Rabbi Ed Gelb – C.E.O.
Rabbi Ed Gelb (he/him) has served as director of Camp Ramah New England since September of 2005, and C.E.O. since October of 2018. Ed joined CRNE after a successful five-year tenure as director of Camp Alonim, which is affiliated with the Brandeis Bardin Institute in California. Raised in Wyoming, Ed is a longtime Ramahnik, having served on the staffs of Ramah California and Ramah Canada for many years. Prior to becoming director of Camp Alonim, Ed was a teacher, administrator and basketball coach at Yeshiva University High School in Los Angeles. Ed received his ordination from the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism and graduated from UCLA with a BA in History. He lives in Sharon, Massachusetts with his wife, Tami, and their children, Yoni, Emma, Tova and Zachary.
Josh Edelglass – Director
Josh Edelglass (he/him) has been spending his summers at Camp Ramah New England since 1987, and he began working on staff in the summer of 1995. Josh graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1999 and received his Masters in Jewish Studies from Gratz in 2022. He joined the year-round team in 2000, and was the Assistant Director from 2011-2022. Josh has worked on the faculty of Prozdor Hebrew High School, Temple Aliyah in Needham, Temple Israel in Natick, Tifereth Israel in Andover, Temple Emanu-El in Haverhill, and Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline. Somehow, on top of living and breathing Camp Ramah, Josh continues to work as a freelance illustrator, and to write about movies, TV shows, and lots more at his web-site: www.MotionPicturesComics.com. He lives in Medfield, Massachusetts with his wife, Stephanie, and their children Tahlia and Reya.
Michelle Sugarman – Director
Michelle Sugarman (she/her) is thrilled to be joining the Camp Ramah New England team. Originally from Scranton, PA, she was a long-time camper and staff member at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, spending 26 summers there, including 12 as the Assistant and then Associate Director. Prior to starting at Camp Ramah New England, Michelle was the Director of the North American Office of Academic Affairs of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She completed her BA in Jewish Studies and MSW at Temple University. Michelle brings with her a love of camp, a wealth of experience, and a plethora of innovative and creative ideas that will continue to make Ramah New England a leader in Jewish camping. When not watching the Eagles, Michelle is reading books, hanging out with family & friends, or watching The Office.
Ed Pletman – Chief Operating Officer
Ed Pletman (he/him) joined Camp Ramah New England as the Director of Finance and Operations in July, 2012. Prior to that, Ed worked professionally as the Director of Informal Education at the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, the Director of Camp Tevya (Cohen Camps), and for many years at the Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston. Ed completed his BS in Psychology at Union College and his MSW at Boston University. For many years, Ed has also volunteered as a Standards Accreditation Visitor with the American Camp Association. During the offseason, Ed lives in Stoughton Massachusetts.
Our Year-Round Staff
Rhonda Parker – Development and Campaign Director
Rhonda Parker (she/her) has served as the Director of Development since December, 2008. But her connection to Ramah started long before that – in the early 1970s as a camper at Ramah Glen Spey and then Camp Ramah New England. Prior to joining the Ramah staff, Rhonda served in several other development roles in the Jewish community and also practiced law in New York and Boston. Rhonda received her undergraduate degree from Brown University (concentrating in art history) and her law degree from NYU. She never imagined a professional path that would bring her back to Ramah! Rhonda lives in Sharon, MA with her husband Steve Binney. Her daughters, Hannah Binney and Sarah Binney, attended CRNE; Sarah also served on staff from 2015-2021. In her free time, Rhonda cycles, hikes, and knits (forever at an advanced beginner level) and loves to travel and visit museums.
Talya Kalender – Director of Camper Care
Talya Kalender (she/her) has served as a parent liaison and Director of Staff and Camper Care since 2010. Talya joined Camp Ramah New England after several years as an educator in a variety of settings, including nearly a decade at the Gesher Jewish Day School of Northern Virginia. Part of a three-generation Ramah family, she has spent time in Palmer, Canada and Ramah Seminar in Israel. Talya holds a BA in Education from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She lives in Fairfax Virginia with her husband David. Their three children, Aryeh, Yaira and Nadav were all CRNE campers and staff members.
