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Special Articles

Apr32017
Baseball alumni take on the world
April 3, 2017

Two players’ journeys from Yale to the Red Sox to Team Israel. Like many Yale baseball fans, head Bulldogs coach John Stuper recalls watching in August 2012 as one of his former stars, Craig Breslow ’02, pitched to another, catcher Ryan Lavarnway ’09. This wasn’t some Yale baseball… Read more...

Mar62017
Mustering Up Morning ‘Minyan’ in Sun-Drenched St. Thomas
March 6, 2017

Writer joins a Virgin Islands rabbi on his daily rounds of hotels, timeshares and cruise ships ST. THOMAS, V.I.—The questions, both halachic and practical, start early on this 32-square-mile island in the Caribbean Sea. Rabbi Asher Federman, director of Chabad Lubavitch of the Virgin Islands in… Read more...

Aug102016
What World Team Tennis Can Teach Our Synagogues
August 10, 2016

It is rare that two of my favorite topics – tennis and Judaism – have much to teach each other. A few nights ago, as I watched the New York Empire battle the Washington Kastle on Opening Night of the World Team Tennis season at the legendary West Side Tennis club in Forest Hills, New York, I… Read more...

Jun12016
5 Tips For Making Playdates Fun For All Children
June 1, 2016

Kids today have more exposure and familiarity with all sorts of differences than their parents did. Not too long ago, it was the norm for children with any kind of special needs to be educated in separate programs and schools. Today children with disabilities — both visible and invisible — are… Read more...

Apr92016
Inclusion is a Critical Social Justice Issue: An Interview with Beth Steinberg of Shutaf
April 9, 2016

Social Justice may be understood through the many lenses found in Jewish texts, but perhaps none as foundational as “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18). In an interview conducted by Covenant Award Recipient and Director of National Ramah Tikvah Network Howard Blas, Shutaf… Read more...

Feb142016
Israel: The Original Covenant Classroom
February 14, 2016

In a special guest post for Covenant Classroom, Covenant Award recipient and Director of the National Ramah Tikvah Network Howard Blas shares some of the latest and greatest creative and original educational programming from Israel and reminds us yet again how the land of our ancestors is truly… Read more...

Sep242015
Wheelchair Tennis shows opportunity for inclusion in sports
September 24, 2015

For most tennis fans, the highlight of the 2015 U.S. Open was the anticipation and excitement around Serena Williams possibly winning the Grand Slam – all four major titles in a calendar year – for the first time since Stefi Graf accomplished this feat in 1988. For me, the highlight occurred on… Read more...

Sep62015
Friends of Tikvah Teach Baking, Storytelling and Dance!
September 6, 2015

Many people come each summer to see Tikvah in action – prospective parents, funders, educators, former staff members and friends who want to share a talent or skill. This summer, we have been blessed with three visitors who came to teach. Chef Paula Shoyer comes each year to share cooking and… Read more...

Sep62015
"Falling Off A Cliff": Vocational Education And Placement Essential For People With Disabilities
September 6, 2015

When the Tikvah Program for campers with disabilities was started in 1970 at Camp Ramah in New England, no one imagined a day when people with disabilities would be meaningfully included in Jewish camping. Now, 45 years later, every Ramah camp in the United States and Canada serves people with… Read more...

Aug252015
Moving Up
August 25, 2015

Everyone at Camp Ramah in New England calls the elderly Israeli man in charge of our nagarut (woodworking) department “Ron Im HaZakan,” Ron with the Beard. Ron has a long gray beard and has been coming to camp for many years. “Where is David this year?” Ron asks me in Hebrew… Read more...

Aug122015
Special Visitors to Tikvah Kayitz 2015: Educators, Disability Professionals & Funders
August 12, 2015

We have been blessed with many visitors to our Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in New England. Many visitors are educators and professionals in the field of disabilities and inclusion. They came from various communities and represented many denominations. Many came to observe Tikvah in action and to… Read more...

Aug102015
Alexa + Ramah Israel Seminar = Success!
August 10, 2015

On Sunday August 9th at approximately 4 pm, a group of Camp Ramah in New England Niv14 campers landed in New York after six amazing weeks on Ramah Israel Seminar. As these young men and women were enroute to their homes and were beginning to think ahead to Seminar Day in Palmer on Tuesday August… Read more...

Jul82015
New Online Inclusion Guide Helps Camp Prepare For All Campers
July 8, 2015

As more Jewish camps across the country expand their programs to welcome campers of all abilities, a new online resource has been created in a partnership between the Foundation For Jewish Camp and the Ramah Camping Movement. The “Inclusion Training Guide for Jewish Summer Camps” is a… Read more...

Jun172015
Using Learning and Behavioral Profiles to Help Students and Campers
June 17, 2015

Many years ago, I was giving bar mitzvah lessons to Jesse, a very intelligent young man with learning differences. When he heard that I would soon begin teaching one of his classmates, as well, he told me, “You will need to teach Jon differently than you teach me. I am good with transliterating the… Read more...

Jun22015
As Inclusion Expands In Jewish Summer Camps, A New Training Guide
June 2, 2015

After three years, the camp director has finally trained the 800 campers to “quiet down” in the chadar ochel (dining room) when he puts his hand in the air. One day, a young man with Down Syndrome grabs the microphone from the director and starts singing a version of “Shalom… Read more...

Dec92014
Lessons in Collaboration
December 9, 2014

Recently, I participated in a webinar entitled “Inclusion and Sensitivity.” It was impressive not only for the content but for the fact that it was a collaborative effort of the Conservative Movement’s Ramah Service Corps and the Union for Reform Judaism’s (URJ) Camps. The coordinators of both… Read more...

Jul172014
A Year of Hopeful Trends in the Inclusion World
July 17, 2014

As a teacher of Jewish Studies and b’nai mitzvah training children with a wide range of disabilities, and as a long time director of a disabilities program which is part of an 800+ camper Jewish overnight camp, I am immersed in the Jewish disabilities world and am part of dozens of year… Read more...

Feb42014
Inclusion Comes from the Top – and the Bottom, and Middle
February 4, 2014

On a recent ten-day Tikvah Ramah Israel trip, twelve participants with disabilities, ages 18-40, were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime visit to a 1,000-soldier army base. Admittedly, other tour groups visit army bases; our group spent three hours at the MAZI/Bar-Lev base near Kiryat Milachi, where… Read more...

Oct132013
David Dalnekoff Turns 40!
October 13, 2013

Most people at camp recognize David Dalnekoff as the hard-working, good-natured man who delivers the mail each day. This past Shabbat, David was honored by his synagogue, the Westville Shul in New Haven, Connecticut, with a Kiddush lunch in his honor, as he celebrated his 40th birthday. I was… Read more...

Aug152013
'I Get The Job Done' At Ramah's Guest House
August 15, 2013

I came to the Tikvah Program at Camp Ramah in New England in 1997 and was a camper in the Amitzim (the brave ones) division of the Tikvah program for campers with disabilities for about five years. Coming to Ramah was mostly my parents’ idea. We were looking for a Jewish camp mostly, and that was… Read more...

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