by Mark Hoffman
A little more than a half century ago, Ramah became a major part of my life. And like for countless others, its impact on me has been life long and remains very cherished. I was fortunate to have spent five full summers in Conover, two as a camper in ’69 (Machon) and ’70 (Nivonim) and three on staff in ’72, ’73 and ’74. Those last two summers I held what I considered the best job in camp—Rosh Radio.
What could be better than an early morning exchange with Bernie the Baker of a large basket of hot lachmaniot and a cassette recording of the most recent stock report recorded from a local Rhinelander radio station?
Besides the friends that remain with me to this day, the biggest prize was meeting the love of my life at camp in 1974, my wife Judy Saffir. Arguably, this happening just might be part of Ramah’s unwritten mission statement. Came true for us!
I miss the Northwoods, the lake and the clear blue Conover skies. Two long stretches of time passed after my final staff summer. One ended when our three daughters (Naomi, Rena and Gila) became campers and annual treks from St. Louis began to celebrate visitor’s day. The other continues to this day since our youngest daughter’s last year on staff. Now we greatly look forward to future visitor days when our grandchildren become campers for full eight-week sessions.
I’m happy to share a few artifacts and photos, almost all from the early 70’s.