Introducing our Senior Staff
If it takes a village to raise a child, then it takes leaders and elders to help set the tone for the community. Ramah in the Rockies is a magical village that opens its doors for nine weeks each summer and transforms the lives of the hundreds of youth who walk through our gates. And, if our chalutzim (campers/pioneers) are our village members, then our village leaders are the madrichim (counselors) and the village elders are Hanhallah (senior staff). The Hanhallah of our camp form an extraordinary group of passionate Jewish educators. They are the ones who work tirelessly throughout the summer ensuring that your children have impactful, fun, and safe experiences at Ramah in the Rockies.
With only weeks until we welcome our first chalutzim, it is with great pride that we introduce the members of our 2016 Hanhallah.
(To read about our year round team, please visit Our Team.)
Julia Snyder – Program Director
Julia is originally from Seattle, and joined ROA as a madricha in 2012, and later as Rosh Ofanayim (Biking). 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. She has experience teaching both Jewish studies and environmental science to learners of all ages, and is excited to combine her academic background of Talmud and Earth Science with the energy and joy of camp.
Rafi Daugherty – Director of Camper Care
Rafi is excited to be returning to camp as the Director of Camper Care with his baby daughter, Ettie! Rafi is a Colorado native who is working towards a graduate degree in Counseling. He also organizes the largest LGBTQ Passover Seder in the world called Queer Seder, held in Denver. Rafi went to camp as a kid and worked in camp as a teen and young adult- he is thrilled to be a part of the Ramah Rockies community.
Melanie Levine – Programming Specialist (aka Meracezet)
Melannie is thrilled to be returning to ROA for her 5th summer and, thus, is eagerly anticipating the bestowal of the 5th-year swag item (oh, and her job at camp as well, of course!). For almost a decade, she has lived out of a backpack while studying and working abroad. In this time, Melannie has come to look forward to her time at ROA as a chance to reconnect with friends, nature, Judaism, and the amazing program that camp offers. After a several year hiatus, she is returning to school at Brandeis University in Massachusetts to pursue to her master’s degree in Sustainable International Development and is currently seriously contemplating making her life much more difficult by undertaking a second degree at the same time, of which is an MBA in Nonprofit Management.
Moshe “Mushon” Samuels –Interim Tikvah Director
I am an experienced informal Jewish educator, with vast experience in both Israel and North America. Specifically, I have spent 16 summers on staff at Camp Ramah- I’ve spent 12 summers at Camp Ramah in Canada, where I served as both the unit head and the Jewish educator for the Tikvah program (8 summers with the Edah in total), and for the past couple of summers I’ve served as Rosh Chinuch (Educational Director) at Camp Ramah in the Rockies. Currently, I am the Shaliach (Israeli Emissary) at Bnai Jeshurun Congregation in New York.
Deena Cowans – Rosh Chinuch (Education Director)
Deena is excited to join Team Rockies after seven summers on staff at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin and one summer on staff with Ramah Israel Seminar. She will graduate from Columbia University in May with a Masters in Public Administration- Development Practice (aka International Development, aka helping the developing world). Deena graduated from Duke University in 2011 and then made her way through the Jewish social justice world: she was a corps member with AVODAH in Washington DC, then worked in Israel with the JDC, then in Nepal with an Israeli organization called Tevel B’Tzedek.
Leora Kling Perkins – Rosh Mumchim
Originally from the Boston Area, Leora is entering her third year of rabbinical student at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and will be returning to camp for her second summer. She is a graduate of Gann Academy and Brandeis University, and worked for several years at the Jewish Community Relations Council in Boston coordinating a literacy volunteer program. She is loves hiking, singing, and cooking delicious vegetarian food, and is especially proud of the garden she planted with her classmates in Jerusalem.
Ben Braunstein – Rosh Logistics
This will be my second summer at Ramah in the Rockies, and I could not be more excited! I am a Jewish Studies major with a background in technology and teaching. I love the outdoors and frequently hike and camp in my home town of Los Angeles. Can’t wait to see you all soon!
Zack Slavkin- Co-Rosh Masa
I was born and raised in Southern California, but came home to Colorado in 2008. Finishing up my psychology degree at CSU, after which I hope to travel and volunteer before coming back and working in alternative therapy environments. I love the outdoors, especially backpacking and mountain biking which are my two main hobbies at the moment. I also like to make music, and I love sharing my passions with others.