Tikvah Director, Howard Blas, was invited to be a guest blogger on the matankids blog:
Why can’t camp be twelve months instead of just two months? asks Marcia Yellin, mother of Jacob Yellin, a long time camper and member of the vocational training program at Camp Ramah in New England’s Tikvah Program. Jacob and many other campers with a wide range of developmental disabilities have benefited from the Jewish, social, educational, recreational and vocational experiences which the Ramah camping movement has been offering since the first Tikvah Program started 41 years ago.Ramah currently offers a range of overnight, day and family camp programs for campers with a range of special needs.
But campers return home in August, and, they need to wait a long ten months before these rich experiences continue.
Thanks to Shabbos Is Calling, campers and staff members connect every Thursday night, all year round. Last year, a small group of campers and staff members from Ramah New England met by conference call every Thursday to sing Shabbat songs, learn about the parsha and â€œschmooze. This year, thanks to a grant from the Ruderman Family Foundation, campers and staff at four Ramah camps participate regularly in Shabbos Is Calling. And they can now see each other.
Every Thursday at 7, campers and staff from the Amitzim camping program in New England click on the link to a special Amitzim room on Megameeting.com. Roberta Lieber, mother of regular participant, Sam Glucksman, writes, I just want you to know how much he still loves it and looks forward to seeing his camp friends each week. From Sam’s perspective it is a real treat! Imagine the excitement of seeing friends pop up on the screen from Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and beyond. And the counselors are having a blast as well.