With assistance from One Happy Camper incentive grants and Federation’s Jewish Camp Initiative scholarships, four out of five members of the Einhorn family, including Dad Ronnie, went to Ramah Darom this summer and had a blast. Cela was the family’s returning camper. The other Einhorn kids, Sam and Goldie, didn’t really know what to expect, but all had a sense that it would be a unique, shared family experience. It was!
Ronnie Einhorn, who is a teacher at The Epstein School, had the pleasure of seeing each of his kids blossom at camp every day and also experienced personal and professional growth coming to Ramah Darom as a seasoned teacher and learning to be a camp educator from his colleagues. “Each week seeing the community coming together for Kabbalat Shabbat and ending Shabbat in an explosion at Havdalah, was a thrill,” he said.
Meanwhile, back in Atlanta, working mom Heidi Einhorn held down the fort at home and delighted in the happy reports she got from Ronnie and the kids. “Their favorite parts of camp were all over the place,” Heidi said. “The lake! The pool! Rikkudiah (an all-camp dance performance)! For me, having all of them come home so independent and grateful to be together again, was a joy.”
For Cela, the Einhorn’s oldest child and a returning camper, being back at camp felt both like meeting new people and also like they hadn’t been apart at all. Meanwhile, her younger brother Sam was planning to only go to camp for two weeks, but stayed for four because, in addition to the activities he loved, he knew he would, “be so happy with all [his] friends and grow up with them.” Camp helped them connect not only to their friends but also to Judaism. Cela shared that she will be using many of the camp tunes from tefillot (prayers) in her Bat Mitzvah this coming year.
Neither Heidi nor Ronnie Einhorn attended overnight camp as kids, but they made a commitment early in their relationship to build their family on a foundation of Judaism and Jewish community. “We’re so grateful to have rich relationships with Congregation Shearith Israel, Jewish Kids Groups, Intown Hebrew School, Federation, and so many other organizations in Atlanta. The fact that each of them recognizes the impact of camp on Jewish identity tells it all. Seeing the lifelong relationships coming out of camp would be enough, but our kids come home choosing our Camp Ramah playlist on Spotify, choosing after-dinner rikkud (dance shows) over screens, ‘accidentally’ referring to things by their Hebrew names, confirming that we are seeing the theory in practice!”