Coming Soon: Beautiful Gates to Welcome Shabbat!

During staff training week, our tzevet (staff) is undergoing rigorous, thorough sessions of all sorts, for the best possible preparation to greet and care for our chanichim (campers).  This year our madrichim (counselors) had a unique and creative opportunity, to participate in painting new Shabbat Gates.  (photos, below).

These colorful Gates will be completed soon, and then will be set up each Friday afternoon to greet our chanichim (campers) as they approach the Chadar Ochel (dining room).  They will add beauty and excitement to the approaching Shabbat, enhancing the Shabbat experience for our entire kehilla (community).   The gates were designed by artist Tova Speter (photos & bio, below)  after a phone call with nivonimers who shared ideas about what the imagery should include.

The “Tov li” side of the gate features music notes and organic swirls, with overlapping hands on the posts (each hand may have an edah name).  This side represents the dynamic flow of camp in the present day.  The Jerusalem side of the gate features the skyline (connecting this gate with the old city gates), pomegranates (which are in season during the summer months of camp) and Hamsas on the posts (complementing the hands on the other side). It also has a blue wave on top and bottom representing the flag and connecting visually to that element from the other side). Shabbat Shalom is written in the lettering style of the old gate as a way to connect back to that one.  Over 100 staff contributed their unique patterns to the blue waves on each aide as well as adding detail and color throughout all of the sections.

Tova Speter is an artist, art therapist, art educator, and arts consultant based in Newton, MA. She specializes in working with adolescents, and has more than fifteen years of experience leading community mural projects in the greater Boston area and internationally in Argentina, China, Panama, and Israel. Find out more about Tova’s work (and see pics from past Ramah collaborations) at: Tova also has a private practice offering art therapy and mental health counseling services; works as a consultant with congregations interested in exploring innovative ways to infuse more arts-based experiences into their programming; and is the founder and director of The MEM Project, a Boston-based venture that engages individuals through the artistic process as a means to explore Jewish identity and encourage connection with under-served communities through collaborative mural projects. Find out more about The MEM Project at