Kayitz 2021 Information

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.



Look below for 2021/COVID-19 specific information or click here for our general camp FAQ

General Questions

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-19 task force, and local and state governments to help guide our planning.

Essence - 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.

Togetherness - 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.

Dates, Rates, and Registration Questions

After the cancellation deadline of April 26th, there will be a fee if you choose to cancel your child’s registration. Please see our Date and Rates page for details. However, if the state and county guidelines are released after that date and require us to make significant changes in dates or programming, we will likely provide an additional window to cancel without penalty.
Our later start to the summer gives a greater buffer between the end of the school year and the beginning of camp. We also wanted to make sure to give a buffer between the sessions so our staff has a break to go home, as camp will most likely be closed camp during the session.
Each week, we review cancellations, and, based on age and gender, and staffing, where room is available, we notify families from the waitlist that a space is available. While we select campers from the waitlist based on the date of application, we do not share “where or what number” someone is on that list, as it can be deceiving. It happens regularly that some children have remained on the list despite no longer being able to attend camp. Thus, someone who enrolled much later might be offered a spot quite quickly.
We are aware of this potential issue and, once the LAUSD calendar is released, we will work with families to find a solution that will ensure a meaningful camp experience for these chanichim.

Financial Questions

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.

Insurance is available for those families interested in purchasing. Click here for more information: https://programprotector.mhross.com/consumer/portal/RAMA1752CA
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

Some campers might be eligible for our new Masah Incentive Grants. The Masah initiative provides a subsidy to Tzophim, Kochavim, and Machon (rising 9th-11th grade) campers, as well as 14-16-year-old Amitzim campers. This incentive is separate from our financial aid process; thus, it can provide support to a much broader range of our community. For more information please visit www.ramah.org/masah

Pre-Summer Protocols

  • Social Separation
      • During the 10 days before camp begins, we ask that campers avoid activities that are deemed high risk for COVID. During this period we ask that campers engage only in essential activities and remain masked and practice social distancing during these activities. Campers should avoid large social gatherings, whether indoors or outdoors, and non-essential travel. If campers are in school or attending a day camp prior to coming to camp, please be sure that these programs closely follow COVID guidelines and include masking, distancing, and focus on outdoor programming. 
      • During the 72 hours prior to camp arrival (following the second PCR test), we ask that campers limit their activities further and eliminate all non-essential social contact outside of the camper’s household.
  • Pre-Camp Testing
      • Campers will be required to get two molecular COVID PCR tests prior to arrival at camp. 
        • The first test should be performed 10 days prior to arrival.
        • The second test should be performed 72 hours prior to arrival.
      • These tests cannot be substituted with rapid antigen testing.  
      • Campers will need to show a negative COVID test result to be allowed to enter camp. 
      • Testing sites will be organized in some of our larger camper home locations; Please look out for upcoming information about these sites. 
      • If your camper has had a confirmed COVID-19 illness within the past 90 days, please contact andrea@ramah.org to discuss testing accommodations. 
  • Pre-Camp Symptom Monitoring
    • Please monitor for COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days leading up to camp. The following are a list of symptoms to look out for:
      • Fever or chills
      • Sore throat
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath
      • Persistent headache
      • Nausea and/or vomiting
      • Diarrhea
      • Change in taste or smell
      • General malaise
If your camper experiences any of the above symptoms during this time or comes into contact with anyone experiencing these symptoms or with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact andrea@ramah.org.

