After three years as Director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Rabbi Loren Sykes has shared exciting news that he, his wife Rebecca and their children will be making aliyah to Israel in the near future. Having served previously as Assistant Director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and founding Director of Ramah Darom, Rabbi Sykes has a distinguished record serving not only our community, but the broader community of educators and colleagues in our partner synagogues and agencies in the United States and Israel. 
We thank Rabbi Sykes’ on his recent successful seasons and the many innovations he brought to our program, and wish him much success as he moves forward. Yasher Koach to the Sykes Family, and may they and our Ramah community go from strength to strength.  We share below a message from Rabbi Sykes to our community.
As one door closes, another opens. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jacob Cytryn as the new Director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. A member of the year-round staff since January of 2007, Jacob previously served as Assistant Director, Program Director, a Rosh Eidah, Counselor, and Teacher.  An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, Jacob is an advanced Ph.D. student in Jewish Studies and Education in the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University, where his dissertation will document and theorize learning at an overnight summer camp.  He has an MA in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary, a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and has studied in Israel at the Hebrew University, the Conservative Yeshiva, and the Hartman Institute. 

With his wife, Tamar, and son, Samuel Hirsch, Jacob recently moved to Chicago from Boston, where he was involved in the leadership of two independent minyanim, the Washington Square Minyan and KICKS – an innovative experiment that pioneers a partnership with independent minyanim and Conservative synagogues and which Jacob co-founded.  Jacob is a sought-after teacher, writer, and consultant within the Jewish community.  In partnership with his family he pursues his great passion:  leveraging Jewish tradition with innovative and excellent educational thinking to promote passionate Jewish communities

The Ramah Wisconsin professional leadership team of Rabbi David Soloff, who will now have the title of Chief Executive Officer, and Benji Bearman, Chief Operating Officer, look forward to the wonderful opportunity to partner with Jacob as Camp Director as we position ourselves for our next period of growth and service to the community. This summer has been an outstanding season by every measure and we are excited by what next season holds in store.

Arnie Harris, President
Rabbi David Soloff, Chief Executive Officer


Over the past three years, it has been my privilege to serve as director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. During this time, I fulfilled my childhood dream of directing camp and bringing new programmatic innovations and directions to an exceptional institution. These three years were very fulfilling on both the personal and professional levels. 

The only personal dream greater than serving as director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin is making Aliyah, becoming part of the fulfillment of the Zionist vision. I am excited to announce that our family has decided to make Aliyah in the coming year.

Given our necessary preparations for Aliyah, which includes securing employment, finding a home for our family and schools for our daughters, I have informed the camp board of directors that I will not be able to continue in my role as Camp Director.

I extend my personal thanks to Camp Ramah in Wisconsin for their understanding and for the support and encouragement they have provided me. I also wish to thank our year-round and summer staff for their commitment to camp.  Finally, I extend my deepest appreciation to the campers and to you, their families, who entrust your children to all of us who work to strengthen the Jewish future.

The entire Sykes family looks forward to seeing you in Jerusalem starting in the fall of 2013 as we fulfill the final words of the Haggadah shel Pesah,

לשנה הבאה בירושלים

Rabbi Loren Sykes