חדשות מחנה רמה CAMP RAMAH NEWS L'Shana Tovah From Camp Ramah!
The Ramah Community joins with all of the Jewish people in mourning the loss of former Israeli President Shimon Peres. May we continue to learn from his optimism and wisdom always and may his memory be for a blessing.
First Session - Tuesday, June 20 – Monday, July 17
Second Session - Thursday, July 20 – Wednesday, August 16
Gesher Alef - Tuesday, June 20 – Monday, July 3
Gesher Bet - Tuesday, July 4 – Monday July 17
Gesher Gimmel - Thursday, July 20 – Wednesday, August 2
Gesher Dalet - Thursday, August 3 – Wednesday, August 16
**Yom Kehillah – Sunday, JULY 9, 2017**
A Word From Our Executive Director Rabbi Joe:
This fall with the upcoming election, there is only so much NPR election coverage I can handle while driving the LA Freeways. Consequently, I started a few podcasts including the Hidden Brain (which I learned from NPR as well). I recently listened to an episode based on a book called the “Power Paradox.” The main idea is that the very attributes that enable people to assemble power and influence, namely traits of being good like listening, responding to the needs of others, kindness…, are the very traits that are lost once power is acquired. The author, Dacher Keltner, states:
The power paradox is this: we rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst. We gain a capacity to make a difference in the world by enhancing the lives of others, but the very experience of having power and privilege leads us to behave, in our worst moments, like impulsive, out-of-control psychopaths.
One simple and poignant study quoted by the author is about a group of three people who sit for a meeting when one is randomly designated the supervisor. On the table is a plate of five cookies. The study asks, who eats a second cookie when there are not enough for each person to have two? Nearly twice as often, it is the randomly selected supervisor.
In life, school, families, friendships, and business and certainly at Camp Ramah, power and influence are real commodities. Camp Ramah is incredible about elevating leaders based on idealistic and Jewish values. Our challenge is to fight human nature and human psychology, to ensure that those in positions of influence all around camp use our Jewish daily and seasonal reminders to remain humble. The Shema is about listening. Our tradition elevates Moshe and Hillel as paradigmatic Jewish leaders because they remained humble even after assuming mantles of power and influence. The Yamim Nora’im, Days of Awe, are a time for each of us to consider the spheres in our lives in which we have power to check that we don’t fall prey to the “Power Paradox.” The first of the three themes of the Rosh Hashanah Musaf service is Malchuyot, Kingship. This reminder of our place in God’s vast universe is our spiritual Jewish reminder that Jewish leadership and influence is predicated on humility. Keltner states:
Stay focused on other people. Prioritize others’ interest as much as your own. Bring the good in others to completion, and do not bring the bad in others to completion. Take delight in the delight of others, as they make a difference in the world.
On behalf of Board Chair Dr. Andrew Spitzer and Ramah’s entire lay leadership and professional team, we wish you a L’shana tova u’metukah, a Good and Sweet New Year.
The Jewish Federation’s Tour de Summer Camps is a community fundraising event with four amazing routes for cyclists of all skill levels. Proceeds make it possible for more children across Los Angeles to have the life-changing experience of attending Jewish summer camp. Click here to donate, register or for more information!
Camp Ramah in California is affiliated with the National Ramah Commission and is under the educational auspices of the Zeigler School of Rabbinic Studies at American Jewish University, and works in partnership with institutions of the Conservative movement in the Western United States.