Like so many Jewish kids, Gaby’s Jewish summer camp experience has helped form her Jewish identity and shape who she is as a person. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have forced Camp Ramah in Canada, Gaby’s home away from home for the past five years, to close its gates for the 2020 season, this did not stop her from expressing her love and passion for Jewish summer camp.
Gaby is currently a grade nine student at TanenbaumCHAT and has been part of the Camp Ramah community for many summers. Ramah has given her the opportunity to create friendships with many like-minded Jewish kids from Canada and around the world, and experience life-lasting memories, such as the unique Shabbat at camp celebrations.
As Gaby has grown with Ramah, so has her interest and passion for helping out and giving back to the camp community. Gaby has participated in Ramah’s year-round programs, which help engage campers with their camp community outside of the summer sessions. In recent years, Gaby has transitioned into more of a leadership role, and has played a significant leadership role in the camp’s year-round programs. Last summer, she was deeply involved in the success of Ramah’s 2020 “Ramah Ba Bayit” virtual camp, which gave campers the opportunity to experience the magic of summer camp, despite not being able to attend in person.
The leadership skills and experience Gaby developed through her involvement in “Ramah Ba Bayit” were particularly instrumental last summer, when she created and ran her own summer camp experience for kids in her neighbourhood who were unable to attend summer camp due to the ongoing pandemic. Gaby knew how disappointed many of the kids were, and saw the camp as a way to make their summers’ as special and exciting as possible.
As she takes the next step in her unique Jewish journey, Gaby hopes to continue to give back to the summer camp community that has contributed so much to her personal growth, and looks forward to one day becoming a staff member at Ramah!
To nominate a teen for our Teen Spotlight section in a future newsletter, please email:
Shoshana Newman, Teen Engagement & Philanthropy Manager