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Rebecca Birch: An emerging leader for inclusion

Rebecca Birch, Assistant Tikvah Support Director at Camp Ramah Darom, has been selected as this year’s Robyn Berger Emerging Leader. The presentation of this award brings to a close Jewish Abilities Alliance’s month-long celebration of the Power of Inclusion, honoring 21 individuals who made an impact on inclusion in 2020. Ramah Darom’s Tikvah program supports campers with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, communication disorders, ADHD, anxiety disorders, and other disabilities. Audra Kaplan, who directs the program says, “Our approach is that every counselor is an inclusion counselor, and Becky has made sure that each counselor felt equipped to support each of their campers. At camp, she designed and ran age-appropriate activities for each age group around topics of inclusion and acceptance.”

Becky’s decision to work professionally in this field is the direct result of her years at camp. At Ramah Darom she guided the expansion of support for campers in typical bunks and those who require a higher level of support. In summer 2019, Becky led the staff inclusion training and then in summer 2020, led the full staff training in preparation for Kayits Babayit (Summer at Home), a virtual program. “Becky has been an integral part of not only developing our model of inclusion support, but also in helping to transform our community,” Audra Kaplan adds. “Camp Ramah Darom is proud to recognize her as a true example of the power of inclusion!”

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