Rabbi Eliav Bock, far right, shown with Amy Skopp Cooper, National Ramah Associate Director; Harlene Winnick Appelman, Covenant Foundation Executive Director; and Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, National Ramah Director
Rabbi Eliav Bock, the founding director of Ramah Outdoor Adventure at Ramah in the Rockies, was one of five promising Jewish educators who received the 2012 Pomegranate Prize from the Covenant Foundation yesterday. This prestigious award recognizes passionate, emerging leaders in Jewish education who have been in the field for 10 years or less. The Ramah Camping Movement is proud to include Rabbi Bock among the talented members of the Ramah directorate. He received his rabbinic ordination and a master's degree in Informal Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to rabbinical school, he worked in the finance industry in New York City. He is a graduate of the joint program at The Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University and has bachelor's degrees in Bible, Urban Studies, and Economics. For additional information, please visit the Covenant Foundation website.
After opening in the summer of 2010 with 120 campers, Ramah Outdoor Adventure served 280 campers this past summer. While originally designed as a program for high school students, Ramah Outdoor Adventure has expanded to include children ages 8-18 as well as a Tikvah program for children with special needs. Based on the current enrollment of 140 campers already registered--a 40% increase from this time last year--Ramah Outdoor Adventure expects to once again reach capacity this summer, with a total enrollment of 350 campers. Children have come to the Rocky Mountains from 24 states, Canada, Israel, and the Dominican Republic to experience the best of Ramah camping combined with the finest of Jewish outdoor education.
Ramah Outdoor Adventure continues to advance as a green institution. From the wholesome food prepared in the dining hall, to the daily schedule that revolves around the natural cycle of the day, to the innovative passive, zero-emission, hot water heaters in the shower house, the camp continues to develop in an intentional way along with the natural world around it. (Click here or on the image, right, to see sustainability in action at Ramah Outdoors.)
Ramah is the camping arm of Conservative Judaism. Together, our programs provide Ramah experiences for over 9,000 children, teens, and young adults annually. The National Ramah Commission of The Jewish Theological Seminary provides oversight, educational planning, and coordination on behalf of the network of Ramah camps throughout North America and Ramah programs in Israel.
I had a beautiful day today. I stood with my sister, a passionate rabbi serving the U.S. Navy as a chaplain, at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. We remembered our grandfather of blessed memory, who fought for America and shared hard-earned wisdom with his children and grandchildren.
I looked to my right and saw the Washington Monument. Looked to my left at the Lincoln Memorial. I read quotes engraved on massive stones. And I felt, to my core, one sad feeling: too much war.
Too. Much. War.
The quotes and certain retellings of history would have me believe that we fought for pure purposes: we fought for religious freedom, we fought to end slavery, we fought for freedom for all humanity, we fought to end tyranny. But it's also true that we fought (and fight) for economic interests. It&…