Rabbi Jill Levy – Director, D.C. Day Camp
Rabbi Jill Levy (she/her) joined the Camp Ramah New England staff in September 2019, after five years as Rabbi at the Evelyn Rubenstein JCC in Houston, where she also served as Director of their largest day camp, Camp Kaleidoscope. Rabbi Jill spent three summers on staff at Ramah Darom and one summer on staff at Ramah Nyack. Prior to her position at the Houston JCC, Rabbi Jill was Director of Congregational Learning at Herzl-Ner Tamid in Mercer Island, WA. Rabbi Jill received her ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2011. While in rabbinical school, she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow and served as student rabbi in several different congregations. In addition, she completed a summer of clinical pastoral education at St. Luke’s and Texas Children’s Hospitals in Houston. Rabbi Jill also earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University. She currently lives in Rockville with her husband, Matt, and two daughters (and eager campers), Nava and Miri. In her free time, you can find her running or bike riding on one of the many trails in the D.C. area.
Laura Berger, RN – Nurse Director
Laura Berger (she/her) grew up in Dayton, OH and went to college at University of Michigan (Go Blue!). She was a happy camper, counselor, and Rosh Edah at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, where she especially loved being on agam staff. Laura has a Master of Social Work degree from Columbia University and a Master of Jewish Studies degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary. After working at Jewish Federations for several years, Laura received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan School of Nursing in 2012. She currently works as an Intensive Care RN at Hartford Hospital. Laura lives in West Hartford with her husband Yoni, who is the Head of School at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford, their four children, Talya, Adina, Rami, and Benny, and several pets. Laura is thrilled to be joining the Ramah New England team!
Sean Carey – Chef Manager
Sean Carey has been the Chef at Camp Ramah New England since 2010. A graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Sean has worked in a variety of food service operations including higher education, casinos, and fine-dining restaurants. In his free time, Sean loves salt-water fishing and traveling the country with his wife, dog, and cat.
Mindy Goldstein – Director of Annual Campaign and Alumni Relations
Mindy Goldstein (she/her) has been part of the Ramah New England Development Team since 2013. Mindy is a graduate of The Ramaz School, SUNY-Binghamton undergraduate, and Northeastern University MBA. She is a lover of Jewish overnight camps, spending many happy summers at Camp Massad in the Poconos. She is thrilled to be able to help make Jewish camping available to those who would otherwise be unable to attend. Mindy, a native New Yorker, lives in Sharon, Massachusetts with her husband, Noah Horowitz. They love spending time with their three children and their partners – Keith and Carly – who live in Quincy, MA; Ariel and Sam – who live in Sharon, MA; and Jon and Sarah and baby Aviva – who live in Great Neck, NY. Mindy’s passions are traveling the world, entertaining friends and family, and spending time with her extended family. She has the uncanny ability to summarize a Seinfeld episode within the first 2 minutes of any episode.
Pamela Kekst – Program Director
Pamela Kekst (she/her) joined Ramah New England in 2019 after growing up at several Ramah camps and working as a Rosh Edah at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, NY. Pamela earned her BA in Psychology from the University of Maryland, where she also minored in Jewish Studies. Pamela is currently working towards her MSW at Columbia School of Social Work as well as an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership from the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is a Nachshon Project Graduate Fellow, through which she has grown her love for Jewish community. Pamela loves to read, craft, and explore NYC!
David Kieval – Camper Support Specialist
David Kieval, PsyD, BCBA grew up as a camper and staff member at CRNE, and his career as a child clinical psychologist grew directly out of his work in the Tikvah Program. As a psychologist, David has expertise supporting children with neurodevelopmental, behavioral, social-emotional, and learning differences, including ADHD, autism, anxiety, and trauma. David has a PsyD from Rutgers University, and completed postgraduate training at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is also a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). David has conducted workshops on inclusion and equity at synagogues around the country, worked at Boston Children’s Hospital, and held a teaching appointment at Harvard Medical School. In the off-season, David lives in Northampton, Mass., with his wife Emily and three young children, who are beginning their own Ramah journeys. He also works as a therapist, clinical supervisor and trainer for a local community mental health agency. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and backpacking, playing guitar, and cheering for the Celtics.
Joe Libera – Site and Facility Manager
Joe Libera has been the Site and Facility Manager at Camp Ramah New England since 2018. Joe brings years of experience as a licensed contractor, and has a deep understanding of the Camp’s infrastructure enabling him to have a keen eye for development. Joe spends his free time with his grandchildren, and loves making them wooden rockers and toys!
Rutie Mackenzie-Margulies – Registrar
Rutie MacKenzie-Margulies (she/her) grew up spending her summers at Camp Ramah New England before moving across the country to attend school. Rutie earned her BA in Religious Studies from the University of Puget Sound, where she also completed an emphasis program in Bioethics. Outside of work, Rutie is a percussionist with the Tacoma Concert Band and enjoys reading, attending concerts and exploring the Pacific Northwest. Rutie is so excited to be coming home and joining the year-round team!
