The impact of cancelling Camp this summer is significant, and it is now critical that we raise additional funds in order to close our budget gap and to return Camp to our previous position of financial strength.
To do so, we are now turning to all of you: our alumni, grandparents, former staff members, former camp parents, and friends, to join us in supporting Ramah Berkshires at a time when our camp and community truly need us the most.
Special Giving Levels:
-Bonei Ramah (Builders): $1,800-3,599
-Shomrei Ramah (Guardians): $3,600-5,399
-Chevrei Ramah (Friends): $5,400-9,999
-Dugma Circle (Exemplars): $10,000 and above
Gifts of all amounts are important to us!
In May, the Ramah Berkshires leadership came to the painful conclusion that it would not be possible to open Camp this summer in a way that would also fulfill our number one priority, protecting the health and safety of our campers and staff. As such, with tears in our eyes and broken hearts, we cancelled all scheduled sessions of the 2020 summer camp season.
Along with this decision, the Ramah Berkshires Board of Trustees decided to offer parents a full refund of 2020 tuition. Though Camp has operated in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner for many years, tuition and fees make up over eighty-five percent of our revenue.
Since March, we have implemented significant cost saving measures. Once the decision to cancel camp was made, we made additional budget cuts, including the elimination of several year-round positions as well as an across-the-board salary reduction for all remaining year-round staff members.
Even with these significant budget cuts, our commitment to refunding tuition has left Ramah Berkshires in a precarious position.
To get to the first day of camp in 2021, we will need the generosity of our entire community –- camp families, alumni, parents and grandparents of alumni, and friends -- to help get Ramah Berkshires through this challenging time.
Once we cancelled camp, we launched our “Berkshires B’Yachad” campaign, and began by asking parents of campers who were enrolled in Kayitz 2020 to convert all, or a portion of, their tuition dollars into donations. We are pleased with the success of this effort, and so grateful to the many parents who contributed.
We have also asked all members of our board and advisory council to make an additional gift to this campaign, in addition to their general annual fund contribution.
These two efforts, combined with generous matching funds from the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, some smaller foundation grants, and general community support, have enabled us to raise approximately $1.4 million.
We are now reaching out to the rest of our community to raise additional funds in order to reduce – and hopefully eliminate – the budget deficit caused by the cancellation, and to return Ramah Berkshires to full financial strength in 2021.
The strength and commitment of our kehilah kedosha, our holy community, has been the lifeblood of Ramah Berkshires for 56 years. It is what drives and defines Camp’s culture, soul, and mission. We are hopeful that you, the dedicated members of this holy community, will express the impact that Camp has had on you and your family through your generosity in our time of need. Together we can redirect our focus from the trying narrative of 2020, to the future of our Camp, for 2021, for the next 56 years, and beyond.