Year Round Staff

Rabbi Joel Seltzer

Executive Director

Rabbi Joel Seltzer is originally from Philadelphia, PA and he himself is a home-grown product of Camp Ramah  in the Poconos. Whether as a camper, a counselor, a  Rosh Edah  (Division Head), or  Rosh Drama  (Head of Performing Arts), Rabbi Joel learned countless personal and professional life lessons from his time at camp. A graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Rabbi Joel served as a rabbi at Temple Emanu-El in Providence, RI for four years before returning to his spiritual home: Camp Ramah. Rabbi Joel lives in Cherry Hill with his wife (whom he met at Camp!), and their three daughters.

You Can Follow Rabbi Joel on twitter at: @joseltzer

Also, you can read his collection of monthly essays on by clicking here.

Rachel Dobbs Schwartz

Camp Director

Prior to taking on the role as Director at Camp Ramah in the Poconos, Rachel was the Assistant Director at Camp Ramah Darom from 2015 to 2020. Rachel has a long time connection with Ramah camping dating back to 1998, when she first became a staff member and soccer coach at Ramah Darom (eventually taking on the roles of Rosh Sport and Rosh Machnaut). She has a Double Bachelor’s Degree in History and Art History from the University of Michigan, and a Master’s Degree from Emory University in Teaching. Her focus in Undergraduate and Graduate school was history, and particularly teaching Jewish and Israeli history. Rachel was a full-time teacher, Co-Director of Student life, and a Team Lead, at The Weber School and Wesley Academy for 6 years, prior to joining Ramah Darom as Assistant Director.

Rachel currently lives in Atlanta, GA with her family (husband Pete), two children (Izzy and Asher) and dog (Osi). She spends her free time with family and friends, playing music (drums and guitar), cooking, camping, hiking, kayaking, playing soccer and frisbee, running, and reading.

Bruce I. Lipton

Director of Finance and Operations

Bruce I. Lipton came back to camp from the for-profit world in 1998  as Director of Finance & Operations applyingbruce-lipton his skill set to keep camp safe, secure and solvent.  Bruce worked as a counselor, Rosh Hadar/Rosh Shachal and Kitchen Steward in the 1970s and 1980s.  Bruce’s life experiences include higher and continuing education, army service in the IDF having lived in Israel as an Oleh for 10 years, and most importantly is a loving father to his two children Rachel and Avi and loving husband to his wife Meryl Sussman.

Miryam Seid

Director of Institutional Advancement

Miryam was born in Mexico City and moved to San Diego, CA at the age of 4.  As a young girl, she enjoyed eight incredible summers at Ramah Ojai and always dreamed of making her way back “home” to camp (although now on a different coast). In addition to earning a BA in American History from Columbia University, Miryam also earned a BA in Jewish Studies from Albert A. List College at the Jewish Theological Seminary. During her time as a student at List College, Miryam obtained a work-study position in the Institutional Advancement Department of JTS, and credits that time for her passion and drive in development work.  After graduation, Miryam worked at a fundraising consulting firm and then returned to JTS’s department of Institutional Advancement as Assistant Director of the New York Region. While in New York, Miryam also spent time fundraising for Mount Sinai Hospital.  Since then, she has worked with many organizations of varying size, helping them reach their goals and accomplish their mission.  Most recently she served as Director of Institutional Advancement at Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania. Miryam currently lives in Center City with her husband, Adam, and two young children, Georgi and Daniel.

Leah Schatz

Program Director

Leah Schatz is so excited to be the Program Director at Camp Ramah in the Poconos! unnamed (1)She is an alumna of Ramah Day Camp and overnight camp. A proud member of Gesher 2011, Leah worked as a madrichah (counselor) for four years and a Rosh Edah (Division Head) for three.  After graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Elementary Education in 2017, she has spent time teaching throughout the Jewish community of Philadelphia at Har Zion Temple and Beth Am Israel. Having spent the last 18 years living ten months for two, she is ecstatic to get to dedicate those other ten months of the year to her favorite place. Leah brings with her a love of camp, a lot of ruach (spirit), and a vast collection of Camp Ramah t-shirts.

