This May, we will be participating in a unique bicycle ride through the beautiful spring-time, flower-filled Galilee region of Northern Israel. The purpose of this fund-raising trip is to support The Ramah Tikvah summer camping program which serves special needs children across the United States. Since 1970, the Ramah summer camps have offered programs for children with special needs such as autism, Asperger Syndrome and ADD. Today, all seven of the Ramah camps offer these programs to children with a wide range of developmental or emotional disorders and their families. One unique characteristic of these programs is that children are “main-streamed” into the summer camp experience and participate in the camps to every extent possible. This benefits not only the special needs children, but the other campers as well. Most importantly, the Ramah Tikvah program provides a uniquely Jewish environment for these kids. For some of them, the Ramah experience is the only Jewish educational and social environment available to them. Many Jewish- based special needs programs are either unavailable or too expensive for these families.
This year’s ride will be the first ride ever to support the Ramah Tikvah Program. The bike ride promises to be both challenging and rewarding; the trip will circle northern Israel climbing (over and over again!) the mountains surrounding the Kineret and Golan Heights. Over the five days, we will climb a total of 18,000 feet, which is equivalent to riding from sea level to the top of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire THREE TIMES IN A ROW. If this sounds like it is quite a challenge, you are right. However, families with special needs children have such challenges on an ongoing basis, and that fact makes our bike ride seem much easier.
As a long-standing Ramah family, (we will be attending our 12th consecutive Ramah Berskshires Visiting Day this summer) we are proud that Ramah offers mainstream programming to special needs kids and are excited to participate in this fundraiser. Please support our goal to make these summer programs even more accessible to the families with special needs children. Please visit the web site ramahbikeride.org to learn even more about these programs.