Tikvah: Fulfilling Our Obligation for Jewish Learning & Living
Every member of the people of Israel is obligated to study Torah—whether one is rich or poor, physically able or with physical disability. (Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Talmud Torah, Ch. 10)
This Rambam quote does more than just remind us of everyone’s obligation to study. This statement also demands that we provide the inclusive space for people to fulfill their obligation of Jewish living and learning. Ramah New England takes this commitment to inclusion seriously – this makes me an incredibly proud staff member and camp parent.
Last summer, at Ramah Day Camp Greater DC, we formally launched our Tikvah Program* for campers who need additional support. This program was led by Elisheva Layman and started with eight official campers and one staff member, along with eight additional campers who received some type of support. We are happy to announce that our program is growing. On April 19, we are hosting our first ever Tikvah family program at camp. This event will include a tour of camp, parent learning, a sibling workshop, and camp-style activities for our Tikvah campers. (For more information, or to register, click here. For kayitz 2020, we hope to increase our Tikvah camper enrollment by 25%.
Making space at camp for those who need additional support is not just good for those campers and their families, it is good for all of camp. We learn in Pirkei Avot 4:1, “Who is Wise? Someone who learns from everyone.” We become better citizens and learners when we include as many people as possible in our community. I am excited to help our community learn and grow and hope you will partner me in encouraging others to join us this summer.
*The Tikvah Program at Ramah Day Camp Greater DC is supported by Diane Lipson Schilit and Howard Schilit.