a joyful Shabbaton. In February, many college students came together for the second Songleader Boot Camp Ramah Shabbaton
National Ramah Winter Leadership Training Conference at Ramah California, January 2018
"Cultivating a Leader’s Impact," Ramah Disneyland leadership training, January 2018
And After College
In major cities, Reshet Ramah, our alumni network, continues to grow its national calendar of events. With alumni coordinators in cities across North America, every Jewish holiday becomes a Ramah celebration on a nationwide scale. This spring included a Purim Megillah reading in New York City with over 250 attendees, a Pesach seder at the Backcountry Bayit in ski country Colorado with over 60 attendees, hamantaschen-baking parties in Philadelphia and Boston, and social action “matanot la’evyonim” projects in San Francisco and Atlanta. In addition, the “Ramah Minyan” met for Kabbalat Shabbat in New York City and Philadelphia, and ongoing study events were held in San Francisco, Washington, DC, and at the Backcountry Bayit. 
As the Ramah network continues to grow, so do the number of access points for engaging with the Ramah community year-round. Each week, young Jewish adults across North America, Ramah lifers and friends of Ramah alike, are empowered to take an active role in experiencing Jewish life under the Ramah umbrella. Whether through opportunities for Jewish text study, baking and gardening activities with Ramahniks on college campuses, Shabbatonim planned by Ramah’s part-time fellowship participants, or local social action initiatives, young adults in the Ramah community are empowered not only to participate, but to envision, create and sustain communities that are meaningful and relevant.