Baruch HaBa: Jonathan Madoff

We welcomed Jonathan Madoff, Director of Tichon Ramah Yerushalayim (TRY) to our machaneh (camp) on Monday.  Jonathan spent the day all around our machaneh, speaking with individuals and groups about the various Ramah Israel programs.  To start of his day,  Jonathan gave an interesting D’var Torah at the Tefilla (prayer service) of adat na-Nivonim about the parsha, Balak.  He talked about the meaning of the name Balaam, בִּלְעָם, and said that some commentators have explained it as coming from the two words  בְּלִי  עַם or “without a people”.  Jonathan also described an A.B. Yehoshua story in which he described Jewish life in Israel as the person’s skin, in comparison with Diaspora Jews for whom their Judaism is akin to a jacket that can be donned or discarded at will.  He challenged our chanichim to think hard about whether or not they agree with this analogy.  Jonathan described the Ramah Israel and TRY programs, and encouraged the Nivonimers to travel to Israel next summer with Ramah Israel Seminar.  Many chanichim have described this experience as giving themselves a whole additional kayitz (summer) of togetherness as an edah, along with the other participants from all the other Ramah camps.  He concluded by urging our chanichim (campers) to not be בְּלִי  עַם  “without a people”.    Jonathan is pictured, above, with Nivonimers and Tzevet who attended the TRY program.  Baruch HaBa, and Yasher Koach!