Photo: Visual/Photos
Photo: Visual/Photos

US: Camp Ramah to host IDF's orphans

The group of Bar and Bat Mitzvah aged boys and girls will enjoy a summer connecting with their American peers. Part of project's donations came from camp's young participants

A delegation of 31 Israeli children who have lost parents or siblings in defense of the Jewish State will spend 10 days at Camp Ramah in California this August. Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) is sponsoring the trip as a way to provide these children with a unique Jewish summer camp experience far away from the daily realities of loss and war.


FIDF has been sponsoring such trips to US camps since 2003. This is the first time a delegation will attend a camp on the West Coast.


The group of Bar and Bat Mitzvah aged boys and girls will enjoy a summer connecting with their American peers and will be partnered with entering eighth grade Ramah campers for activities such as art, sports, drama, swimming, Jewish learning, and prayer.


Camp Ramah in California has agreed to serve as the delegation’s host camp where the Israeli campers and staff members will live during the week and over Shabbat.


“Camp Ramah in California is extremely proud to partake in this program,” said Zachary Lasker, Ramah’s Assistant Director. “We are so pleased to open our Jewish community to other Jews in the world in need of the support that we provide and the values we instill.”


Marci Barnhard Spitzer, Chair of the Board of Governors for FIDF Western Region, described the initiative as “a marriage between two wonderful institutions.” She added that the program would be “an opportunity for the Israeli and American children to live side by side and for the Israelis to feel the support of the Jewish American community.”


The program, entitled ‘Morasha,’ or ‘legacy,’ is being funded by sponsors in the Los Angeles community and beyond who are largely affiliated with FIDF or Camp Ramah. Among the many sponsors who will pay camp tuition for the Israeli children are thirteen Camp Ramah in California families, members of the FIDF Board of Governors, the Jewish Federation of Palm Springs, and other generous parties. Two boys will be donating their bar mitzvah money to pay an Israeli peer’s way.


Peer's donation


“I wanted to do something for Israel,” said Ethan Wolens, a Milken Community Middle School student and six-year Ramah camper who will be at camp with the FIDF delegation this summer. He added that “Camp Ramah is a home away from home for me, and I wanted to help someone else have the same experiences that I have.”


Adam Schlesinger and Sean Abramson, 16 year old boys who have spent many summers at Camp Ramah in California, have similarly agreed to help pay the Israeli children’s way. The two boys have decided to make a corporate donation to the program through Lucky Pix, a business venture they began together in 2004. It is the largest single donation that Lucky Pix has made.


“We feel really passionately about Camp Ramah – both of us have grown up at camp,” Schlesinger remarked. “We’ve experienced everything that camp has to offer. It had such a great impact on me that I wanted to let other kids have this opportunity. As soon as we heard about this, we knew that this is where we wanted our money to go.”


פרסום ראשון: 06.21.06, 14:16
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