Ramah Day Camp Logo
May, 2013
Mission of Camp Ramah in Poconos
On April 28th our Board of Directors met as part of our strategic planning process to define the mission of Ramah. Of course, when it comes to things such as mission statements, it comes in handy to understand that no single statement can ever come close to quantifying the Ramah experience. Nor can a concise statement hope to speak to every individual's own unique understanding of what Ramah is, what it does, and why it does it. On the other hand, it's worth a try, no?

And so we met and we brainstormed all of the many important aspects of the Ramah experience. There are things such as: friendship, ethics, respect, love, and menschlichkite. Then of course there are essential elements like: fun, adventure, physical and behavioral challenge, emotional and mental growth, and personal excellence. And it wouldn't be Ramah if we weren't also stressing: a love of Hebrew, Zionism, Jewish text, prayer, Torah, and spirituality. How do you get all that into one mission statement; one single, pithy statement that is concise enough to fit on the back of a business card? 
Well we tried, and the truth is we like the result: 


Ramah's mission:

Creating life-long Jewish connections, one happy camper at a time.


After all, doesn't that say it all? It all starts with our campers; each individual thriving in a nurturing, safe, and inspiring environment. Secondly, our campers should be happy! Thus it is our mission to constantly ask ourselves: What can we do to improve our programming, our facilities, our offerings, which will make our campers (and their parents!) happier and happier? And lastly, why do we do what we do? We do it because we strive to create life-long Jewish connections; connections to the Jewish tradition, connections to Israel and Hebrew, and personal connections to a lasting network of friends and family that is the Ramah community.


And so when people ask you, "what is Ramah all about?", you can answer them simply, concisely, and with great enthusiasm... Ramah is about:


Creating life-long Jewish connections, one happy camper at a time.


-Rabbi Joel Seltzer, Director


You can follow Rabbi Joel on twitter at @joseltzer

You can also read his monthly articles in

News from Camp Ramah in the Poconos 
Tastes of Ramah Cookbook Fundraiser
Release Date: July 14, 2013 (Visiting Day)
We invite you to submit your favorite kosher recipes to be part of this lasting treasure!
1 recipe entry $100
2 recipe entires $180
3 recipe entries $250
Recipe Package $750 *includes recipe, recipe story, and picture


To submit payment, click here.
Please submit all recipes to Deborah-Jo Essrog, Development Director at
**Recipes due May 20th! **
 Mishlachat Training in Israel  

Earlier this month, Michelle Sugarman, Assistant Director, embarked on a busy, two week-long trip to Israel where she had the privilege to train our young 
Shlichim (Israeli ambassadors), who will have the opportunity to join us at Ramah Poconos this summer. They spent time talking about the core values of Ramah, the centrality of Israel at camp, and how Shlichim can share their personal narratives with the larger camp community.


It was a fantastic week full of sharing, learning, having fun, and of course, lots of energy! They were joined by our
returning Shlichim, Morag Hadad (Tarbut Israel), Shani Isseroff (Sports), and David Miller (Omanut) for an amazing Shabbat together. We were also joined by Zara Mellits (Madricha) who is spending the year in Israel. The Shlichim left feeling excited to spread their love of Israel to all the Chanichim and Tzevet at Camp Ramah in the Poconos. 


In addition, our Rashei Edah and many Madrichim will be attending the national training programs of Winer and Daber, which prepare them for the summer and help them find new ways to make Hebrew exciting. Yom Iyun, a day of training for all bunk staff will be taking place the evening of May 28th.

We look forward to all of our staff training opportunities that will be sure to contribute to our best summer yet!

Camp Ramah Wishlist
 We are graciously accepting donations for the following items this summer. We thank you in advance for your generosity. 

(15) 60-80 liter backpacks (Camping Trips)

Outdoor Speakers (for Radio)

Small Bookcase (2-3 shelves)

Electric Tea Kettle (Omanut)

2 Hair Dryers (Omanut)

Electric Potter's Wheel (Omanut)

Fabric!!! (Omanut)

Rice Maker (new for Mitbachon)

Blender (new for Mitbachon)

iPod (Rikud)

Carpet Squares (Gan)

Child-size chairs (Gan)

Floor Pillows (Gan)

Board Games for ages 3-8 (Gan/Cochavim)

2 Vacuum Cleaners

Thick Gymnastics Mats (Ulam Sport)

Stereo (Weight Room/Ulam Sport)

Box Fans

Bench for Bench Press (Weight Room)

Wireless Microphones/Headsets (for the plays)

Beads (Omanut)

2 sewing machines (Omanut)

Ramah365 App
Through Jewish leadership and alumni engagement, Ramahniks from all over the world can now converge in one place: Ramah365. Challenge yourself with fun and exciting missions, win prizes, and interact with Ramah campers, staff members and alumni across the globe. Ramah365 is a project of the National Ramah Commission, Inc, generously funded by a Signature Grant from the Covenant Foundation.



Available for iTunes and Android

Chesed Project with Standing Together
Raising Money for Pillows for Israeli Soldiers

Tamid, a student run organization at the University of Maryland is working with Standing Together to help raise money for Pillows for Israeli Soldiers. Click here for more information!

