Groups – Kvutzot
Seminar participants are divided into bus groups, consisting of 35 to 40 people on each bus, made up of participants from two or more Ramah camps. Each group, called a kvutza in Hebrew, is led by four staff members, a combination of North Americans and Israelis, including one tour guide educator and three madrichim (counselors) who are responsible for the campers. The counselors and advisors on Seminar are experienced, mature educators who have a love for and a commitment to Israel and Judaism and undergo intensive training throughout the season prior to Seminar. North American staff members are usually Ramah veterans, have lived in Israel and have a personal knowledge of the country and its people. Ramah uses a variety of criteria in creating each kvutza so that all groups are well balanced in terms of the different Ramah camps, campers and staff. Each Seminar applicant will have an opportunity to request group assignments with a limited number of friends.
Each kvutza travels on its own schedule, and campers from a given Ramah camp may be divided among two or more groups, but all of the groups have the same base schedule, which means that they are all based in the north and in Jerusalem together, travel through the Negev at the same time, and go off on Etgar, Israel Unwrapped, and their host Shabbat during the same time. Given that all Seminar participants take part in Etgar and Israel Unwrapped at the same time, those times are opportunities to spend a block of time with new and old friends from any of the Seminar groups.