Dear Camp Ramah in Wisconsin parents, friends, and community,
We are delighted to announce that Jacob Cytryn will become Executive Director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin on October 1, 2018. Jacob will assume his new role after this summer, his sixth as Director and twentieth as a member of our professional staff. As Executive Director, Jacob will supervise the educational, operational, and development functions of our overnight camp in Conover and our day camp in Wheeling.
It is hard to imagine anyone more qualified to take over the professional leadership of our camps than Jacob. He spent six summers as a camper at the overnight camp, and went on to serve as a cabin counselor, rosh aidah, program director, and assistant director. Jacob is an alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and an advanced Ph.D. student in Jewish studies at the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University. His dissertation focuses on the educational impact of Jewish summer camps.
Rabbi David Soloff, the beloved leader of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin since 1975, will transition into a new role as Director Emeritus and will focus on teaching, development, and alumni relations. As Director from 1975 to 2009, and since then as Chief Executive Officer, Rabbi Soloff has enriched our organization with his guidance, wisdom, and unbridled energy. We look forward to celebrating Rabbi Soloff’s 43 years of service in the coming year.
We are fortunate that the core senior members of our professional team, including Adina Allen, Assistant Director of the overnight camp; Lori Stark, Director of Ramah Day Camp; Sam Caplan, Chief Development Officer; and Linda Hoffenberg, Director of Institutional Advancement, will remain in their current positions.
Reflecting on his new position, Jacob writes:
I am thrilled to take on the auspicious role of my predecessors, legendary leaders in the field of Jewish education, and to move Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, my home-away-from-home for 26 years, into the next chapter of its growth. I am where I am because of an entire institution that has shaped who I am, including my aidah-mates in Nivo ’97, a generation of campers and staff I had the honor of working closely with as a counselor and rosh aidah, the unparalleled support of our unique and tireless lay leaders, top-notch professional colleagues, and new generations of campers, staff, and parents whom I continue to serve. To the mentors, teachers, and friends who have helped guide me on this journey, from inside Ramah Wisconsin and outside it, I owe a profound sense of gratitude.
Rabbi Soloff’s leadership and tutelage have been instrumental in my growth as an educator and camp professional. He has taught me enormously about the landscape of the Jewish community, the interplay of classical Jewish tradition and its expression through the arts, and the development of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and our sister institutions across North America. He has served as a beacon to so many as a paragon of a Jewish educator who is as authentic and immersed in his role as a Jew and everything that represents as he is in the deep and intentional practice of education. We as an institution, and I as a professional, would not be where I am without him. I look forward to continuing our professional relationship into its third decade in his new role as Director Emeritus.
Rabbi Soloff sends the following message to the community:
In 1975 I came to work for Ramah inspired by rabbinic and educator mentors who taught me their vision that Jewish summer camping and especially Ramah camping could be a critical change agent for strengthening our American Jewish community. As I began my work, lay leader mentors added their equally powerful voices and taught me how to run the camp like a business while staying focused on our Jewish education mission.
We are indeed fortunate that Jacob Cytryn will now take the mantle of leadership, continuing as Director of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and leading our entire organization. Each year Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and Ramah Day Camp have a powerful impact on the lives of more than 1,000 campers, staff and families, plus alumni spanning eight decades. Jacob is an inspiring leader and well-prepared to guide Ramah Wisconsin to best serve the next generation.
Please join me in wishing yasher koach to Jacob and expressing our deepest gratitude to Rabbi Soloff as we move forward, from strength to strength.
With best wishes,
Jonathan D. Sherman