Celebrating Our Community of Belonging

The month of February is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). It is an opportunity to unify, connect, and strengthen our Jewish communities by learning from others, hearing different perspectives, raising awareness, engaging in advocacy, and increasing a sense of belonging amongst all individuals. We encourage everyone to become involved by visiting the RespectAbility website for excellent resources related to this theme for use this month and throughout the year.

Since the inception of the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah New England (CRNE) over 50 years ago, its presence has positively contributed to the larger camp community. Generations of Ramahniks have grown up playing and working alongside children, teens, and young adults with learning and developmental differences (and similarities!) who are simply part of the Ramah community – an integral part – just like every other camper and staff member.

Presently, the Tikvah Programs at all three of our camps – CRNE, Ramah Day Camp Greater DC and Ramah Day Camp Greater Boston – continue to grow and evolve with new and expanded initiatives. We want to share some updates:

  • In addition to CRNE, our day camps will both provide Tikvah and individualized support to campers and staff this summer.
  • CRNE will be adding a second Mini-Amitzim session during first session, offering an additional opportunity for our youngest Tikvah campers (ages 10-13 years) to experience a 2-week “Taste of Ramah.”
  • Our Vocational Education Building expansion is expected to be completed in time for kayitz (summer) 2023, allowing for more Voc Ed participants and staff to be housed in this cozy dorm-like structure.
  • A great group of our CRNE Voc Eders are currently on a Tikvah Birthright Trip to Israel along with Tikvah participants from Ramah camps across the country and Canada, organized through the National Tikvah Network.

As Tikvah continues to grow to meet the needs of our participants, it serves as a model, paves the way to greater understanding, and demonstrates the ripple effect that can occur when a space is created for individuals of all abilities. Within our greater Ramah community and across all our camps, the values of respect, acceptance, appreciation of individuality, and fostering an experience of belonging for all members of our kehillah (community) remain central. May we continue to go from strength to strength together! Tov Li B’Machaneh Ramah!

Categories: Amitzim, Tikvah, Voc-Ed