A message from RA President, Gerry Skolnik:
In my installation address at the recent RA convention in Atlanta, I spoke from my heart about the pivotal role that Ramah had played in both introducing me to, and ultimately, claiming me personally and professionally for this movement. Subsequent to that address, the National Ramah Commission shared my remarks with its e-mailing list, calling attention to the long and fruitful relationship between Ramah and the Rabbinical Assembly.
During the past few weeks, we have all been made aware of the challenges that the USCJ is facing with the ongoing funding of KOACH, its outreach program to Conservative students on campus. Many voices have been raised in concern, and their passion has reached not only the offices of the USCJ, but also the other arms of the movement, the RA very much included.
The RA leadership has been in discussion with stakeholders regarding serving our youth on college campuses, and I am writing to apprise you of what I think is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen our efforts on campus within existing frameworks.
For some years now, Ramah has been sponsoring "Ramah Interns" on campus who, working cooperatively with KOACH, have been able to enhance both the quality and frequency of programming directed at Conservative students on campus. The cost of each of these internships is $1600 per year.
In light of current concerns, Ramah is interested in, and ready to, increase the number of those internships. We see this as a wonderful opportunity for the Rabbinical Assembly to partner with Ramah and reach out to our students on campus. The best and most effective way for us to do this is to encourage you, our rabbis, to sponsor these interns. One contribution of $1600, either from you personally, from a discretionary fund, or from a concerned member of your congregation, school, chaplaincy setting, or university, creates an entirely new campus opportunity. Any amount that you can contribute to this cause will, along with Ramah's willingness to enhance its own participation, serve to broaden our influence on campuses around the country within existing frameworks, including KOACH. We will also be exploring the possibility of having Rabbinical Assembly members be involved on a content level in working with these interns.
Ramah and the Rabbinical Assembly are natural partners in the sacred work of securing the next generation of Conservative Jews. Let's not curse the darkness... we can light a light! Please have checks made out to the Rabbinical Assembly with the words "Ramah Internships" in the memo field, and send them to the attention of Ursula Morillo in the Rabbinical Assembly office.
Thank you for your help in this crucial matter!
Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik