Rabbi Joe hails from Portland, Oregon, where he grew up attending Congregation Neveh Shalom. He spent his first summer at Ramah in California in 1995 as a Moreh (teacher) and social justice coordinator. He remained part of the Ramah family during the 90’s serving as Rosh Edah, Rosh Kvutzah for Seminar in Israel and Founding Director of the Meytiv Program, a Ramah based social justice program for high school students. Rabbi Joe received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1993 and attended the Pardes Instititute for Jewish Studies from 1993-1994. Rabbi Joe obtained a Master of Hebrew Letters degree from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles in 1996 and received his Rabbinic Ordination and a Master of Arts degree (with a concentration in Jewish Education) in 2000 from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York .
From 2000 – 2006, Rabbi Joe served as the Hillel Director at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore , Maryland. During his tenure, Hopkins Hillel opened a home for Jewish life, The Smokler Center for Jewish Life, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building. He was awarded Hillel’s Richard M. Joel, Exemplar of Excellence Award in 2004. From 2006 until 2010, Rabbi Joe has served as an Associate Rabbi at Congregation Shearith Israel in Dallas, Texas.
During one of those amazing “Ramah Summers,” Joe met Deborah Musher. Deborah and Joe were married in her hometown of Houston in 2002. Deborah is a special educator with a long history at Camp Ramah and focuses her work and research on students with autism. Together Joe and Deborah have three beautiful children, Molly, Gabriel, and Samuel.
Randy joined Camp Ramah in California in the fall of 2008, bringing a wide range of business management skills to the leadership team. Prior to joining Camp Ramah, Randy ran Redwood Kitchen & Bath, a company he founded in Marin County. Prior to his seven years in the design and home improvement industry, Randy spent over ten years in the financial services industry perfecting his skills in management consulting, investment banking and financial analysis with such firms as Charles Schwab, SEI, and Investment Counseling Inc.
Randy served on the executive board of the Osher Marin Jewish Community Center for six years. Before accepting a professional position with Ramah, Randy served on the camp’s Board and also on the committee evaluating the expansion to Northern California. Randy earned his bachelor’s degree from Winona State University and a Master’s in Psychology, Dominican University of CA.
As an alumni of Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Randy has always had a special place in his heart for Ramah and he and his wife Marlene are thrilled to be giving their two sons, Stephen and Alex, the Ramah experience.
Born in Berkeley, Ariella grew up in Israel, raised in Jerusalem at the feminist Orthodox school Pelech and served as a Commander Teacher in the Education Unit of the IDF, working with juvenile delinquents. Ariella received recognition as Exemplary Soldier in the Training Course as well as the President of Israel’s Exemplary Soldier Award for the Education Unit. After the classic post-Army traveling, Ariella studied Jewish Philosophy at Hebrew University and Theater Production at The School of Visual Theater in Jerusalem. After University Ariella studied at the Pardes Institute for a year while working for the Chairman of the Jewish Agency.
In one of those great Jerusalem Shabbat meals, Ariella met her husband Nachum who is a talented musician and also devoted to Camp.
Ariella is a longtime Ramahnik, starting as a Shlicha after the Army in 2000 and serving on staff at Camp Ramah in Canada for over a decade. Ariella and Nachum moved from Israel to Toronto in 2008 where Ariella worked at Camp Ramah in Canada as the Assistant Director from 2008-2012. Ariella was hired as the Associate Director at Camp Ramah in California in 2012.
Ariella likes to bring her creativity, warmth, passion and yiddishkeit to this giant Jewish playground, we call camp.
Ariella and Nachum have three precious children, Miya, Shachar and Adi Shalev, who have all been at Ramah since they were born.
