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Camp Ramah in California is a Jewish summer camp located in Ojai, California. Population-wise, it is the largest of the Ramah summer camps, and it caters to the communities of the west coasts of the United States, Canada, Mexico, as well as the non-contiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska. It has also hosted campers from the United Kingdom. It is also one of the only Ramah camps which also has a Winter Camp and winter weekends, owing to its favorable winter climate. The summer season is split up into two four-week sessions where a total of over 1,350 campers attend.
The campers are split up into a number of age groups, called Edot. They are as follows:
- Gesher ("bridge") is a special 1 to 2-week program for younger campers entering 3rd to 5th grade who want to be acclimated to camp-life in shorter sessions.
- Nitzanim ("sprouts"), entering 4th and 5th grade
- Giborei Yisrael ("heroes of Israel"), entering 6th grade
- Adat Shalom ("the tribe of peace"), entering 7th grade
- Sollelim ("pioneers"), entering 8th grade
- Tzofim ("scouts"), entering 9th grade
- Machon ("foundation") entering 10th grade
- Amitzim ("the strong ones") is an edah for special needs children of camp-age.
A recently defunted edah, Abirim ("knights"), used to parallel Nitzanim with children entering 4th and 5th grade.
Machon marks the last summer a person may return to Ramah as a camper. The next summer, a majority of the former campers (or "Ramahniks") embark on a six-week historical trip through Israel called "Seminar," prior to the beginning of their 11th grade years. Other former Ramahniks embark on similar trips with youth organizations such as USY ("United Synagogue Youth"). Then, former campers (and non-campers alike) have the opportunity to apply to the "Mador" program as first-time counselors or Madrega program for first-time specialists in the summer before the 12th grade.
In addition to the thousands of total campers that attend the camp in any given summer, there are also hundreds of staff members that serve various functions. Generally, the "Tzevet" ("staff") is divided into "Madrichim" (counselors) and "Moomchim ("specialists") while each Edah is led by a "Rosh Edah" ("head of the age group").
- Camp Ramah in California official website
- National Ramah Commission website
- "Research Findings on the Impact of Camp Ramah," 2004
- American Jewish University
- ↑ Silverman, Rabbi Hillel E. (2009). The Time of My Life: Sixty Fulfilling Years as a Congregational Rabbi. Jersey City, NJ: Ktav. pp. 34. ISBN 978-1-60280-119-6.
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