Dear Nivonim 2005,
This weekend, 24 members of our edah came back to the Northwoods to celebrate our the 13th anniversary of our Nivonim summer. The return of these 24 was beautifully augmented by the addition of numerous spouses and partners. Though the weekend featured the retelling of many inside jokes, memories that “you had to be there” for, and “remember when”s, it also featured a number of “I wish you had been there” and “welcome to the edah.” Our edah community that raucously sang Od Lo Ahavti Dai, played roofball for days, and thought of ourselves as Teenage Mutant Nivo Turtles is still growing into a beautiful and welcoming family.
The continued growth and expansion of our edah family is made more noticeable by the fact that over 2 years ago, our edah was made smaller by one, when Seth Rich z’’l was tragically killed. In many ways, Seth was an exemplary alum of Ramah Wisconsin, and embodied many of the passions, thoughts, and ideals that our edah holds true. Seth was a people person and if you were in his inner circle he would do anything for you which was all the more impressive because he had an expansive notion of who was in his inner circle. He always saw himself in a process of growth and development, whether Jewishly, academically, or professionally. While Seth was alway quick with a joke or (more often) a goofy response, he was just as quick with a helping hand or a caring smile. Perhaps most significantly, Seth knew he was important, which is to say he knew he had worth. He believed that he had something unique and worthwhile to contribute to his family, friends, community, and indeed the whole entire world. In his own honest and unpresumptuous way, he knew that the rabbinic phrase and core value of Ramah Wisconsin, בשבילי נברא העולם, the world was created for my sake, applied to him, because how could it not? It applies to all of us. Seth knew that, and did what he could to ensure that teaching took hold among anyone he interacted with.
One of the great tasks before our edah family is that we have to be amongst the bearers of Seth’s name and memory, so that it may be continue to be for a blessing. One way to do so is to continue to support transformative and life-affirming experience at Ramah. Over 50% of current campers require scholarship funding in order to attend camp each year. Seth’s parents, Mary and Joel, have generously pledged $5,000 to add to the Seth Rich Scholarship Endowment if we can, as an Edah, raise $10,000 to support camper scholarships in Seth's name.
Regardless of your means, wherever you are in life, any support you provide is appreciated. To be part of our edah campaign please make a donation below. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to Sam Caplan, Ramah’s Chief Development Officer at (312) 690-8332 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
May our contributions help insure that Seth’s passions, ideals, and memory be for a blessing. May our edah family keep growing, and may we continue to support this family as it has supported us.
Also, to see some great pictures from our reunion weekend, click here: http://ramahwisconsin.com/nivo-2005-reunion