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Welcome to our Alumni Newsletter!

Summer 2017 Issue

In this Issue

2017 Season Update
Ramah Reunions and Summer Events
Alumni Profile: Naomi Zuk-Fisher
Alumni Updates
Family Camp
Reshet Ramah Alumni Network
Ramah Israel Programs

The New Givah - Home to Nivonim 2017
by Maya Zinkow (Nivo 2008), Rosh Nivonim

As we start a new week here at camp, our Nivonim (11th grade) campers are beginning their internship programs in the various specialty areas around camp. They are stepping into leadership roles with excitement and curiosity, especially given the amazing first week they had settling into their new home on the beautiful גבעה (Givah) campus. Click here to read more.

Leave Your Mark


You still have the opportunity to leave your mark on the new Nivonim campus! Go to to design your brick today and forever leave your mark at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin.  If you are interested in Hebrew engraved bricks, please contact Shaina at or 312-690-8333. 


Check out for more information on the new campus and to take a 360 virtual reality tour of the original cabins!
Our 70th Anniversary - Marking a Milestone

Marking a Milestone at the "Mothership"
by Shuly Rubin Schwartz, Visiting Professor

It’s always a treat to spend time at Ramah, but it was especially meaningful to visit Camp Ramah in Wisconsin—the first Ramah camp founded—this summer during Ramah’s 70th year. To mark this special anniversary, I had the opportunity to share with counselors, senior staff members, and older campers the foundational principles that inspired the creation of Ramah in 1947. We looked at texts from the 1940s which articulated Jewish leaders’ most pressing goals and hopes for the camp. The founders felt the burning need to identify future Jewish leaders, capture time in the summer for formal Jewish education, create a vibrant Hebrew speaking environment, expose campers to the beauties and joys of Jewish living, and cultivate wholesome Jewish personalities and caring human beings. Click here to read more.

Todah rabbah to the alumni from Ramah’s early years who have generously shared memories and reflections with our campers and staff this summer!

Chaviva Jacobson and the waterfront staff

Jacob Cytryn with Arthur Elstein and Lee & Judy Shulman
Rabbi David Soloff with Jodi and Herschel Kahn
Ramah Reunions and Summer Events

What a treat to welcome members of Nivonim 2004 and Nivonim 1992 for their reunions this summer!

Rick Weisman and Cissie (Jaffe) Samson are Ramah Wisconsin alumni whose paths crossed in New City, New York. Click here to read their story.
Send photos of your Ramah reunions to

Alumni Profile: Naomi Zuk-Fisher, Nivonim 1992

When Naomi Zuk-Fisher joined Barnard’s varsity crew (rowing) team, she committed to what turned out to be similar to a full-time job for her four college years. The team worked out twice a day, competed year-round and mingled together during the free remaining hours of the day.

With practices and training throughout the academic school year, the team competed in regattas in the fall and spring. Although they may not have won as much as they would have liked, Naomi found the team to be a strong community in and out of the water.

“It was a great sport,” she says now. “A great community; it was a social life — a lifestyle.”


Being a part of strong communities has been a running theme in Naomi’s life. A 1992 Nivonim alumnus of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Naomi came to camp for the first time for her Bogrim summer.

While her transition was made a bit easier due to a few other kids she knew from home in the Minneapolis suburbs also coming to camp for the first time that summer, Naomi now admits she “really didn’t know what [she] was getting into” at the time. She enjoyed her first summer but remembers playing a lot of catch-up in understanding camp’s culture, activities and social circles. Either way, she had a good enough time to sign up to return for her Machon summer, a decision she found made all the difference. Click here to read more.

Ramah Family Fun Day - Chicago and the Twin Cities 2017
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It was great to see so many Ramah alumni and their families at Family Fun Days this summer!