Ken Milgram – Finance Associate
Ken Milgram, a native Philadelphian, is a member of our Finance Department. After spending over 20 years in the for-profit world, he enjoys helping our camp families with all financial matters pertaining to their children being able to experience the most amazing summers at one of our Ramah New England camps. In his spare time, he loves to travel abroad to spend time with his children & grandchildren; he loves the theater and all things Philadelphia sports related.
Jackie Romito-Carey – Events Manager, Palmer
Born and raised in the food business, Jackie Romito-Carey believes the only way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. She created her dream job at Camp Ramah New England in 2021. During the summer months she works in the Chadar Ochel (Dining Hall), making sure everyone eats well, and in the off-season she helps plan and organize special events and retreats held at Camp Ramah. When she’s not planning events, Jackie loves practicing yoga, hiking, and reading.
Sharon Rosenberg Safra – Assistant Director, D.C. Day Camp
A Maryland native, Sharon Rosenberg Safra (she/her) received her BA in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Jewish Education from the Davidson Graduate School of the Jewish Theological Seminary. Sharon worked as the yoetzet (parent liaison) at the Ramah Day Camp of Greater Washington in its opening summer and then joined the year-round team in December 2015. Prior to Ramah, she worked as a synagogue educator for many years. She and her husband, Rabbi Michael Safra, are the proud parents of three happy Ramahniks – Rebecca, Ethan, and Gila. Sharon believes strongly in the power of community and enjoys her work building a diverse summer kehillah (community) each year. When not at work or with her family, you can often find Sharon cooking, exercising or reading.
Bonnie Schwartz – Tikvah Director
Dr. Bonnie Schwartz has served as our Tikvah Director since the end of 2015 and is thankful for the ability to combine her professional interests with her love of camp! Dr. Schwartz is a lifelong camper and a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working with children, teens, and adults with developmental, learning, social and emotional differences and their families. Outside of camp, she is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at a medical center faculty group practice where she provides assessment, therapy, family support, school and community consultation, and social skills groups. Bonnie’s favorites at camp include celebrating Shabbat, singing, crafts, appreciating the beauty of nature and, most importantly, enjoying life-changing summers with her extended Tikvah family.
Becky Sherman – Office Administrator
Becky Sherman is a Jew by Choice who grew up in Eastern Massachusetts and now resides in Palmer. She enjoys spending time with her husband, 3 adult children and extended family. In her spare time, she spends time quilting with her mother and sister including making quilts for cancer patients. Becky joined the summer staff at Ramah as the receptionist in 2013 and is excited to join the year-round staff.
Rabbi Rachel Silverman – Director, Boston Day Camp
Rabbi Rachel Silverman (she/her) first joined the Camp Ramah New England staff as a Rosh Edah at the overnight camp from 2005-2010. Many years later, she’s thrilled to be back as the Director of Ramah Boston, our newest day camp. Rabbi Silverman previously served as a congregational rabbi in both Brookline and Sharon, MA, after receiving her ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2010. When she is not at camp, she is a ceramic artist and enjoys biking, cooking, and gardening. She lives in Sharon, MA, with her husband Josh, their three kids (Anna, Danny, and Benjamin), dog (Abby) and six chickens.
Riki Wiederhorn – Director of Year-Round Programming
Riki Wiederhorn (she/her) has been a part of the Camp Ramah Camper Care Team since 2011 and is now also the Director of Year-Round Programming, but her connection to Ramah began as a camper in Camp Ramah Ojai in the 80’s. Prior to joining the year-round staff, she worked in various formal and informal Jewish educational settings including Bi-Cultural Hebrew Academy in Stamford, CT for almost a decade. Riki holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara (political science) and an MA in Jewish Education from the University of Judaism in Los Angeles. She lives in Westport, CT with her husband Jeremy and youngest son Avi. All three of her children Meital, Ayelet and Avi were CRNE campers and past or future staff members.
Lisa Zelermyer – Registrar & Operations Coordinator, D.C. Day Camp
Lisa joins us with a background in Jewish organizational management and a lifetime passion for summer camp. An attorney and non-profit management professional by trade, Lisa owns and manages Neatli LLC., a company with a mission to help others find the tools to live simply and efficiently. Lisa’s past experience includes seven years with Hadassah, most recently as the Managing Director of Hadassah Mid-Atlantic. Lisa is a graduate of The George Washington University and The University of Connecticut School of Law. She lives in Kensington, MD with her husband Salo and four children, Noa, Joshua, Jacob and Lila (Ramah Day Camp DC campers). Lisa enjoys organizing, skiing, the outdoors and reading recipes (but not making them!).