Meet Our Directors
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. Before 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.
Audra Kaplan, PsyD
Associate Camp Director and Head of Community Care & Tikvah Support
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 both day camps and residential camp programs, as a camper, counselor, educator and director my entire life. Before 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 worked with Jewish Child and Family Services since 1997 and I am a Certified Autism Specialist. I live in Chicago and have four awesome children (all third-generation Ramahniks!).
Rebecca “Becky” Birch
Assistant Tikvah Director
My first experience working with children with autism spectrum disorder was at Camp Yofi at Ramah Darom in 2007, and it helped shape my career path. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Georgia and a Masters in Psychological Counseling from Teachers College of Columbia University and I worked in California for many years as a behavioral therapist. Last summer, I returned to Camp as our Inclusion Specialist, ensuring all Tikvah supported campers, living in traditional bunks had the support they needed to have a successful summer experience. As Assistant Director, I partner with our Tikvah and Camper Care Director, Dr. Audra Kaplan, in all aspects of the Tikvah Support Program. I’m a Camp Ramah Darom alumn (Gesher ’03) and a long-time summer staff member. After participating in Ramah Israel Seminar in 2004, I returned as Tzevet (staff) at Camp for four years and was on Ramah Israel Seminar Tzevet for one year. I am currently working as a behavior therapist for children with autism in Cooper City, Florida while I complete coursework to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst. I feel fortunate to be able to blend my love of Ramah, my training and my passion for individuals with special needs as Assistant Tikvah Director.
Camper Care Coordinator
Meet more of our Ramah Darom team of professionals.