50th Alumni Reunion: Wonderful, Emotional, Magical!
We were thrilled to welcome close to twenty members of LTF 1967-Senior LTF 1968 back to Palmer on Sunday, July 8, for their 50th reunion!
The edot that are now Machon and Nivonim (rising 10th and 11th graders) were known as “LTF” and “Senior LTF” (for Leadership Training Fellowship) in the late 1960s. Some of the alumni started as young campers when Camp Ramah in New England was located in Connecticut. All finished their years as campers in Palmer. Quite a few had not returned to Palmer or seen one another for decades – some for as long as fifty years!
It was a great day to walk around, reminisce with friends, hear from director Rabbi Ed Gelb staff and two of the oldest campers … and of course end the day at Rondeau’s.
Mimi and Ethan, two members of Nivonim 2018, talked to the alumni about Camp Ramah’s recent and current impact on them. The alumni then shared their own views about how their Ramah experiences had effected their own lives. Two alumni reflected on Ramah’s enduring impact:
- Adele Gold Messina, originally from New Haven, CT: “At camp, I really liked being Jewish! … This was living a Jewish life in a very non-threatening, non-judgmental, non-competitive way.”
- Steven Broder, originally from Waterbury, CT: At Camp Ramah, “this was not my parents’ Judaism anymore … almost immediately I had this sense that Camp Ramah was a place to make Judaism mine … From our counselors, we saw how engaged one can be in the modern world from a Jewish perspective.”
The gathering was “wonderful, emotional, magical,” according to Rabbi Paul Kurland. Marty Feldman said it was “an event I will remember forever.” Rabbi Howard Rosenbaum, who initiated the effort to gather his old edah-mates, remarked: “All who participated continue to be on such an emotional high. The reunion really served to rekindle old friendships and create new ones! Who would have thought that it would have the impact that it has!”
Todah Rabbah to Howard for initiating this effort, and for everyone else who heeded his call to gather in Palmer. Please come back soon!
Want help in organizing a Ramah New England reunion? Contact Mindy Goldstein, firstname.lastname@example.org