Source: eJewish Philanthropy
The Ramah Camping Movement has released the results of “The Alumni of Ramah Camps: A Portrait of Jewish Engagement.” This survey of more than 5,000 camper alumni was conducted by Professor Steven M. Cohen of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at Stanford University.
The study found that the alumni of Ramah camps are highly engaged in Jewish life, years and decades after having attended a Ramah camp in North America. The study compares Ramah camper alumni to children of inmarried Conservative parents who responded to the 2013 Pew study of Jewish Americans (“the Pew comparison group”).
Other key findings include, Ramah alumni:
- Place a great emphasis on their Jewish identity.
- Are very connected to Israel.
- Are strongly affiliated with synagogue communities.
- Have high rates of ritual observance.
- Are very likely to affiliate with Conservative Judaism.
- Have extremely low rates of intermarriage.
Also noteworthy is that approximately 75% of the camper alumni in the survey returned to camp to serve as staff. Serving as a Ramah staff member is key to long-term differences in Jewish engagement. Among campers who went on to work as staff, Jewish engagement levels today are noticeably higher than among the campers who never became staff members.
The survey was fielded May 30 – July 28, 2016. Survey invitations were sent to 45,000 alumni and others associated with Ramah (parents, donors, etc.). The results reported here are for the 5,260 respondents who were Ramah campers. The total number of respondents was 9,553, suggesting an overall response rate of 21%.
Read more at eJewish Philanthropy.