Summer 2021 Plans

    • Camp will feel like camp! It will be filled with our regular activities from past summers (with a bit of a twist for safety). Of course, our Ramah classics and traditions will be incorporated into our schedules at camp. You can count on Maccabiah, banquet, Kabbalat Shabbat, Rock around the ages, frisbee golf, cardboard pizza, and more. Take a quick look below for some of our plans:
  • Our Tzevet (staff) will look a little different too. We will have fewer specialists and more madrichim (counselors) involvement in daily activities. Each edah will have 2 roshim (unit heads) to best support our staff and programming.
      • Our canteen will remain open this summer, and will have a new and improved selection!
  • Tiyulim (trips) While out-of-camp trips will not be taking place, we are working to create in-camp activities to bring the essence of tiyulim utilizing existing and creating new resources on our property. Machon’s traditional tza’adah will hopefully feature a multi-day camping experience at nearby Lake Casitas. 
  • Meals will take place outside in shaded areas in open-air tents. As in 2019, we will have staggered mealtimes so smaller groups can eat together.
  • Mail is always welcome and we will continue with our flat package policy that began a few summers ago. In addition, for the first time, we will be offering an option for parents to request a return letter from their camper when they send an email. Campers written responses will be scanned and sent to parents via email. (Greater details on this process can be found in our handbook and we will be sharing more in an upcoming email.)
  • T’fillot (prayers) will be happening daily in pods in the beginning of the session with the hope of expanding as the session continues safely. We will also find ways to bring the ruach (spirit) and shira (singing) to camp in different capacities.
Laundry will remain unchanged. Two-week campers will have laundry service one time per session and three-week campers will have laundry done twice per session.
Yes, at least for a portion of the summer. Our hope is to be able to combine pods by edah after the first week or so, when we have completed three rounds of negative COVID-19 tests. Since our camp is bunked by gender, initially your pod will be the people with whom you live.
As has always been the case in the past, if a child is unhappy with their bunk, we work to figure out what’s going on and then to strategize how to best support the camper in making connections and overcoming their disappointment. Historically, we have seen great growth in children when they make new groups of friends and see that they can overcome challenges by learning new skills and shifting their perspective. We very rarely make a change in bunking placement and acknowledge that this year, due to podding and COVID, it will not be possible to make changes.
Our Machon program always functions as somewhat of a bubble on a unique schedule, so this summer won’t be so much of a change. We are still working on Machon housing for this summer. Know that they will still be doing all of their traditional activities (maccabiah, manhigut, mishkan) with a bit of a twist. No worries, they will still get to do mud hugs too!
Camp just wouldn’t be the same without a chance to say hello to siblings and family members. We recognize the importance and joy of these opportunities to visit and, while they may be masked and distanced, we assure you they are going to happen!
We think of camp much like the outside world has been these past 18 months. Those people you live with are “family.” So, when chanichim are in their bunks with their “family”, they will not be required to wear masks or distance. Nor will they need to wear masks or distance when they are outside doing an activity solely with the pod. However, when chanichim are passing through camp or doing activities with other pods, they will be required to wear masks and distance.
The temperature in Ojai varies throughout the day, from cool in the mornings and evenings to warm (and sometimes hot) midday. We are committed to giving mask breaks throughout each day, especially when the weather is especially hot. Know that any type of mask is permitted as long as it has more than 1 layer, so feel free to choose those that are most comfortable for your child! We will also have many additional disposable masks around camp. If chanichim are not used to wearing masks, we ask that you begin trying it in small doses before camp. It takes time, but they will be able to adjust quickly!

Additional Medical Questions

We will test our campers throughout the session. Campers will receive a molecular PCR test on the day of arrival, on days 3, 5, and 8, and then followed by once-weekly surveillance testing. Tests will likely be anterior nasal tests (the testing swab will only be inserted part way into the front of the nose).
If a camper in your pod tests positive for COVID, we will likely have a quarantine for a set of days. It would consist of a variety of programming outside and in more remote areas of camp. We ask that parents come pick up their child within 24 hours if their child tests positive for COVID.
Our tzevet (staff) will be required to be vaccinated and we strongly encourage all eligible chanichim to get vaccinated as well.
Our Clinical Medical Director at camp, Dr. Andrea Kasowitz, and our Medical Board Chair, Dr. Alyse Baron, have been part of the National Ramah Medical Committee, which is composed of medical professionals from each Ramah camp. In addition to this committee, we have also been discussing with our local Ramah Medical Committee as well as the American Camp Association. Even with California’s projected opening on June 15th, we still expect to be operating by standards set forth for residential camps. We will be in open communication with you as we navigate potential changes. Nothing is set in stone but we can ensure communication throughout the entire process.

If your questions weren’t answered here, please send us an email, and we will be happy to answer any further questions you might have.

Important Emails & Information

Ramah Inclusion & Diversity Statement (Email)

Revised Camp Dates & Transportation Guidelines (Email)

Plans For A Safe Summer (Covid Information) (Email)

Cancellation Deadline Extension (Email)

Who to Call at Camp? (Email)

Our Fall Philosophy (Email)

Introducing the Masah Incentive Grant (Email)

Enrollment is Open! (Email)

Our Enrollment Town Hall (Video) (Password: Enrollment2020)

Why should I enroll early for 2021 (Email)


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Administrative Office

17525 Ventura Blvd #310
Encino, CA 91316
Phone: 310-476-8571
Fax: 310-472-3810

Camp Mailing Address

385 Fairview Road
Ojai, CA 93023

Camp Location

385 Fairview Road
Ojai, CA 93023
Phone: 805-646-4301
Emergency Pager: 805-227-8023