This Sunday, Rosh Edah, Rami Schwartzer, and I will join 40 riders, representing Ramah camps across the US and Canada, in the first ever Ramah Galil Bike Ride (http://www.ramahbikeride.org).Â Each rider has a unique story of why he or she is riding in support of special needs camping programs at all Ramah camps.Â As my rider page explains, I came to Ramah New England in 1984 to work in the kitchen.Â When there was an unexpected last minute opening for a counselor position in Nivonim, they considered mefor the job, but I was too young!Â A guy named Cliff Nerwen, scheduled to be an Amitzim counselor, agreed to make the move to Nivonim, and I took his spot in Tikvah!
I can honestly say that â€œswitchâ€ to Tikvah changed my lifeâ€”this is my 17th year affiliated with Tikvah.Â And Cliff Nerwen, a long time Nivonim counselor and Rosh Edah at CRNE, is now a pediatrician; he works each summer as a camp doctor at Ramah Berkshires. I look forward to reconnecting with Cliff as we ride together through the Golan Heights and Galilâ€”for a good cause!Â Check out my rider page!http://www.firstgiving.com
And RamiÂ has his own special story. â€œMy connection to Tikvah runs deep,â€ Rami reports. â€œAs a camper, I spent much of my summers volunteering my time in the Tikvah program and another three summers working for the program in different forms. Today, as a rosh edah elsewhere in camp, I continue to see Tikvah as a crucial component of my camp experience and get great joy out of watching my campers of all ages and abilities make Tikvah a part of their summer as well.â€ Â
Rami is now working in New York City as a Special Projects Coordinator for the National Ramah Commission.Â When he started working in this capacity, the idea for the ride began to materialize.Â â€œThey needed a coordinator for the trip and, eager to be involved in any kind of project related to Tikvah, especially on a national level, I happily jumped on board.â€Â
In addition, Rami notes,Â â€œOn a more personal note, I dedicate my own five days of riding to the honor of my dear friend, shul buddy, and soon-to-be brother-in-law (Dani, brother of long time Tikvah Rosh Edah, Ariella Rosen), to whom the Tikvah program at Ramah NE has been incredibly meaningful over the years.â€Â Read Ramiâ€™s story and consider sponsoring him!Â http://www.firstgiving.com
Thanks to the kindness of many in our camp community, I have raisedÂ nearly $11,000!Â And Rami has exceeded his goal of $3,200!Â The 40 riders are likely to raise more than $180,000!!! We are so close to hitting our goal!
Kol Hakavode to all of the riders and supportersâ€”especially those with Ramah New England affiliations--Rami, me, Ciff, Ellen Phaff Shein and Harriet. Â