Daniel Malka, fourth-time returning mishlachat member and 2022 Rosh Sport says that in each of his sports lessons he is guided by the words of a fallen Israeli soldier,
 אתה יכול להתעסק בעצמך ואתה יכול להתעסק בדברים גדולים יותר
“You can do things for yourself and you can do things that are much bigger than yourself.”

Daniel grew up in Netanya, Israel.  His childhood was a challenging one, but “basketball motivated me. I realized that if I worked hard I could get better as a basketball player and do better in school.  In my later teens I knew that basketball could play the same role for others, and for a number of years – including the years I was in the IDF – I volunteered as a basketball coach for underprivileged youth in Netanya.”

After the IDF, Daniel continued to focus on basketball.  While playing in the professional basketball club Elitzur Eroni Netanya, he got involved with “Hoops for Kids,” a program that originated in Netanya in 2010.  Hoops for Kids teaches life skills through basketball to underprivileged youth around the world in partnership with professional basketball teams and players. (Learn more at https://www.hoopsforkidsintl.org/)

“I bring what I learned as a coach in Israel to my work as Rosh Sport, says Daniel.” “Together with other sports staff members, we encourage campers to try new things and work hard to accomplish their goals. They gain confidence as their skills improve and they see the benefits of their hard work.  We feel like sports at camp are an excellent way to gain skills in leadership, teamwork, overcoming obstacles, and what it means to win or lose a game.”

“When I hear campers say, “I don’t like sports,” I try to find a way for them to have fun and see that they are an important part of the team.  It’s rewarding to watch these same campers become more comfortable and begin to look forward to playing sports with their friends.”

“This was my fourth year at camp and my friends and family in Israel often ask me, “Why do you keep going back?” I explain that Camp Ramah feels like a safe zone, a comfortable place where I feel connected to the campers and can help them improve their sports skills and learn life skills. And it’s very rewarding when I hear kids say that the courts are their favorite place in camp.”

“Camp has a meaning in people’s lives. We look out for each other. Last year seven Ramah staff members from the USA visited me in Israel, and I hosted them for Shabbat dinner. As it says in the Talmud – כל ישראל ערבים זה בזה. All Jews are responsible for one another.”