Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Friendly, Participatory, Egalitarian Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Our Rabbi Reporting Live from Summer Camp

Rabbi Israel with other staff at Camp Ramah’s ropes/adventure course in western Massachusetts.

With a live backdrop of nature on his Zoom connection, Rabbi Israel participated in the June 27 congregational meeting from Palmer, Mass., where he is spending most of July as a staff member of Camp Ramah in New England.

The rabbi told meeting participants that he had just completed his recertification to oversee the camp’s ropes/adventure course.

He has worked at Camp Ramah for two or four weeks each summer since 2007 when he was employed by Ohr Kodesh Congregation, which sent several youngsters to the camp.

“I love being a part of Jewish camping, where we are able to create a holistic and holy Jewish community.,” he said. “I wanted the students to see me beyond my role as rabbi/religious school director.”

He admits he overcame his own fears of climbing that first year when he scaled the camp’s 57-foot alpine tower. Now he enjoys helping campers overcome their fears and build self-confidence.

Rabbi Israel takes advantage of the 76-acre camp site in western Massachusetts, saying he swims the length of the lake and back (a half-mile) every Shabbat.

Five campers and two staff members affiliated with Tikvat Israel also are attending the camp in July.