Dear Ramah Kehillah/Community,
The nature of camp is so cyclical. Every year we close up one summer with a tired and grateful smile and open the next. This year, for the first time in Ramah’s 65 years, we had a summer without in-person Ramah. While our world is still uncertain and confusing, it feels more symbolic than ever to be opening enrollment for Kayitz (summer) 2021. We want and need camp MORE THAN EVER! What we may have taken for granted in the past such as kids being together outside, hugging, laughing, away from technology, immersed with young adults and away from their nuclear families and steeped in a vibrant Jewish community, today we feel is a great luxury and something to aspire and work hard for.
With that in mind, we are hard at work to plan, pivot, change, and plan again, to do everything we can to make that dream become a reality. We are counting on you to help us and try as much as you can to plan ahead, so we can make this happen together.
We were blown away this past summer by the magic that was created when we came together as a community. We did not expect our virtual summer to be as so magical and meaningful. We are reminded of the sacred community that is created when families, campers, staff, professionals, and lay leaders come together and make Ramah come to life, even if it’s not how we imagined.
L’Shana Haba’ah B’Ojai! Next year in OJAI!
As we prepare for 2021 we want to make sure you can stay up to date with all the information we will be sending out. This page can serve as a hub for you to easily access important emails, links to, and recaps of, future town halls or parlor meetings, frequently asked questions, and more.
If you are ready to apply, click here to get started!
Important Emails & Information
Why should I enroll early for 2021 (Email)
Our Enrollment Town Hall (Video) (Password: Enrollment2020)
Enrollment is Open! (Email)
Thanks for helping us raise $1,000,000! (Video)
Frequently Asked Questions
Please click here for our general Frequently Asked Questions or look below for 2021 specific information.
2021 Specific FAQ’s
We know that the world is in a constant state of change with new information unfolding almost daily. Amidst this unpredictability, we have crafted a simple philosophy to guide us and provide stability in planning and decision making for next summer. Our three pillars are:
Safety - Safety first, Ruach second
Safety is our guiding principle, followed closely by all the elements that make up our camp’s ruach (spirit). Keeping our chanichim (campers) and tzevet (staff) healthy and protected will guide us in making decisions for what we can and can’t do, and how we may need to adjust along the way. We will continue to work with our medical committee, our COVID task force, and local and state governments to help guide our planning.
Essence - The essence is most essential
Our focus this summer is to GET KIDS TO CAMP - in one space, away from technology, and playing together. We won’t compromise our wonderful education and programming, but our primary focus and goal will be to maintain the ESSENCE of camp and togetherness.
Together - We are stronger together
We are committed to keeping our community connected and keeping the spirit of Ramah alive. As we have done since March, we are thinking about how to give meaning to our families, campers, and staff during these difficult times, in a Ramah way. We recognize that a summer away from camp with a 22-month gap, as opposed to a 10-month gap between summers, requires a greater need for connectedness.
Here are some of our reasons why enrolling your children now makes a difference to us all.
- We've frozen our rates at 2020 levels, and they won't change throughout the year. At this difficult time, we want to make camp accessible to all, so we will maintain these rates all year long. However, we encourage all who are planning to enroll and are able to so early.
- Enrolling early is an investment in camp. it allows us to anticipate enrollment number and income so were can plan for a super summer, maintain our year-round team, hire exceptional staff early if the ball season before other opportunities open up for them, and plan programming and materials better. Help us have the best summer ever - enroll now!
- The earlier you register, the longer you will have to pay and, therefore the lower your monthly payment will be. Camp fees need to be paid in full by June 1st, so enrolling now will make a real difference
- Even if you cant start making payments right away, we want you to know that we are here to work with you and create a plan that reflects your circumstance.
Peace of Mind
- Not only does enrolling early check a box off of your to-do list, but it allows you to secure your child's spot for Kayitz 2021. While we are planning to operate at full capacity, we are aware that for safety reasons or by state mandate, it could be necessary to have a smaller number of campers per session. In that event, enrollment will be determined by the order that applications were received. You'll feel at ease knowing your application came in early.
- Enrolling for camp takes some uncertainty out of this uncertain time. It's simply good for the soul for you and your child to have something to look forward to and to focus on a summer together rather than the one we missed.
One of our guiding principles this year is “togetherness.” To that end, keeping our community connected during the coming year through programming is essential and we will definitely be offering virtual programming starting in the fall. We plan to partner with our families, community rabbis, and schools to see how Camp Ramah can best support our chanichim (campers) and keep the Ramah spirit strong.