Originally from Denver, Colorado, Molly is a recent graduate of Emory University with degrees in Mathematics and Hebrew. Most recently, Molly has been serving as the Springboard Innovation Fellow at Hillel at UCLA. Having spent a semester of college studying abroad in Jerusalem, she has an extreme love for Israel and is passionate about the Ramah kehillah she has formed over the years. Molly has spent 15 incredible summers at camp, five of them as a madricha and two as a Rosh Edah. In her free time, you can find Molly going on her weekly Shabbat walks, busting her moves in rikkud, and uncontrollably laughing. She is so excited to step into her new role at Ramah as Program Coordinator to continue doing what she loves most year round!
Maria is no stranger to the camp world with 14 years of experience working for the Wilshire Blvd. Temple Camps. During the fires in December 2017, Ariella reached out to her friends from Wilshire to see if they could host them for their annual Alumni weekend. The connection between Maria, Ariella and the whole Camp Ramah team was instantaneous. Maria has 3 grown children and as an empty nester she was looking to make changes. Change when she was asked to produce a film she had written years ago and she decided to resign and begin new endeavors. Timing is everything and Maria found herself available when she heard about the opportunity of a position at Ramah and found herself a new camp to call home.
Lisa experienced the magic of Camp Ramah vicariously through her three kids for nine years, until she finally joined our staff as a Yoetzet (parent liaison) in the summer of 2015. Over these past four years, Lisa has worn many hats, both year-round and at camp during the summers. For two years, she worked as the Head of the Early Childhood Family Camp and helped us kick off a program of Shabbatonim for local preschool families. She now works as the Family Relations and Outreach Coordinator, supporting Ramah families both old and new. Lisa attended USC, where she earned a BA in Communication. Lisa received a MS in Education from Hunter College in New York City. The highlight of her year is spending the summer as a Yoetzet (parent liaison) surrounded by the magic of camp while working with children, young adults, and our fabulous Ramah families.
Lisa and her husband, Craig, are the parents of three life-long Ramahniks: Talya (Machon ’11), Riva (Machon ’13) and Sam (Machon ’17).
Dr. Jason G. Goldman never attended Camp Ramah, but spent eleven summers attending and working at Camp Alonim and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute. He is deeply committed to Jewish summer camping and believes it is the best, most effective way to help children, teens, and adults to find the joy in Jewish life.
Before joining Camp Ramah, Jason was an award-winning science journalist and author with bylines in Scientific American, The New York Times, National Geographic, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Magazine, Teen Vogue, and elsewhere. His books are Wild L.A.: Explore the Amazing Nature In and Around Los Angeles and Science Blogging: The Essential Guide. He co-founded Scifari Expeditions, a wildlife-based ecotourism company, and SciCommCamp, an annual, international conference for science communicators.
Jason received BA, MA, and PhD degrees in the psychology department at the University of Southern California, where he was an Annenberg Foundation Fellow, and an MA in Jewish Nonprofit Management from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where he is a Legacy Heritage Midcareer Fellow.
When not at camp, you can find him teaching Jewish History at the Louchheim School of Judaic Studies at the University of Southern California, hanging around the Academy of Magical Arts/Magic Castle where he is a magician member, photographing wildlife while hiking, or Israeli folk dancing.
Kim is a Philadelphia, PA native. She relocated to the Los Angeles area in 2014 with her husband Dedoceo Habi. She has an extensive background in the area of Administration, Event Planning, and Social Services. She has worked within the Jewish community for the past 5 years. Her journey in the community started at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles where she had the opportunity of working with programs like NuRoots and Caring for Jews in Need. Her current role at Camp Ramah as Development Assistant has allowed her the opportunity to continue working alongside amazing people who care deeply about the community we serve. At present Kim is a continuing education student at Arizona State University and is looking forward to obtaining her BA degree in the area of Psychology. She is a mother of 6, a grandmother of 8, and a dog owner of 2. She enjoys meditation, philosophy, and spending time with family and friends.
Growing up in Los Angeles, Michal began her Camp Ramah journey at a young age in the gan. She spent every summer as a chanicha and continued on to be a madricha and member of the special programming team.
Michal attended Heschel, Milken, and was in the second pioneering class of de Toledo High School (formally New Community Jewish High School). She attended the University of California, Irvine majoring in Political Science and minoring in Education. Michal spent her junior year abroad at Hebrew University’s Rothberg International School.
