Remembering Ravi Bloom

JCC’s Medford camp raises funds for memorial bimah

Ravi Bloom was an active member of the Cherry Hill and Jewish community at 17 years old. He was involved with the East ice hockey team, a passion his younger brothers Lee and Cary share. 

Bloom played saxophone until middle school, and during the pandemic, he taught himself to play classical piano. He was involved with the JCC (Jewish Community Center)’s camp at Medford for most of his life, as a Leader in Training (LIT) in 2018 and a counselor for the first time in 2019, before COVID, when he won Counselor of the Year.

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“He was so loving,” said camp director Sara Sideman. “He truly understood his role in this desire to make camp special for his kid.”

Sideman recalled how Bloom, at just 15, was responsible for kindergarteners and how he would swoop down to talk to them face to face.

“Working with 5-year-olds, it takes a special touch, and he really got it,” she added.

In memory of Bloom – who died in an April 2021 car accident – his family is working with the JCC camp to raise funds for Ravi’s Bimah, an outdoor stage where the 1,800 to 2,000 campers could gather at camp. 

Sideman noted that she decided to use the word bimah because it refers to a platform where clergy stand and lead prayers in the synagogue. As the synagogue is central to the Jewish community, so will Ravi’s Bimah be to the camp. 

The pandemic and supply-chain issues have delayed the memorial’s construction – originally planned for this year – to next summer. 

“One of the things that campers get out of the camp is the sense of love and community, and this project builds upon that,” explained Craig Bloom, Ravi’s father. “And Ravi not only accepted that sense of love and community, but he contributed to it in a really great way. Not just by being a camper, but then by being a counselor and all the love and support he had there.”

The community has honored Ravi Bloom’s memory in a number of ways: renaming the rink at DeCou Sports Complex to Ravi’s Rink; scholarships in his name at Cherry Hill East; and the Ravi Bloom Mensch Award for kids with qualities of leadership, a love of learning and kindness from Kol Ami, previously M’kor Shalom before it merged with Temple Emanuel.

Of all the ways Ravi’s memory is being honored, the bimah is the largest in scope.

“For us, it’s a legacy,” said his mom Jayne. “When you’re grieving, you’re trying to put your love somewhere for good, and this is something that he would have loved to have happened. It’s a good way to remember him.”

It almost feels like in this way, he’s able to give back to the camp that gave him so much,”  his father noted.

To contribute to the building fund, visit


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