Aliza Saunders: Bat Mitzvah Project
Raising Money for Tikvah Family Camp

Mazal Tov to Aliza Saunders on her upcoming Bat Mitzvah on August 24th, 2013. Aliza is focusing her Bat Mitzvah project on raising funds for Tikvah Family Camp. For more information on Aliza's project, click here
Proud of our Ramah Alumni
Jake Tapper, CNN
Click here for an article about Ramah Alumnus, Jake Tapper. Jake now hosts CNN's new afternoon news show, The Lead. 

owl sign
Calling All New Campers!!!
 New Camper Orientatiaion




Camp Ramah in the Poconos New Camper Orientation Meeting


Sunday, May 5th 

3:00 -5:00

Temple Beth Sholom

1901 Kresson Rd

Cherry Hill, NJ 08003


New campers and their parents are invited to attend an informal orientation meeting with Rabbi Joel Seltzer, Director, and Michelle Sugarman, Assistant Director.


Let us know that you are coming!

R.S.V.P. to

or call 215-885-8556.

Guess Who!?


How many lovely ladies can you name in this photo?  Share your answer on our Facebook Page, for the chance to win a prize!

Mazal tov to Fran Richter, our April winner, for being the first one to correctly guess Ehud Kalfon, Rosh Teva! 
News from Ramah Day Camp 

Day Camp Logo---New
A Note from the Director
Susan Ansul

For one week in April I was fortunate enough to travel to Israel to meet our sh'lichim (Israeli staff).  I spent time getting to know Becky, Noy and Liat. I shared what is special about Ramah and how excited we are to have them. Our returning sh'lichim, Shauli, Nofar, and Elad joined us later in the week. We all spent time getting to know each other, bonding, and sharing our excitement for Kayitz 2013.


Are you stocking up on sunscreen and beginning to label your camper's clothes?  There are less than 50 days until camp begins! Our camp t-shirts are being designed, staff week is set, and we are planning intensive sport experiences for our campers. I am so excited to bring our staff together, many that are returning, to train for Kayitz 2013!


On Sunday, April 21st, religious school students from Adath Jeshurun, and Ramah campers and staff, came together to work in the garden.  The teens moved huge bags of mulch and the younger children planted seeds.  The weeds are gone, new plants will be growing soon, and the garden looks beautiful! Thank you to everyone who helped us in the garden.


I can't wait to see all of you on June 24th!



-Sue Ansul


Keep those on-line applications coming!     



Auction Items Still Available for Ramah Day Camp!
Don't miss your chance to bid on these fabulous RDC experiences for your child!
  • Picnic with RDC director, Sue Ansul
  • Front row seats at RDC Performing Arts Festival (for parents)
  • Junior captain for Maccabiah
  • Sport Challenge with Sue, your Rosh Edah, and one counselor
  • Bunk featured on website opening slideshow
Interested in these items for your camper? Contact Deborah-Jo Essrog at
Special Needs at Ramah Day Camp
An Exciting New Partnership

Ramah Day Camp is committed to providing a Jewish camp experience to campers with special needs who can be successfully integrated within our camp program.  Amazing Ramah summers have been enjoyed by campers with a variety of needs.  This summer, Ramah Day Camp is expanding our program and supports for our campers with special needs.


Click here for more information.  

News from our Ramah Family
Mazal Tov! 
Congratulations to These Members of our Ramah Family:

B'nei Mitzvah-









































Jonathan Madoff and Roni Goss (who met while both staffing Ramah Israel Seminar!)



Mazal tov to Shael and Sara (Schweitzer) Sokolowski on the birth of their daughter, Lucy Bea. 

Mazal tov to Avi and Dena (Young) Lebovic on the birth of their daughter, Dalia Jade.

Mazal tov to Ari Lucas and Talya Oberfield on the birth of their son, Gideon Danis.



Mazal tov to Mark Kramer on being honored at the TBS Tribute Dinner on April 21st. 


If you care to share news of your s'machot, please send your announcement to

HaMakom Y'nacheim Et'chem
Camp Ramah in the Poconos Mourns the Loss of the Following Members of our Community:

Leonard Sobel- past president and leader in the Middle Atlantic Region Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs. Len was a tireless supporter of Beth Sholom Congregation, and of Camp Ramah in the Poconos, with his leadership of the Golden Kippah Concerts benefiting Camp Ramah.


We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Adele, their four sons, and extended family.  

HaMakom Y'nacheim Et'chem B'toch She'ar Aveilei Tzi'yon virushalayim

Our heartfelt condolences go out to all of those who mourn their passing.
Our Board of Directors
David Goldstein, President
Rachael AbramsJon AdlerDebbie AlbertJulie BergerJay Dorsch
Debbie FleischmanEric GrossmanDavid I. Haas

Judith Hess

Alan Kaufman
William LandsburgDon MillerRabbi Micah PeltzNathan RellesJosh Romirowsky
Doug SayerLouis StesisLee SussmanMartin WachsMichael Wachs
Rabbi Eric Yanoff

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"Ramah makes Jews."

- Rabbi David Mogilner z"l
CCamp Ramah in the Poconos
2100 Arch St. Philadelphia, PA 19103