Motzei Shabbat, I went out with our roshim to Baskin Robins [there is not much open here at 9:30 PM!] – eight rashie edot and rosh sport. We had just spent Shabbat together – hearing inspiring divrei Torah, walking and leaning more about camp and building that all important community of the roshim in camp. These are the folks who are the mid-management team of camp. Not every rosh was able to attend due to personal commitments, but as a group we are well on our way to forming the team.
This year’s roshim come to camp with diverse backgrounds as you might remember reading in the Countdown To Camp we sent out several weeks ago with their photos and bios. We spent time on Friday learning about the structure of the day and their role in it. We challenged each other in different ways. We discussed how we can do certain aspects better.
We spent two hours discussing Shabbat and walked through an exercise on My Jewish Journey. Shabbat to me is one of the central and most influential values we teach at camp. Alumni 20 – 30 years out of camp will recall their Shabbatot in camp. Folks will often say that they were turned on to Shabbat observance during their summers at Ramah. We spent some time reading passages from Heschel’s The Sabbath, a pivotal work that certainly influenced my life when I was in college and Rabbinical School.
My Jewish Journey was an opportunity to bare all in sharing where each of us was on the life long journey of Jewish commitment, involvement and observance. It was inspiring and encouraging to me that this group who has potentially so much influence over the success of summer and the ability to educate toward our mission of being a transformative Jewish experience for our campers and our staff members.
The assembled group has many years of youth work, communal teaching and other more diverse opportunities – baker, Year Course madricha and robotics work and jazz ensemble experience – and I am confident that they will lead our 50th summer with vision, competence and commitment.
On Sunday, 25 members of the Israel delegation, the Mishlachat, arrived in camp to begin their work on the waterfront and outdoor education staffs to be followed by our first year staff who arrive on Monday. Staff Week officially begins on Tuesday!
Rabbi Paul Resnick