Dear Camp Ramah in Canada Community,

With all my heart, I hope that you and your family are doing okay during these trying, scary times. I hope that you are finding ways to connect and stay hopeful.

I want to give you a brief update on Kayitz 2020 as I know that many are wondering about camp or as a friend of mine texted to me this week after a long day of home isolation with his young kids: “PLEASE GOD LET THERE BE CAMP!!!” I am sure that all parents (myself included) who face the challenges of managing work and children at home all week feel more than ever that we (all) need camp. 

And, of course, this is not just about getting our kids out of the house. It is about the promise of a world returning to a more recognizable state. It is about the hope that we can all be together again, arm in arm, smiling and laughing in the sunshine. 

As of now, we are still moving forward preparing for Kayitz 2020 to happen and will do so until we have reason to stop. We are exploring all options, convening our medical experts, and are in close coordination with our sister camps and the National Ramah Commission who, in turn, are in close contact with health officials. We are committed to running camp if at all possible, with whatever modifications may be needed.

As we prepare for camp from our homes, we are planning for online staff training and camper orientations, as well as continuing our “Ramah BaBayit” videos to keep our community connected during this time of physical isolation. Please continue to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages every weekday at 3:00pm EST!

It is in days like these that our community bonds are tested and needed more than ever before. Please know that Camp Ramah in Canada will continue to play whatever role we can in helping to foster that sense of connectedness, rootedness, and joyousness among our precious community. 

In the narrative flow of the past weeks’ Torah readings, we read in great detail about the construction of the Mishkan. Then, last week in a dramatic narrative shift, we read of the episode of the Golden Calf. The people are filled with fear as Moses is gone and their world seems upside down. There is a great rupture in the “normal” way of doing things. After this rupture is healed at great cost, life continues — albeit differently — and in this week’s parsha, Vayakhel-Pekudei , we return again to the building of the Mishkan.

There is a perspective in our tradition that understands the building of the Mishkan to be a metaphor for the work of building our lives. It is sacred work that requires participation from the whole community. I find encouragement in this Shabbat’s return to the instructions of building the Mishkan after the Golden Calf. After a dramatic rupture in our lives we must not lose sight of the promise of return. We are in the midst of this rupture and it is indeed scary. Yet, together, in whatever new forms, we will continue with the sacred work of building our lives and the world.

Shabbat shalom,