Monday, September 09, 2013

Couple with local connections ties the knot at Camp Ramah By Lori Samlin Miller

Jewish Community Voice PDF


Arielle Davis and Benjamin Landsburg tied the knot this summer at a place that held special meaning for them—Camp Ramah in the Poconos. The couple became the first to get married at the Conservative movement camp when they wed on June 2.

The couple both said that although they didn’t officially know each other as campers at Ramah when they were younger, they knew of each other. The newlyweds actually met on staff at Ramah in 2008 when both were counselors.

The couple has deep roots in South Jersey. Ben, the son of Robin Sue and Bill Landsburg, was born and raised in Cherry Hill. Arielle’s parents, Mali Mizrahi Davis and Philip Davis are also connected to Cherry Hill. Arielle’s father grew up here, and he and his three brothers all went to Ramah. Arielle’s mother was born and raised in Israel.

Arielle’s family moved quite a bit when she was young, but she always felt connected to Cherry Hill because of her grandparents, Debbie and Stephen Davis. According to Ben, “When I was born, my mother, who had just had her fourth son, called Arielle’s grandmother (Debbie Davis), who was also the mother of four boys, to ask her for advice. Our families knew each other before we did, as both were from Cherry Hill.” Interestingly, Ben’s parents (Robin Sue and Bill) also met at Camp Ramah.

Although the newlyweds worked as counselors at Camp Ramah again this summer, Arielle, who attended Temple University, started her own event planning business, “Wishful Thinking Events.” Ben attended Philadelphia University and is pursuing a career in the real estate industry.

According to Arielle, “We both said separately that we think it would be nice to have a wedding at camp. We both felt that since camp was such a huge part of our lives and we grew up there, began our journey there, and got engaged there, that it only made sense for us to get married there.”

Prior to their Sunday wedding, about 60 of their closest friends and family arrived to camp to spend Shabbat with them before the wedding. “It was the perfect camp Shabbat,” Ben said.

“Since I work in the events industry, I knew it would be a fun challenge for me to plan the first wedding at Ramah in the Poconos, especially since it was my own,” said Arielle.

“Many of the other Ramahs are ‘better equipped’ for holding special events, but we had a vision and the drive to make it happen, so we worked with what we had and I think it really turned out beautifully,” said Arielle. Because of the camp’s extensive transformation, “many of our guests, who were also Ramahniks, were shocked that they were in some of the same facilities where they played sports.” One guest remarked that Camp Ramah looked like it had been “gift wrapped.”

There was an 85 percent chance of thunderstorms and heavy winds predicted for the exact time the couple was due to walk down the aisle to the gorgeous chuppah that had been set up inside the outdoor synagogue that fronts the camp’s lake. Instead, nature provided only a light drizzle to accompany them as they walked down the aisle. “Our wedding was perfect,” Ben and Arielle agreed. It was everything they wanted.

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