NRC Spring Leadership Training Conference at Ramah Darom

We are into our third day (out of 5) of our NRC Spring Leadership Training Conference at Ramah Darom. In total, 150 staff members have gathered for a variety of training opportunities, including:

  • The Louis and Shoshana Winer Institute for Rosh Edah Training—our largest group ever, bringing 41 rashei edah from all the Ramah camps for an intensive course on how to be a rosh edah or, for veterans, how to improve.
  • The AVI CHAI-funded Daber Fellowship Seminar61 madrichim from all Ramah camps are undergoing intensive training in methodology of second language acquisition, learning new games and programs to infuse more Hebrew into the everyday life of camp, improving their own Hebrew usage through many hours of speaking and listening, and sharing best practices regarding how to bring Hebrew into camp life in a fun way.
  •  The National Ramah Tikvah Network—bringing together 12 madrichim from Ramah special needs programs to strengthen the movement-wide agenda for children, teens and young adults with special needs and to train for this important work this summer. Training for staff of the Ramah Tikvah programs is supported by the Neshamot Fund of UJA-Federation of New York and the 2011 Ramah Israel Bike Ride.
  • The new AVI CHAI-funded KIVUN program, a joint project with URJ camps—bringing to camp for this week camp specialists for training in the fine arts, performing arts and swimming certification. In addition to strengthening their specialty and instructional skills, all participants are learning new ways of incorporating Jewish values, Hebrew, Israel and other Jewish content into their specialty instruction. (Also taking place this week and next are other Ramah-URJ training institutes at URJ Camp OSRUI—song leader instruction; Camp Ramah in the Rockies—Wilderness First Aid and First Responder certification; and URJ 6 Points Sports Academy at the American Hebrew Academy—sports staff instruction.)

Tefilah this morning was simply inspirational. We are 150 strong, and our Hallel for Rosh Hodesh davening was rockin’, with drums, guitars, and lots of dancing. Our URJ colleagues began davening separately this morning, and I was pleased to visit with them and see some amazing ruach. Then they joined the larger group and enjoyed the Hallel festivities!

One rosh edah commented that “if only we could find a way to daven like this all year long, Judaism would be thriving!” Another commented that “being together with so many other Ramahniks from all over North America makes me feel so much stronger about the impact of Ramah on our communities.”

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