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From Ojai, CA: A Morning with Participants in Ramah California’s Ezra Program

Ezra, part of Tikvah at Ramah California, is a program that provides vocational education (voc-ed) training for young adults with special needs. Last Monday, August 5, I had the pleasure of traveling with five Ezra participants in the van that transported them from camp to their work placements in the town of Ojai. This year, Ezra has been supported in part by a generous National Ramah grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Jesse and David at Rainbow Bridge Natural Foods

David and Jesse at Rainbow Bridge Natural Foods

Ezra Coordinator David Abraham, a veteran Tikvah staff member, was our driver. First we dropped Sam off to do maintenance work at The Gables of Ojai, an elder care facility, and then proceeded to Rainbow Bridge Natural Foods, where Jesse began to bag groceries.

Zach Working at the Ojai Public Library

Zach at the Ojai Public Library

When we arrived at the public library, the supervisor expressed great appreciation that Zach had arrived and would spend the day re-shelving the many DVDs that had been returned over the previous few days.

Shaina and Ariel at the Humane Society

Shaina and Ariel at the
Humane Society of Ventura County


Finally, we toured the Humane Society of Ventura County, where Ezra participants Shaina and Ariel began to play with kittens and puppies, most of whom found a home at this shelter after being abused or abandoned. “I love playing with the puppies,” explained Shaina, “especially because I know they need so much love.”

As Ramah camps continue to expand their voc ed programs for young adults with special needs, it is most inspiring to see the impact not only upon the young adult participants, but also upon these businesses, and especially the camp community.

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  1. When The Time Comes | Zeh Lezeh (For One Another)

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