At Ramah Darom, we pride ourselves on the quality of our diverse staff who join us from around the globe every summer. From our programming staff members, who are primarily college-aged Jewish leaders to our esteemed visiting staff which comprises an extraordinary group of teachers, rabbis and artists, the quality of the staff and faculty at Ramah Darom is unmatched. Parents comment on the skills campers learn each summer from our specialty staff, who are experts in everything from climbing and gardening to pottery and guitar. Our Israeli staff members provide campers with a unique opportunity to live and learn the rich traditions and culture of Israel. Our full-fledged medical staff make sure campers stay healthy throughout the camp season, and our senior staff members continue to ensure excellence in programming and close, supportive supervision of our camp leaders.
Meet our Camp Directors
Director, Camp Ramah Darom
Born in Philadelphia, my parents first shipped me off to summer camp in the Pocono Mountains at the age of 10 and I never looked back. It is there where I developed my passion for Jewish education and building community. I studied at the University of Pennsylvania where I received my B.A. and M.A. in education followed by advanced coursework in Jewish Education at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Prior to joining Ramah Darom as camp director in 2008, I held professional positions on college campuses – working with Hillel at Rutgers and the University of Pennsylvania. I also served as Director of the Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Learning at Hillel’s International Headquarters in Washington, D.C. My coaching resume spans the range from Division I Collegiate Rowing and to Under 6 JCC Soccer. My wife, Elana and I have four children and live in Atlanta.
Rachel Dobbs Schwartz
Assistant Director, Camp Ramah Darom
In 1998, I came to Ramah Darom as a staff member and felt that the experience was transformative for me as both a Jewish young adult and as a young person learning to be a professional. I couldn’t stay away and returned for the next several summers to coach soccer and eventually, take on the role of Rosh Sport. After four summers, I decided to pursue a study abroad program in Sydney, Australia as part of my degree from the University of Michigan, but I always knew that I’d be back…and that camp was my home.
After Graduating from the University of Michigan with a double bachelor’s degree in History and Art History, I pursued a career in education. I received a Master’s in Teaching from Emory University and went on to teach a wide variety of history courses to high school students over the next many years. Throughout my full-time teaching career, I served as a Team Lead Teacher (at Wesley International Academy) and also as the Co-Director of Student Life (at The Weber School).
I currently live in Atlanta with an amazing family (husband, two children, and dog), and spend my free time playing music (drums and guitar), seeing live music, cooking, camping, hiking, and playing soccer and Frisbee.
Audra Kaplan, PsyD
Director, Director Tikvah Support Program and Camper Care
As director of the Ramah Darom Tikvah Support Program, I enjoy blending my love of camp and my passion for Judaism with my experience and knowledge as a clinical psychologist. I have been involved in day and residential camp programs, as a camper, counselor, educator and director my entire life. Prior to joining the Ramah Darom family, I was the camp director of Camp Firefly, a day and overnight camp program of the Jewish Child and Family Services of Chicago. My clinical career has enabled me to provide individual, family and group psychotherapy; psychological assessments; supervision and training of graduate students; workshops on clinical supervision; camp consultation; and consultation services to schools and early childhood programs. I have also consulted around issues of inclusion of children with developmental and social disorders. I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and my doctorate of clinical psychology from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 1996. I have also worked with Jewish Child and Family Services since 1997. I have four awesome children (all third generation Ramahniks!) and a private practice in clinical psychology in Chicago.
I am a dedicated Jewish Professional and long-time Ramah summer camp staff member. I spent five summers working at Camp Ramah in Nyack and two summers as a Rosh Edah (Unit Leader) at Camp Ramah Darom. For the last two years, I worked as the Program and Youth Assistant for the Kaplan Michell Retreat Center at Ramah Darom and recently became the Program Director of Camp Ramah Darom. A New York native, I moved down to Atlanta after graduating from the The University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Urban Studies and Jewish Studies certificate.
Meet the entire Ramah Darom team!