• for those of you who believe the camp is spinning this story, you are correct.  having spent 7 summers as a camper in canada, a summer in israel with ramah and 3 wonderful years at wingdale, the director or commission did not act within the realm of decency and everything camp ramah stood for when i was a camper at 9 and a counselor at 20.  yes it was a long time ago but this is a horrific story that deserves to be remembered…else it happen to someone else.  it is almost shabbat and one of our kahal is scarred for life by the lack of human decency or fulfillment of jewish tradition.  i am saddened by this, and the camper’s decision not to return.  the director, their staff, and the commission should do a lot of soul searching before the high holy days come upon us.  this should have never happened.

    • Rob

      What happened to you at 9 and at 20?

  • Jason S.

    What’s the point of pointing out to readers that the campers picture is posted on the camps website in the article? If the family declined to provide a photo when a requested, why not respect their wish in its entirety and just not say anything about a photo?! Personally, I think that’s really distasteful news reporting. Especially since it doesn’t bring any extra value to the article.

  • Guess I should of blogged, Tweeted, Facebooked and put a full page in the Toronto Star after every single Jewish Hebrew school in the Toronto area said they couldnt accomodate my daughter Tamara because “she didnt fit the mold”.  Nice.  Not a thing happened, except me putting her into the public system where they accepted her with open arms.  Funny… how the Torah says “we are to teach, and treat all jewish people equally”.  Bull to that.  There is no “Inclusion” in the jewish religion and not every child with special needs  belongs at Zareinu.  Glad the parent in this story got farther ahead than I did.

  • Bernardkatz

    Thanks to all the commentors on this sad sad story! How far have core Jewish values drifted from our decision-making processes and been replaced by hard-nosed practicalities that can in fact be overcome with a little thought and problem solving based on carrying out those values. I can only echo Aaron Edelman’s final remark: “this should have never happened” [sic].

  • Communitymember

    Statement from the National Ramah Commission
    Our moral and religious compass supports inclusion of all members of
    our community, regardless of their personal challenges or
    exceptionalities. Ramah has always prioritized the value of inclusion,
    and continues to be a pioneer in this area with new programs and
    initiatives. It is our belief that all Jewish institutions including
    schools, synagogues and summer camps need to emphasize this value within our communities.
    However, each individual’s situation is unique and unfortunately, there
    are times when the importance of inclusion conflicts with the
    circumstances of a particular camper, staff member, or the rest of the
    camp community. Decisions in such cases are taken very seriously and
    discussed directly only with those involved. We at Ramah cannot comment
    publicly on this or any other individual case due to concerns of
    privacy. We understand the sadness and pain these conflicts can
    create. However, we find it unfortunate that one perspective, however
    well-intended, has created the false impression of injustice or anything
    other than caring staff and leaders charged with supporting many people
    safely. We appreciate the notes of concern and support we have
    received from those who have read about the recent situation at Camp
    Ramah in Canada. To those who have reacted to one blog post with harsh
    conclusions, without firsthand knowledge of the situation, we would hope
    that you can understand that sensitive matters like this one are often
    more complex than presented. Public reactions by those with limited
    knowledge can be dangerous and hurtful, particularly to those dedicated
    staff members who work so hard to care for our children. Camp
    Ramah in Canada and Ramah camps throughout North America have an
    outstanding record of inclusion. We have been accommodating children
    with special needs, educating the entire camp community (and beyond)
    about the boundless gifts of difference, and have been raising needed
    funding to extend our program to children with exceptionalities for
    decades. The Ramah Camping Movement will continue to nurture inclusive Jewish communities that embrace the value of difference. Shabbat Shalom. Rabbi Mitchell Cohen, Director Sheldon L. Disenhouse, President National Ramah Commission of The Jewish Theological Seminary
     

  • Anonymous

    This is so misunderstood! YOU stupid people are twisting the whole story out of proportion and the Krishefs are to blame for ALL of this! When originally signing Sol up for Ramah, they should have been smart enough and thought of hiring their own personal shadow for sol. This is why it was difficult for him! And if you didn’t do that, you should have put him in Tikvah for goodness sake! Shame on you all! The krishefs brought this upon themselves 🙁