As both a camp parent and as the director of the Tikvah Program, I have attended many bar and bat mitzvahs of Ramah New England campers. And I have seen first hand just how a bar or bat mitzvah is enhanced when camp friends–from close by and from far awayâ€”are able to attend.
A highlight of my Purim today was when I saw friends from the Ramah New England community singing, dancing, eating and cheering with the Chalup Family at the Old Westbury Hebrew Congregation in Long Island, New York. Today was Alexaâ€™s Bat Mitzvah!
Alexa lead prayers, read from the Torah and delivered an amazing dâ€™var torah on the importance of being like Queen Esther and â€œstanding up for what you believe and think is right.â€â€”all while wearing Mickey Mouse ears! I was touched when she spoke about her synagogue Israel Trip and how camp friends came from throughout Israel to meet her. Alexa spoke of the special tour Dani (her counselor, studying in Israel) gave the family in Jerusalem, and of the special time spent with mishlochot member, Moti, who met them at Nof Ginosar.
Sometimes we forget just how special Ramah is, and how nice it is to share smachot and special times like Israel trips with our camp friends. Alexa reminded us of that today!