2017 Shira/Music Specialists
We are excited to welcome a wonderful group of shira (song) and music specialists to camp this summer! This talented group of musicians will be working with hanichim (campers) and tzevet (staff) to spread music across camp, from bringing festive music into our t’fillot to leading ruach-filled shira-sessions in our Chadar Ochel (Dining Hall). Each specialist will be spending between one to three weeks with us at camp this summer:
Phil Bressler is a rising 5th year rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. He is an experienced songleader at Jewish summer camps and this kayitz (summer) will be his fourth spent at Camp Ramah in New England. Phil loves making music as a way of connecting with Jewish culture and Jewish texts, and also as a vehicle for heightening spiritual sensitivity in prayer. A special part of his role this summer will be to work with a cohort of counselors to develop their music and prayer leadership skills. He’s also really looking forward to putting the sound system of the new chadar ochel through its paces with some rowdy mealtime shira! Phil lives in Jamaica Plain, MA with his wife Amanda, two-year-old daughter Penina, and polydactyl cat Sampson.
With more than 25 years of experience as a musician, Elie Greenberg is one of the most passionate and seasoned Jewish musicians around. He created many nationally recognized and awarded Jewish programs, including Kol HaOlam (the national collegiate Jewish a cappella competition), Adas Israel’s Return Again musical service, among others, and continues to impact and contribute to the American Jewish landscape. He was lead singer/lead guitarist for a professional, music industry-managed rock’n’roll band in college. Most importantly, he is a diehard Ramahnik who spent many summers in Palmer as a youngster, and he looks forward to being back again this summer and sharing his love of Jewish and Israeli music with all of you.
Amichai Margolis is currently the Musical Director of the Solomon Schechter Lower School of White Plains, NY. He is also the Musical Director of the JCC of Harrison, NY. Amichai founded and directed the Jewish a cappella group Kol B’yachad at Brown University. He also arranged and sang with Pizmon from Columbia University & JTS. Ami is the Rosh Shira at Camp Ramah in Nyack, NY, and he was the Rosh Shira at Camp Ramah in New England from 1998-2005, where he broadened the musical repertoire of the camp as well as directed the staff a cappella group. He currently lives in Orangeburg, NY with his wife, Kari (whom he met at Camp Ramah) and their children, and he owns and operates “Joyful Studios” on the side. Ami is the leader of the “Amichai Margolis Band,” and his debut album is called “Orah V’Simcha — Light and Joy.” His music can be heard at: http://tinyurl.com/Amichaim.
Jeremy Stein is the hazzan at Congregation Beth Israel Ner Tamid in Milwaukee, WI. A native of Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Jeremy studied flute and arranging at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating, he toured with his jazz/rock band Flutopia. In addition to performing with his band, Jeremy played on film scores, composed radio jingles, and performed at countless Jewish weddings. Jeremy is a graduate of the H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary. While in Cantorial School, he combined his passion for jazz, folk and pop with his love of Jewish music, composing melodies rooted in Jewish musical tradition with a modern flair. In his final year at JTS, Jeremy conducted field research for his thesis comparing the musical traditions of the Jews of Yemen and Aden. Though his travels brought him to London and Israel, his research began at Camp Ramah interviewing local legend Yehuda Gubani. A passionate teacher, Jeremy recently completed a Master of Jewish Education through the Davidson School at the Jewish Theological Seminary. His thesis was entitled “Sacred Destination, Many Paths: Differentiated B’nei Mitzvah Teaching” in which he explored approaches to teaching B’nei Mitzvah students with different learning styles. A long-time Ramahnik, Jeremy spent 9 summers as a camper at Ramah New England from Gan through Nivonim, and 9 summers on staff as a counselor, band director, and Rosh Shira. He is excited to return to camp this summer along with his wife Amanda and daughter Mirit.