Year Round Staff

Meet our Directors

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 has worked for the past 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.

Eileen Graub

Assistant Director, Ramah Day Camp

Eileen Graub started her relationship with Ramah when her two daughters, Sarah and Allie, eileen headshotstarted at Machaneh  Ramah Yomi at TBI in  Blue  Bell.  Both girls continued their camper experience at  Camp Ramah in the Poconos and are excited to be returning as staff members. Eileen’s youngest, Josh, currently joins her at Ramah Day Camp. Eileen spent many years as a second grade teacher in the School District of Haverford Township, and earned a triple certification in education (early childhood, elementary and special education) from Temple University. Eileen also received her Master’s in Reading from Beaver College (now known as Arcadia).  Eileen has been a part of the Ramah Day Camp family for over ten years, both serving as a Rosh Edah and as a year-round Program Coordinator, and now as Assistant Director of Ramah Day Camp. Eileen lives in Elkins Park with her husband Rich, a Poconos alumnus and son Josh. Sarah is a  student at The University of Pittsburgh and Allie is a student at The University of Delaware.

Rabbi Joel Seltzer

Executive Director, Camp Ramah in the Poconos


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 Philadelphia with his wife Eliana (whom he met at Camp!), and their daughters Ayelet, Talia, and Noa.

Michelle Sugarman

Associate Director, Camp Ramah in the Poconos DSC_0257

Michelle is excited to spend her 26th summer at Camp Ramah in the Poconos! Originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Michelle relocated to Philadelphia and earned her BA in Jewish Studies and then a Masters in Social Work at Temple University. Through her roles as camper, babysitter, Madrichah (counselor), Rosh Edah (Division Head), and now her 10th year as the Associate Director, Michelle has developed a passion for camp and cannot picture her summers spent anywhere else.

Bruce I. Lipton

Director of Finance and OperationsDSC_0492

Bruce I. Lipton came back to camp from the for-profit world in 1998 as Director of Finance & Operations applying 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.

Michele Hasit

Communications DirectorIMG_0899

Originally from Cherry Hill, NJ, Michele spent summer after summer at Ramah as a camper and on staff, having worked in many different scopes of camp life (bunk counselor, teaching staff, office staff, to name a few).  Michele graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Public and Community Health, and then spent time working in public health both locally and abroad. Michele loves her role as Communications Director, where she is able to bring her energy and creativity to Ramah Poconos, her home away from home. Michele lives in Center City Philadelphia with her husband, Adam Waxman (a long-time Ramahnik), and their daughter, Kira.

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.