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Jim Joseph Foundation Fellows Educator Blog

100 Days of Butterflies
March 11, 2010 by Howard Blas

My camp, Camp Ramah in New England, has asked campers and staff to participate in the blog series, “Impact of Ramah-The 100 Day Countdown.” Members of the camp community are asked to share what they are “most excited about, most looking forward to, or most miss about camp that you can't wait to experience again?”

Though I have been working at camp for sixteen years and directing their Tikvah (special needs camping) Program for ten, I admit to feeling a bit nervous as camp approaches. I take comfort in the words of the late Professor Nechama Leibowitz, as shared by her student, Dr. Joe Freedman, Director of Ramah Programs in Israel. Joe always tells his staff of the time he approached Professor Leibowitz at the start of one of her famous Parshat Hashavua classes. She politely asked him, “Can you please come to me after class, kee yesh lee parparim b’beten—I have butterflies in my stomach.”

If such a gadol hador (giant of the generation) has butterflies in her stomach, it is okay for all of us to have butterflies in our stomachs! I share this story with my staff each summer and take comfort in the fact that I am not alone.