Above: Family Fun Day at Ramah Day Camp in Wheeling, Illinois on July 9
Below: Family Fun Day at Sabes JCC in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 19

Alumni Updates
Rabbi Burton Cohen (Ramah Wisconsin director 1960-1974) advises alumni that collected writings of the late Professor Joseph Lukinsky, a pioneer Wisconsin staff member, have recently been published in the form of a book by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where Lukinsky was long time professor of Jewish Education. The book, titled "Maybe the Lies We Tell are Really True," contains many of Joe's significant educational writings as well as divrei Torah and a history of his involvement in sports.  It is available in soft cover from Amazon by clicking here.
Abbie Furmansky (Nivonim 1982) lives in Berlin with her husband, the composer and pianist Daniel Sutton, and their son Joshua. She has gained international prominence as a soprano opera singer, performing as an ensemble member at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as many other opera companies. She maintains a private vocal studio in Berlin where she gives voice lessons, and has worked as an artist-in-residence, giving recitals and master classes at universities and opera schools. Learn more here.
Click here for More Alumni Updates
Kol HaKavod!
•   Kol HaKavod to Gila Hoffman (Nivonim 2006) on her recent graduation from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She began her residency training in internal medicine at Beth Israel-Deaconess Boston.
•   Kol HaKavod to Amy Abrams (Nivonim 1989) on being featured on Vogue.comClick here to read the article.
•   Kol HaKavod to Mollie Flink (Nivonim 2002) on her new position as Director of Engagement and Student Leadership at University of Chicago Hillel. 
Click here for More

Mazal Tov to Gila Hoffman (Nivonim 2006) on her recent engagement to Asaf Ben-Gai.


Mazal Tov to Micah Shapiro (Nivonim 2003) on his recent engagement to Laura Cohen.


Mazal Tov to Lior Schragg (Nivonim 2006) and Rebeccah Singer (Nivonim 2007) on their recent engagement.

Click here for More Engagements

Mazal Tov to Jonah Newman (Nivonim 2005) on his recent marriage to Amy Krischer.


Mazal Tov to Robby Schy (Nivonim 2000) on his recent marriage to Tracy Chudnow.


Mazal Tov to Michelle Steiman (Nivonim 1999) on her recent marriage to Jordan Edelman.

Click here for More Weddings
Birth Announcements: Welcome Nivonim 2033-34!

Mazal Tov to Shira and Cobi Weissbach (Nivonim 1994) on the birth of their son Asher Samuel.


Mazal Tov to Scott Ginsburg (Nivonim 1995) and Alison Becker Ginsburg on the birth of their daughter Barrett Claire.


Mazal Tov to Janna (Hoffman) (Nivonim 1999) and Bryan Villano (Nivonim 1998) on the birth of their son Gabriel.

Click here for More Birth Announcements

Contact Robin Rubenstein at if you would like a "Future Ramahnik" onesie for your baby!


We offer our sincere condolences to the family of Jennifer Beth Kay (Nivonim 1995).  Baruch Dayan HaEmet.

Ramahnik Updates are a part of every issue of Beynenu so please let us know what's new with you! Send your update to: Alumni Coordinator Robin Rubenstein at
Did we get something wrong? Let us know so we can print a correction. We look forward to hearing from you!
Family Camp 2017 - August 9-13 - Now on Wait List
Family Camp 2017 is full, with 40 families registered!  If you are interested in participating and would like to be added to the waitlist, or if you are interested in Family Camp 2018, please email Robin Rubenstein, Family Camp Director, at or call (312) 690-8305.  
Reshet Ramah - National Ramah ALumni & Community Network

The Reshet Ramah website has a lot of great resources for Ramah alumni! Check out the alumni directory, the job board, the Ramah marriages registry and more.

Upcoming Events:

Kikar Ba'Ir Chicago Alumni Sukkot Dinner at Anshe Emet - October 13
More details to follow.

Click here to register.

Include Ramah in Your Celebration!
brand new peer to peer fundraising program design is a brand new peer to peer fundraising program designed to provide current campers, parents, alumni and friends of Ramah with tools to help raise much-needed scholarship funds. The site offers personalized fundraising pages and provides inspiration every step of the way. Are you running a marathon? Marking a special birthday or anniversary? Celebrating a Bar or Bat Mitzvah? Honoring or remembering a loved one? Make it an
occasion to support Ramah! It’s easy to set up your page and before you know it you’ll be helping kids get to camp next summer! For more info contact Sam Caplan, Chief Development Officer, at or 312-690-8332.
Ramah Israel

Ramah Israel Institute has a lot of great trips coming up for Ramahniks of all ages:

Ramah Morocco Experience -

October 15-24, 2017

Bar/Bat Mitzvah Family Adventure - December 21-31, 2017

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Winter Address:
Camp Ramah in Wisconsin
67 E Madison Street, Suite 1905
Chicago, IL 60603
(312) 606-9316

Summer Address:
Camp Ramah in Wisconsin
6150 E. Buckatabon Road

Conover, WI 54519
(312) 606-9316

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