Amongst the brightest jewels in the crown of Jewish life we build at Camp Ramah in California are our Tikvah programs, providing opportunities for young adults and children with disabilities to experience the joy, tradition, and friendship of Jewish summer camp. More than that, Tikvah ensures that all campers have an experience at camp that includes the diversity of the world, while underscoring the very Jewish values of inclusivity and sensitivity towards individual differences.
The Tikvah program at Camp Ramah is designed to support campers and staff members of all abilities. We create support systems, modified schedules, and programs in order to assure that everyone’s needs are being met in a thoughtful way. Our goals for all of our campers are to create community, increase independent living skills and to become proud Ramahniks.
Amitzim, for campers ages 10-17, is an important Edah (group) at Ramah. Our Amitzim campers have opportunities to participate in camp programs, along-side their peers and we offer supported, modified programming when appropriate. The Amitzim edah is run by thoughtful, specially trained counselors with a higher camper-counselor ratio. Some highlights of the Amitzim program are:
- Buddies with Kochavim campers
- Programming with our Machon campers
- A summer production performed in front of the entire camp
- An overnight outside of camp
The Ezra program is a 4 or 8 week vocational training program for young adults ages 18-26 and also captures the passion and excitement of Camp Ramah. During the summer, Ezra Program participants live at camp alongside 1400 staff and campers. They fill their days with job site experience, life skill classes, recreational activities, and living Judaism.
The Ezra Program allows participants to take their existing skills and enhance them to live more independent and productive lives. The independent living experience at Camp Ramah improves functioning through:
- Vocational Skills
- Independent Living Abilities
- Social Functioning
- Jewish Community Skills
Camp Ramah provides an ideal setting for Ezra participants who live in communal, independent living quarters with peers under adult supervision. Participants learn lessons of responsibility, kinship, sportsmanship, and sharing.
They receive job-training experience in a number of service areas throughout camp and are held accountable for their interpersonal relationships in the Ramah community. Program goals include preparing young adults for independent living and teaching them employment-related skills.
In addition to personal development, the Ezra program includes specific components to enhance their independent living experience:
- Cafe Ezra – participants devote one evening a week to running a cafe for the entire camp staff
- Buddy Program – participants are designated a special staff buddy to enhance friendships and interpersonal skills
- Days Off – each week participants will collaboratively plan their day-off activity
For more information about any of our Tikvah programs, contact Elana Naftalin Kelman, Tikvah Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.