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 (campers). 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 and experience new, unexpected levels of confidence and personal achievement.
Rabbi Eliav Bock
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Eliav brings extensive 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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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.
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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 (the head of our Mountian Biking program). 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.
Chief Development Officer
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Matt brings his passion and dedication to experiential Jewish education to Ramah in the Rockies. A native of Chicagoland, he participated in United Synagogue Youth’s College Leadership Program in Israel, Nativ. After studying in Israel, Matt attended Indiana University (Class 2011) where he double-majored in Jewish Studies and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and minored in Hebrew and Education. Matt has been part of the Ramah in the Rockies team since the beginning, working during the summer months as a rock climbing instructor, counselor, and logistics coordinator for camp until joining the the year-round team in 2012 as the Program Director and then as the organization’s Assistant Director until 2016. Matt took a brief break to return to graduate school at Oklahoma State University to complete an MBA and certificate in non-profit management. Upon earning his Master’s degree, Matt joined our team once again in a new role – that of Chief Development Officer. He lives with his wife, Sara, and their two dogs in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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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.
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Dani is originally from Milwaukee and recently graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis, where she received her BA in English and Gender Studies. She developed her love of Jewish Summer Camp during her seven summers as a camper in Wisconsin, where her favorite years were spent participating in a specialty “outdoor adventure” unit. Years later, when she stumbled across Ramah in the Rockies’ website, Dani was thrilled to have discovered a camp devoted entirely to the outdoor adventure activities that encouraged her to grow as a camper. After serving as a Rosh Edah (Unit Head) in 2016, she fell in love with this vibrant Jewish community in the mountains! As Ramah in the Rockies’ first Communications Fellow, she is excited to take a role that challenges her to learn something new every day. Dani recently moved to Denver and spends her free time hiking with her rescue dog, Murphy.
Director of Camper Care
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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 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.
Director of Logistics and Food Services
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Jeffrey Harris has so much love for the Ramah in the Rockies community and is humbled and honored by the opportunity to give back in the different capacities he has been able to. Jeffrey, affectionally nicknamed “Cheffrey” by the campers, has been cooking professionally for over a decade. Prior to that, he spent seven years serving in the United States Army working in logistics. He has a passion for personal development and leadership, and loves to learn, grow, and share any light in his life with those around him. Jeffrey met his fiancé while working at Ramah in the Rockies during the Summer of 2016, and proposed to her during the Summer of 2017! They currently reside just outside of Kansas City, Kansas near his two children, Bradon and Rosalyse.
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Sandra grew up in Denver and was a member of the first class of the Theodor Herzl Jewish Day School (now Denver Jewish Day School). Her summers were spent participating 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 and 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. She has spent 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 Ramah in the Rockies’ 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 Ramah in the Rockies 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.
Director of Inclusion
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: Ramah in the Rockies! 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.