A Letter to the Ramah Berkshires Community from Adat HaGesher 2020

Posted by Aleeza Adelman on under Uncategorized



To our Camp Ramah in the Berkshires Community,

Throughout our entire camper experience, we have been eagerly awaiting our Gesher summer; the last hurrah of our camper experience and the peak of our Ramah journey. If someone had asked us “what does it mean to be in Gesher?” at the end of our Machon summer, most of us would’ve replied with conventional, Gesher-like traditions such as leading Friday night shira, planning Yom Sport, being CITs, and going to Washington DC. Needless to say, the world changed in a dramatic way since last summer and our expectations, lives, and priorities have shifted. This summer was not what we expected and was far from the Gesher experience that we have been excited for since our Ta’am summer. However, despite the fact that our Gesher was not traditional, we believe that through this experience our edah has gained a unique, meaningful understanding of what it means to be in Gesher and a part of the Ramah community at large.

Although we were upset to be missing what is supposed to be the best summer in camp, our greater sadness was the feeling of distance from our Ramah family. Throughout such difficult global conditions and hardships, you need to be surrounded by the people you love the most (for us, our Ramah community). We found strength in our love for camp and closest Ramah friends in order to grieve what felt like losing such a significant part of our lives. We realized how fortunate we were to have something that hurt so much to lose. We tried to make the most of a less than ideal, imperfect situation by organizing and joining zoom peulot, acting as virtual CITs at #CampTime programming, and participating in Kabbalat Shabbat and Havdalah calls.

Through this summer we realized that the Ramah magic exists in the Ramah people and extends beyond the two months spent in Wingdale. We learned that being a part of the Ramah community means finding creative ways to come together, showing resilience through difficult times, and sticking together in the face of hardships. If someone asked us today, “what does it mean to be in Gesher?”, we’d respond very differently than we would have a year ago. We’d say that it means rising above difficulties and becoming a leader. It means having unwavering love for your community. It means persevering through disappointments and making the most out of an unideal situation. Above all, it means developing a great appreciation for the experiences, memories, and people we’ve gained from our years at Ramah.
We’d like to extend a big thank you to you all for supporting our edah, as well as the entire Ramah family, during this unique time and throughout the loss of Kayitz 2020. Additionally, we’d like to thank our rosh edah, Noam Kornsgold, for all of his hard work and dedication in making this summer special for us, and making some Gesher activities possible virtually. One tradition that we’re able to emulate from home is the final Gesher Shabbat. We invite all of you to join us for our final Shabbat as campers this Friday at 6 PM.

Remy Rabin, Zoë Teicher, and the rest of Gesher 2020