Mark Lazar – Rosh Al Habama (Performing Arts)
Mark Lazar is excited to be returning to a Ramah in California after many moons away. His first summer at a Ramah was in Ojai in 1979 as the drama specialist. Since then Mark has worked at Jewish youth camps in Bulgaria, the Baltics, Hungary, England and Israel. After making aliyah with his family in 1993, Mark worked with most gap year programs and summer programs from North America as well as informal educational programming and leadership training in Eastern Europe for the JDC. He relocated to southern California in 2016 to be closer to his mother. He freelance teaches in the southern California area. He is a proud father of his adult children Aryeh, Zehava and Ilai. He is ecstatic to be part of this Ramah community and create with the youth this summer!
Deanna Neil – Rosh Al Habama (Performing Arts)
Based in Los Angeles, Deanna is an award-winning author, singer, Jewish educator and spiritual leader, fusing her creative and performance talents with a passion for exploring Jewish heritage. She wrote three award-winning novels about Yellowstone National Park for which she was recognized by Time Magazine for Kids as a “hero for the planet.” She was a radio host and producer, studied opera on scholarship in Italy, toured and performed with her own solo cabaret, and wrote two plays. Born in Chicago, Deanna was bred in suburban Conservative Judaism and through it all, always found herself turning to Judaism and building community with those searching for deeper understanding of how Judaism could enrich their lives. Deanna applied theater to ancient text as a Storahtelling company member, was the founding director of performing arts at Camp Ramah NorCal, and an adjunct professor of creative writing at AJU. She moved deeper into community leadership as the founding director of Jewish innovation at Silverlake Independent JCC where she cultivated Jewish programming, developed a school, and received a “Change-Maker” Grant for an exchange program with a Muslim school. Deanna creates personalized lifecycle rituals and workshops for organizations, families, and individuals seeking deeper meaning and interaction with tradition. She has officiated and created high holiday and Shabbat services nationwide. Recently, she launched “Pop Up Shul,” a theme-based, experimental, roving, Jewish prayer and learning community. She is in the inaugural Honeymoon Israel’s Master Rabbi/Educators cohort, and consulted for the TV show Transparent. Deanna plays the ukulele, and loves to hike and dance salsa.
Marci Greenberg – Rosh Bethoch Hayam (Ocean Exploration)
Marci Greenberg has been Rosh Ocean, head of ocean exploration at Ramah Galim in Northern California, since before we started our first summer. Having been a Ramah Wisconsin camper, a passionate marine biologist, and an energetic Jewish educator, all roads have led to Ramah Galim.
She loves discovering the dynamic overlap between marine ecosystems and Jewish learning, a relationship she believes began as we stared down the Reed Sea and decided, collectively, to dive in. This relationship continues every summer at our Ramah on Monterey Bay. She feels particularly grateful for the many opportunities to explore the concept of sanctuary with our Ramah community; from the national marine sanctuary off our beach to the magical, holy, safe shelter that is camp.
Marci lives year-round in Pacific Grove and can usually be found on the beach and in the waters of Monterey Bay with her amazing partner Dave and their kids and dog.
Batya Ellinoy – Rosh Etgar (Adventure Sports)
Originally from Monterey, CA, Batya currently lives in Boston, MA where she will be entering her third year of rabbinical school at Hebrew College this fall. Batya spent many beautiful and transformative summers at Camp Ramah in Ojai, CA as both a camper and a counselor. She also staffed Ramah Seminar in Israel in 2003. Batya feels so blessed to be returning to the Camp Ramah community and be a part of Ramah Galim. She is especially looking forward to being so close to the Pacific Ocean, to delighting in connecting with people, nature, and the Divine in her role as Rosh Etgar, and experiencing the unique taste of summer magic that is special to Camp Ramah.