What a great few days for Ramah at the Jewish Federations of North America's General Assembly (GA) in Denver this week.
Sunday night was truly magical. Hundreds of Jewish leaders came together for the annual Covenant Foundation awards dinner, at which Amy Skopp Cooper, National Assistant Director and Director of Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, NY, was recognized as one of three winners of this year's prestigious Covenant Award for excellence in Jewish education. I encourage you watch this inspiring video about Amy's work at Ramah Nyack.
Looking towards the future, the Covenant Foundation this year announced the inaugural Pomegranate Prize, recognizing five promising Jewish educators. One of the five award recipients was Anna (Robinowitz) Hartman, Director of Early Childhood Education at Greenfield Hebrew Academy in Atlanta. Anna is an alumna of Camp Ramah in New England, where she was a camper, and of Ramah Darom, where she served as a staff member with Director Rabbi Loren Sykes. She represents a new generation of Ramahniks who are making valuable contributions to their Jewish communities. We were joined at the Covenant dinner by ten other young Ramah alumni, who were attending the GA as representatives of Hillel, members of local delegations, and Wexner Fellows. The enthusiasm of these lively Ramahniks was contagious.
Ramah Alumni Reception, November 7, 2011
On Monday night, for the first time in at least a decade, we held a Ramah Alumni Reception at the GA, where Ramah alumni and friends were invited to meet and share stories. Almost 100 alumni attended, and the publicity for the reception throughout the GA kept people talking about the impact of Ramah on their lives, and on the landscape of leadership of Jewish communities globally. Click here to see photos from the event on Facebook. While at the reception, we celebrated the impact of Ramah and Amy's award, and we announced the imminent creation of a Ramah movement-wide alumni initiative. Being in Denver, we also celebrated the second outstanding season of our newest camp, Ramah Outdoor Adventure.
As I walked around throughout the three days at the GA, it was striking to see so many GA delegates proudly wearing the Ramah buttons that we gave out to Ramah alumni, Ramah parents, and Ramah grandparents, and to recognize the significance of Ramah's influence in so many organizations. As JTS Chancellor Arnold Eisen commented, "We are so proud of Amy Skopp Cooper and all that she and Ramah Nyack have accomplished. But this is also about Ramah being recognized as perhaps the greatest single creation of JTS, the Conservative Movement, and North American Jewry in terms of real lives impacted."