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Ramah Stands with Israel

By Guest Blogger Amy Skopp Cooper, National Associate Director

Photos uploaded by participants in the “Ramah Stands with Israel” Virtual Rally

In a show of support to demonstrate that Ramah “Stands with Israel,” several hundred Ramahniks from 30 states and five countries participated in the “virtual rally” we held last night, via a conference call, Facebook event, and posting on the tumblr social media website.

The Ramah community is a global family, with the deepest of connections between our North American and Israeli campers and staff. As we experience this current crisis in Israel, I can’t help but reflect on the strength of our bond with our Ramah community in Israel. Our hearts reach out to them, praying for their security and strength.

Israel plays such a prominent role in our camps, in no small part because of our incredible shlichim. Year after year, these young, impressive Israelis, many of whom have just recently completed their service in the Israel Defense Forces, enrich our summers with their unique skills, idealism, and passion. The great love of Medinat Yisrael that our shlichim impart to our North American camp communities is incomparable. They become deeply integrated within not only our camps but also within the Ramah community as a whole.

Our Ramah family lives together not only during the summers in camp, but also in one another’s hearts year-round. We visit as often as possible and share in each other’s smachot whenever and however we can. And when we can’t physically be together, we are always finding moments throughout the year to celebrate and reunite, both virtually and emotionally. We are constantly in touch by phone, e-mail and social media—always staying connected.

These connections are always important to us, but no more important than in times of crisis, when we feel an immediate sense of family. As we hear of army reservists being called up to duty, we reach a point of concern as if these are own children, siblings—even extensions of ourselves. These are not just camp connections, these are family connections, and they are indestructible.

“It’s amazing how people get back in touch with folks they haven’t spoken to in a long time when a crisis happens,” said Maya Dolgin, who served last summer as Rosh Mishlachat at Ramah Nyack and now lives in Jerusalem, working as the assistant director of Nativ, The College Leadership Program of Israel. “Many of the shlichim are in touch on a regular basis, but now people are posting in our Facebook group to find out who was called up to reserves and to make sure everyone is safe.”

Even as we worry, we are filled with pride to hear of the good so many of our Ramahniks are doing during this time of adversity. “Many of the mishlachat are involved with groups that are going down to the south to bring supplies and toys for kids, but I’d say that the biggest service being provided is by those shlichim who put their uniforms back on and are awaiting further instructions from their commanders,” added Maya.

Please join the Ramah community as we continue to pray for Shalom.

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