Building Wonderful Relationships Between Israeli Staff Members and their Hosts by Dana Estrin, Sha’ar counselor, and Dana Rabl, host family

I’m Dana Estrin and I’m a camp counselor here at Ramah Boston, participating in the Sha’ar Hebrew immersion program. Hila, Sofia and I came especially from Israel to work in Sha’ar. We integrate the Hebrew language and the Israeli culture into the everyday schedule at camp, and we have special activities with our amazing bunks. I’m the proud counselor of Tzrif (bunk) 12.

One of the unique aspects of this job is that I am staying at a local family’s home for the summer. I’ve had the privilege to be welcomed at the Suslovich-Rabl family household. Eylon, their oldest son, is a camper at Ramah, and a participant in the Sha’ar program. 

During my time here, I became a temporary family member. We spend quality time together in the evenings, go on super fun trips on the weekend and we eat lots of ice cream (yum!). I learned a lot about life in the US and get to share my experience living in Israel.


My name is Dana Rabl and I got to host Dana Estrin, the camp counselor.

The untold secret of hosting a camp counselor is that I get the inside scoop on what’s happening at camp! Among the wonderful staff, there’s one person who has some more insight into my child and has built a stronger connection with my family. Dana’s presence made Ramah more present in our home life, with more spoken Hebrew, Israeli music, discussions on Limud (Jewish learning) topics and more. 

Because I am an Israeli, it wasn’t a hard decision to invite an Israeli camp counselor into my home. Israelis are used to the hectic (and often loud) lifestyle that every family with one or more kids have going on; they’re easy-going, open and warm. After a month together, my boys think of her as a big sister and love spending time with her. Dana’s fit into our family couldn’t have been more natural, and we’re already planning to come visit her on our next trip to Israel!