Michal worked for Ramah California on the development team from 2016-2017 and most recently worked at BJE running the Los Angeles teen delegation of March of the Living. She is very excited to join the team as the Assistant Director with her two kids, Aria and Caleb.
Aviva completed a joint degree in Psychology and Judaic Studies at Brown University. She received her PysD in clinical psychology from the CA School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco with a focus on children and families. Aviva has worked as a therapist supporting children, teens, and families in private practice and community mental health settings. Aviva has a long history with Camp Ramah in California as a chanicha, madricha, rosh edah, and rosh mador. She currently serves as Director of Camper Care and Staff Wellness, working alongside Ramah’s outstanding yoatzim/parent liaisons, in the role of promoting the social-emotional well-being of campers and staff members and supporting staff training and education. She currently lives in Skokie, Illinois with her husband, Stu, and her three daughters, Elinoa, Roni, and Maytal, who are 3rd generation Ramahniks.
Originally hailing from snowy, Syracuse, NY, Dr. Andrea now loves spending her summers in Ojai! She graduated from Tufts University with a degree in Clinical Psychology and went on to receive her medical degree from the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine. She then completed her residency in Family Medicine in New Jersey. With a particular interest and focus on adolescent and college health, Andrea went on to work as a physician at the Rutgers University Student Health Center in Newark, NJ before moving to Los Angeles, where she worked as a physician at the UCLA Student Health and Wellness Center. Andrea is now also pursuing her love of public health and infectious disease research through an Masters in Public Health program at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
This is Dr. Andrea’s fifth summer at Camp Ramah in California. She is thrilled to continue overseeing the clinical operations of the Marp and is excited to partner with all of the staff to create an overall sense of health and wellness throughout camp.
Andrea and her husband Andrew are the lucky parents of three boys, Ross, Simon, and Dean, who also love spending their summers at Camp Ramah.
Elana has been a member of the Ramah family since she was a “staff kid” in the Gan, and was a camper, counselor, and Rosh Edah. Her connection to the Tikvah program started when she was a Tikvah buddy as a camper in Machon. She then went on to be a Tikvah counselor for two summers and the Rosh Edah for the, now re-named, Amitzim, for two summers. She is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz and studied in Israel for several years. She holds a Masters Degree in Special Education from Bank Street College of Education and a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University. She has taught in the NYC public schools and in LA Unified and has worked as a supervisor for a behavior intervention agency in Los Angeles. She helped to create and start the Ezra program (it was her masters’ thesis for Bank Street) as well as several synagogue special education programs in the Los Angeles area, such as the Koleinu Shabbat minyan at Temple Beth Am. She has taught special education courses at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles as well as many one-day seminars on Special Education for educators in the broader Jewish community. She is currently editing a book on Jewish Special Education. She now resides with her husband Adam and their children in Berkeley, CA, but loves coming back to Ojai each summer! For Elana, being the director of the Tikvah program is like coming home.
Talia Patt was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Cognitive Science and a Minor in Education. Although Talia never attended Camp Ramah as a camper, she has spent several summers on staff as a madricha and a Rosh Edah, and often spent time doing volunteer work with camp throughout the school year. After spending 5 years in the Bay Area, Talia is excited to return home to Los Angeles and join Ramah’s year-round team. When she is not working, you can find Talia reading at the beach, playing with her dogs, or looking for the best dessert in LA (Go Greek is her favorite!).
While Ben did not attend Camp Ramah as a camper, he has spent several summers as a staff member before joining on a full-time basis. He graduated from CSUN with a BA in Child Development and over the years has worked with every age child from 0-18. From teaching preschool to Hebrew High retreat staff to being a USY Advisor\Assistant Director to joining Camp Ramah, he enjoys working with the Jewish community. When not at camp you can find him at a Kings game, theatre show, riding his bike, or otherwise enjoying all the museums and learning opportunities Los Angeles has to offer.