Born and raised in upstate New York, Lori spent many summers at Camp Ramah in New England as a camper, counselor and Rosh Aidah (unit head). Upon graduation from Rutgers College, Lori taught for several years at the Solomon Schechter Day School in Newton, MA. She later earned a Masters Degree in History from Carnegie Mellon University. In Chicago, before becoming the Director of Ramah Day Camp, Lori helped start the Board of Jewish Education’s Marshall Jewish Learning Center. She has also taught at the Florence Melton Adult Mini-School. As her own children matured, Lori developed a wealth of material for young children’s Shabbat programs and has given numerous presentations on how to run a Tot Shabbat program. Camp provides Lori with the perfect opportunity to share her love of Judaism.
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Judy worked as a synagogue education director for almost 30 years in the Chicago area before launching eJewcate Me, Inc., an online Hebrew and religious school, several years ago. While formal Jewish education is in her blood, Judy has found that being with the campers in a totally immersed Jewish environment has been tremendously rewarding, as well as fun. She is also the immediate Past President of the Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago, where she still serves on the Board of Directors. Judy belongs to Anshe Tikvah Congregation, where her son Rob serves as the Rabbi and Cantor. Judy has three grown children and three grandchildren. In her limited free time, Judy loves to read, sew, quilt, work out, and play Words with Friends.
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Benji Bearman is the Chief Operating Officer of Ramah Day Camp and Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. In this capacity, Benji is responsible for the finances, camper scholarships, year-round operations and corporate governance of the camp. He also oversees maintenance and construction projects. Benji was previously the Director of Youth Activities for the Mid-Continent Region of United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for eight years. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communications. A former camper, counselor, Rosh Aidah and fieldworker at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, Benji has been associated with Camp Ramah since 1989. Benji lives in Skokie with his wife, Faye, their daughter, Mia, and their son, Leo.
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Ilisa grew up in Homewood, Illinois, (Go Vikings!) and moved to Evanston after marrying her wonderful husband Mike in 1988. They now live in Deerfield with their three fabulous children, Ari, Mason, and Shira. Ilisa received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Washington University in St. Louis in 1987. Out of school she worked for a public accounting firm and later as the controller of the International Academy of Merchandising and Design. She left the workforce in 1996 when her son Ari was born and returned to working outside her home in 2010 when she began at Ramah Day Camp. Ilisa attended Camp Ramah in Wisconsin for three summers (1979–1981) as a camper and came back to join the staff for an additional four years (1983–1986) in one of her most favorite jobs—counselor. All three of her children have attended Ramah Day Camp and Ramah Wisconsin.
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