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Meet Our Director

Eliana Leader

Director, Kaplan Mitchell Retreat Center at Ramah Darom

I’ve always known that I love to help. It would be my proudest accomplishment growing up, from helping my parents around the house, to “helping” my friend blow out his birthday candles when I was six. I have always been eager to assist others in accomplishing tasks and solving problems, and that passion can be seen in my lifelong career in Jewish community work.

I was born and raised in Atlanta and without realizing it, my helping skills were constantly taking me in the direction of Jewish leadership and development in the community, from overnight and day camp counselor and staff for 8+ years, to youth group leader for Bnei Akiva, to spending a year abroad volunteering and learning in Israel after high school. I went to University of Maryland for undergrad (go Terps!), where I majored in Sociology, minored in Jewish Studies, and played an active role in Hillel and other Jewish organizations around campus. After graduating I married fellow Atlantan and high school sweetheart, Yoni Kaplan, moved back down South, and set off on a course for more learning and helping in the Jewish community. I am blessed to have had meaningful roles as Experience Imagineer at Jewish Kids Groups and as Executive Director of Young Israel of Toco Hills, where I found some incredible mentors and guides. It was during this work that I knew I would be sticking to Jewish community development as a career, and went for a graduate certificate in Experiential Jewish Education at the Center for the Jewish Future at Yeshiva University.

 My love for helping and my love of Judaism doesn’t stop at my professional life, I am a chronic volunteer, too! I enjoy supporting numerous organizations such as the Atlanta Jewish Music Festival, Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, AMIT, as well as local schools and synagogues, but my deepest love comes from my volunteer work with Limmud. I have held many leadership positions with LimmudFest, a partnership program with Ramah Darom, which was the gateway to the incredible opportunity to become the Director of the Kaplan Mitchell Retreat Center at Ramah Darom. I am now also on the board of Limmud ATL + SE, as well as the North American delegate to Limmud International.

My husband, Yoni and I are blessed with an amazing daughter, Aria, with baby girl #2 on the way! When not “helping” I love to explore culinary adventures, color in adult coloring books, drink wine, jog, hike, travel, and crochet.

Learn more about our team of professionals who work on year-round programming here!