For in-person gatherings, we are dreaming and yearning for this possibility during the winter or spring. Of course, this hinges on approval and guidance from the county and state. If we get permission, we’ve already got some ideas in mind and you’ll be the first to know!
Enrollment Fees, Financial Aid, & The Financial Health of Camp
In the event that we cannot safely operate our summer programming in 2021 and Ramah cancels prior to the beginning of summer sessions, families will be eligible for a full refund.
Should a family choose to cancel enrollment, refunds would be subject to our regular cancellation policy that can be found in the Terms & Conditions section of our online application.
We are continuing to work with our insurance partners to offer the best possible insurance option for our families. We will provide details as soon as they become available to us.
Families will need to reapply for financial aid. We evaluate each year independently and we want to provide as much support as possible given any current situation your family may be facing.
More information is available on our Financial Assistance page.
While first-year campers are still eligible for the One Happy Camper grant, the application will not roll over and thus you will need to complete the form again. Information and the application can be found here: https://jewishcamp.org/one-happy-camper/
In addition to freezing our tuition at the 2020 level, we are offering a sibling discount of:
• $75 for your second child
• $100 for your third child
• $125 for your fourth child
You can enroll now and rest assured that you have until January 1st, 2021 to withdraw or make changes without any penalty. As outlined in the Terms & Conditions section of our online application, after January 1st:
There is a $100 session change fee unless going from 2 weeks to 4 weeks.
There is an $800 cancellation fee from 1/1/2021 to 5/1/2021.
There is no refund after 5/1/2021.
You should enroll your child based on the grade level they will enter in the fall of 2021. Our creative and talented camp staff are already working on ways to give campers a taste of special rituals and activities they may have missed last summer. However, our focus will be on having all of our Ramahniks continue on their Ramah journey by moving ahead according to their current grade.
The chart below indicates the names of each edah
(unit) based on grade level. Please note that Gesher is a 2 week program. All other programs are 4 weeks.
|Gesher Alpeh & Gimmel - 3rd/4th |
Gesher Bet & Dalet - 4th/5th
|Sollelim - rising 8th grade
|Nitzanim - rising 4th/5th grade||Tzophim - rising 9th grade
|Giborei* - rising 6th grade||Kochavim - rising 10th grade
|Adat Shalom - rising 7th grade||Machon - rising 11th grade
|Amitzim - multiple grades, for campers with disabilities||Ezra - vocational program for young adults with disabilities
* For summer 2021 a 2 week option will be extended to rising 6th graders following the Gesher bet and dalet dates
We recognize that some of our campers who were planning to come to Ramah for a two-week session in 2020 missed out on that opportunity. Many of those same campers would now only be eligible for a 4 week session. As our main goal is to welcome kids back to camp and to make their return easy and inviting, we are, for the first time, extending an option for a 2 week session to rising 6th graders.
This new opportunity will have limited enrollment and is designed for kids who were enrolled for Gesher Bet or Dalet in 2020. We realize those campers didn’t have the opportunity to come for two weeks and may not be ready to jump into a 4 week experience. If in 2020 your child was enrolled for Nitzanim, a 4 week program, we encourage you to enroll your child for the 4 week Giborei program for 2021.
As of now, we do not have a date for Yom Kehillah 2021. We will discuss the feasibility of a Visitors’ Day with the City of Ojai, the County of Ventura, and internally. However, we recognize that hosting an in-person Yom Kehillah as we have in the past is unlikely.
Camper Care: Supporting your Child’s Social and Emotional Well-Being
Camp readiness is an important consideration in any summer and we know you may be wondering whether your child is ready for a first experience, or ready to make the shift from two to four weeks away. We know we currently can’t rely on practice sleep-overs or overnight school trips as indicators. However, there are many ways to assess how your child might adjust to a camp setting based on current information. Please reach out to Dr. Aviva Levine Jacobs
, our Director of Camper Care, to arrange to speak about how to make the best determination for your child for Kayitz (summer) 2021.
Each summer, our staff prepare to acclimate first-time campers to the experience of being away from home and to support kids in making new friends and in leaving behind the digital world. They guide children and teens in their efforts to try out new skills as they stretch beyond their comfort zone. While we know that our campers have experienced disruption to their lives in countless ways, we are confident that the camp setting remains a place where kids can relax and have fun, connect with friends, explore Judaism, and feel a sense of belonging. We have an exceptional team of camper care professionals who will continue the work of meeting campers where they are at and partnering with parents to support a successful session at camp.
If your questions weren’t answered here, please schedule a call and we will be happy to answer any further questions you might have.