Rachael Abrams, LCSW-C

Director of Camper Care and Staff Development

Rachael is thrilled to return to the Ramah Poconos community as the year round Director of Camper Care and Staff Development. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Rachael has diverse therapeutic experience working with individuals, families and groups across a variety of clinical competencies. She has a strong foundation in community engagement and programming within the Jewish Community. She holds an MSW from University of Maryland, School of Social Work and is a Certified Thanatologist, specializing in grief and loss. She spent many years at Ramah Poconos as a camper and staff member and also served on the Board of Directors. Rachael met her husband Josh at camp, when they were Junior Counselors, and their boys, Sam and Ben are proud Poconos campers.

Benjy Goldberg

Director of Retreats
Assistant Director of Operations

Benjy was born in Israel and grew up in the town of Rosh Ha’ayin, where he currently lives with his wife, Ella, and sons, Eitan and Yarden.  He has spent most of his summers in his home away from home — Camp Ramah in the Poconos, a sacred place for him and his family. Once becoming a summer staff member, Benjy held many logistical roles at camp, including kitchen supervisor, dining hall manager and head of security, before joining the year-round team in 2016. Benjy earned his ​B.A. in ​Sustainability and ​​Government from the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center​ (IDC)​, and has worked at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, as a senior adviser to a Knesset member and ​as a ​regional campaign manager for the Yesh Atid party. He also traveled the world as an El Al flight attendant ​before his c​​ollege years and served as chief of staff to General Yair Golan during his army service.

Orlee Krass

Tikvah Director

Orlee Krass is excited to join the Ramah Poconos team as the Tikvah Director. Originally from Rockland County, New York, Orlee grew up at Ramah Nyack, going from camper to counselor to Rosh Edah. As a life-long Ramahnik, parent of young children, and aunt of a child on the autism spectrum, Orlee is committed to creating and implementing opportunities for all children to participate in the Ramah camping movement.  A graduate of Jewish day school, the Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and Mercy College, Orlee holds bachelors and masters degrees in Judaic Studies and Education. Most recently Orlee has served as the Director of Education at Matan, the Director of Camper Care at Ramah Day Camp in Nyack, and the Tikvah Network Coordinator for the National Ramah Commision. Orlee lives in New City, New York with her husband Matt, and their children Micah, Raya, and Gavi.

Tobi Afran

Camp Communications Director and Special Projects Coordinator

Tobi is proud to join the year round team as the Special Projects Coordinator! An alumna of Gesher 2010 (and Gesher 2019), she spent seven years on tzevet (staff), the last four as a Rosh Edah (division head). Tobi has a degree from Drexel University in Visual Communications and has been working as a graphic designer in New York City. In her new role at camp, Tobi is eager to work behind the scenes and be apart of creating the incredible staff and camper experiences that we call ‘Camp Ramah in the Poconos’. She is privileged to combine these two areas of expertise into her greatest portfolio pieces: the last four years of Camp Ramah in the Poconos and Ramah Day Camp t-shirts.

Elana Rivel

Director, Ramah Day Camp

Elana has worked in the field of Jewish education for nearly thirty years. She has held a wide range of positions across the movements, across the country, and in both formal and informal settings.  As the Associate Director of Jewish ElanaLearning Venture in Melrose Park where she worked for thirteen years, Elana managed, developed, and implemented initiatives that strengthen Jewish institutions and empower individuals to engage with the Jewish community. She consulted with educational institutions locally and nationally about systemic change processes, providing guidance and resources that helped them strategize and plan for strength. In May 2013, Elana was recognized with a Professional of Excellence, Change Agent award from the Tri-State Jewish Professionals Organization. She was also a member of the pilot cohort of the Jim Joseph Foundation Fellowship, delving into the use of text and technology for building online communities. Elana received her M.Ed from the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) and a B.A. in Near East and Judaic Studies from Brandeis University.