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This year we will be sending twenty-one campers to Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, two to the Camp Ramah in the Rockies and will have two former campers returning as senior staff in Wisconsin. We also have the third largest class of new campers going to Ramah Wisconsin. Only Chicago and the Twin Cities are sending more.
Our relationship with camp is important for us—it gives our kids an enriching Jewish environment unavailable to them the rest of the year—and it is vital to the mission of camp Ramah. One of camp's core missions is to be there for communities like ours. Speak to the numerous parent's of camp alumni in our community and they will tell you how lasting the effect of camp is. And I know how important our community is to camp because every year, I have numerous conversations with the leadership of camp around how to make camp possible for all of our families. Camp does not leave us to figure this out on our own—Ramah raises money to support our community. Each year, as our number of campers grows, Ramah also asks me what we here in Madison can do to compliment their efforts to provide scholarships to camp for all who need them.
Our numbers at Ramah in Wisconsin have been growing over recent years to the point where we have virtually exhausted the David Temkin (scholarship) Fund. With this in mind, we are relaunching our fund. Previously the fund was an incentive fund, disbursements were made for every child attending camp. This is a lovely way to incentivize going to Ramah, however it left us without a source of funds to provide financial aid to families. Now we are relaunching the fund as a hybrid. It will continue to provide an incentive and at the same time, reserve funds each year for additional support for the families who need it.
To support this fund we are going to have our second Bike2Ramah ride, starting out at Beth Israel Center on Monday morning, July 11th and finishing to the cheering of campers and staff at Camp Ramah 260 miles and four days later. We will ride with at least the sample compliment of riders we had last year, and we are hoping to add to our numbers. Ankur Desai, Paul Wilson, Mark Copelovitch and I will be reaching out to our broad social networks seeking sponsors for our team's ride (100% of proceeds go to BIC's Camp Ramah scholarship fund). Please consider joining our team of riders, otherwise please consider making a donation to sponsor our mission.
Rabbi Joshua Ben-Gideon
Beth Israel Center
Teams and Walkers