Ramah in the Rockies hires an outstanding team of people who have extensive wilderness training and backgrounds in outdoor education. We pride ourselves on having an extraordinarily mature, experienced, and well-trained tzevet (staff) that is uniquely accomplished, and is amongst the most highly regarded of any Jewish summer camp in the country. We know that safety is absolutely critical to the success of our program, and as such, ensure that every excursion that leaves our base camp is staffed with at least one madrich (counselor) who has been trained as a Wilderness First Responder.
Our madrichim also act as role models for our chalutzim. Through sharing Jewish values and traditions, teaching outdoor activities, and connecting personally with chalutzim, our summer staff serves as a fully mobilized support system for all campers. This supportive, non-competitive and friendly environment encourages chalutzim to move beyond their comfort zones to experience new, unexpected levels of confidence and personal achievement.
Rabbi Eliav Bock
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Favorite Camp Activity: Capture the Flag
Favorite Camp Meal: Seitan Brisket
Favorite Camp Place: Ramah Valley
Eliav brings solid experience in outdoor camping and leadership to Ramah in the Rockies. A native of the Boston area and former Boy Scout, he has spent 11 summers working in other Ramah camps in a variety of specialty areas including five years as an outdoor adventure leader in Camp Ramah, Canada. Ordained as rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2009, Eliav is especially interested in helping youth connect to their Jewish souls through nature and the great outdoors. Prior to rabbinical school, Eliav worked in the finance industry in New York City. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible and a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies from Columbia University. In 2013, Eliav was awarded the Pomegranate Prize by the Covenant Foundation which is given annually to five Jewish professionals who are making a significant impact on the field of Jewish education. Eliav was recently selected to be a part of the Schusterman Fellowship program for Jewish professionals and leaders. Eliav’s wife, Dina Danon, and sons Matan and Yuval, love coming to camp with him each summer.
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Favorite Camp Activity: Mountain Biking
Favorite Camp Meal: Tuna Casserole
Favorite Camp Place: Ramah Valley
Douglas brings a love of non-motorized recreation and adventure travel to Ramah in the Rockies. He has backpacked long sections of the Appalachian Trail on the east coast and the John Muir Trail in California. He has bicycled around Lake Champlain, to the end of Cape Cod, and the Blue Ridge Parkway from Virginia to Georgia. He has paddled the Altamaha River in Georgia, and the Colorado River through Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. Douglas has spent many days exploring the mountains, canyons, and rivers of the Rocky Mountains, from Glacier National Park in Montana to Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico, and is always happy to suggest itineraries to visitors to Colorado.
Douglas grew up in Maryland. As a boy, he attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and Camp Ramah in Palmer, Massachusetts. Douglas earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and graduate degrees from Georgia Tech.
Favorite Camp Activity: Ofanayim
Favorite Camp Meal: BBQ Seitan
Favorite Camp Place: Outdoor Classroom
Julia loves being able to combine her two major interests, geology and Judaism in a warm, nurturing environment. Originally from Seattle, she spent many summers as a camper in Jewish summer camps, and joined Ramah in the Rockies as a madriacha in 2012, and later as Rosh Ofanayim. She is a passionate cyclist, lover of vegetarian cooking, and avid explorer. Julia is thrilled to be moving to Denver and returning to the wide open spaces of the West after spending time in New York City, where she earned a BA in Earth Science from Columbia University, and a BA in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She also studied at Yeshivat Hadar in New York, and has experience teaching both Jewish studies and environmental science to learners of all ages.
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Favorite Camp Activity: Archery!!!!
Favorite Camp Meal: (ask me again in August)
Favorite Camp Place: Wandering the Trails
Originally from Cleveland and coming to Colorado via Korea, Italy, and Germany, Lisa brings an enthusiasm for building connections and a passion for service to others. She was a youth ambassador with the American Mishlachat Program to Israel. Over 20 years of volunteer experience with American Red Cross, La Leche League International, and Boy Scouts have led her to use her International Affairs degree and minor in Judaic Studies in ways she never imagined, including cooking and holding a campfire seder on Normandy Beach. Lisa and her husband, Ralph, are the proud parents of four Ramahniks.
Director of Camper Care
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Favorite Camp Activity: Singing
Favorite Camp Meal: Tilapia
Favorite Camp Place: Anywhere I can set up a hammock!
Rafi Daugherty is a Colorado native with a love of animals and wicked sense of humor. He has been a “camper” since childhood days of camping with his family and going to sleep-away summer camp from age 10 to 20. Raised as an ultra-Orthodox Jew, Rafi has had a Jewish journey that has led him toward finding connections to spirituality via many wonderful paths. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Hunter College. He also has a Master’s degree from Tel Aviv University in Crisis and Trauma Studies. Rafi has worked with children for many, many years and has a special love for children and adults with developmental disabilities. He also worked in Harlem and Tel Aviv with homeless and at-risk teens. His most recent work with Keshet, in Denver, was focused on Jewish communal inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. He is hoping to pursue a degree in Counseling that will assist him in his goal of continuing to help people professionally. Rafi lives in Denver with his daughter, Ettie, and his dog, Smudge.
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Sandra grew up in Denver. She was a member of the first class of the Theodor Herzl Jewish Day School (now Denver Jewish Day School) and attended Cherry Creek High School. Her summers were spent in a wide variety of activities including Jewish summer camps in Colorado and Pennsylvania. While in high school Sandra participated in the Israel Study Tour between her Junior and Senior years. She attended The University of Colorado and Mount Holyoke College and continued her studies at Haifa University and Tel Aviv University. She lived for twelve years in Israel and became fluent in Hebrew. Her Sabra husband Eyal insists that she speaks Hebrew like a native. Sandra has worked in the Jewish Community for the past eight years. During that period she was the BBYO office manager and the JCC Program Registrar. She has also been a teacher in the Temple Sinai Religious School. Sandra and Eyal have two children – Lior and Aviv.
Program Director, Wilderness Therapy
Jory Hanselman has dedicated her personal and professional career to engaging youth and emerging adults in meaningful outdoor experiences, helping youth build personal resiliency and the skills necessary to grow and thrive in a complex world. Jory has experienced wilderness programs from the client and staff perspective, from the field and the office, in Jewish and secular settings, and in the private industry and the non-profit sector, and has over 400 professional “field days” managing youth from 13-26 through organizations focused on education, recreation, therapy, and workforce development.
Jory is extremely excited to be joining the ROA team, and to help move the Jewish Wilderness Therapy program from theory to actuality. Jory sees the wilderness therapy model as an extremely powerful environment, and believes that ROA can help magnify that impact, and through Jewish learning provide a foundational tapestry for clients that builds Jewish identity and provides the framework for youth to experience meaningful transitions to independent and healthy adult lives.
Abby loves working with individuals with disabilities, creating positive inclusive environments and expanding her knowledge of Judaism. She is thrilled that all three passions coalesce at one amazing place. Abby first fell in love with Ramah back in 2000 when she attended Ramah Ojai. She spent 6 years as a camper there, went on Seminar and returned to Ojai to work as a lifeguard for two summers. Abby received her B.S. in Severe Special Education from Boston University in 2012. Shortly after graduating, Abby left for South Africa where she spent two years working with the Peace Corps. There she taught English at a government school and worked at a school for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Abby is currently a teacher at a school for students with autism in Santa Clara, California. She is also attending San Jose State University working towards a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology.