Our honorees

Nava and Adam Cohen

Nava’s connection to Ramah began in 1984 when she was a Nitzanim camper at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. She spent eleven years at Ramah Berkshires as a camper, counselor and rosh edah (division head). Nava met Adam during their undergraduate studies at the List College of The Jewish Theological Seminary and immediately drew him into the Ramah family. Nava and Adam married in September 2000 and moved to Riverdale in 2003.

In the summer of 2010, Nava made her return to Ramah Nyack with her sister-in-law, Erica Edelman, and their children. She has spent the past eight years at Nyack serving as a yoetzet (advisor), rosh edah, and the camp’s first development director. Adam is a beloved and integral member of the Nyack Shabbatmishpacha and a star spumr (Nyack softball) player.

Nava holds a master’s degree in Public Administration in Nonprofit Management from NYU and has devoted her professional life to serving the Jewish community. She currently works at SAR High School as the Student Activities and Office Coordinator. She has been a member of the SAR Parent-Teacher Committee and serves as co-chair of the Young Israel Ohab Zedek of North Riverdale youth committee. Adam holds degrees from Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary, and has spent the past 20 years working at Bloomberg LP. In addition, he serves on the board of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale. Nava and Adam have three Ramah-loving children, Galya (now a Nyack graduate), Hila, and Erez, who attend SAR Academy in Riverdale.

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Erica and Ephraim Edelman

It is not unusual to hear Erica say, “Much of the way I live my life can be traced back to my parents' decision to send me to Ramah!” Erica began her Ramah journey as a first year “Nitzy” at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires and has been hooked ever since. She spent the next 12 summers at Ramah Berkshires, and in the summer of 1995, Erica and Ephraim had their first kiss in the B-side pagoda while on staff. At the time, Erica was attending the List College of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University studying Chumash and Religion. Ephraim was a recent graduate of Binghamton University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree from the School of Management. Three years later, they were married at a raucous Ramah wedding, and their names were added to the shidduch wall in the Berkshires chadar ochel. Erica went on to receive a master's degree in Education from Hofstra University and Ephraim a master's degree in Business Administration from Columbia Business School.

In the summer of 2009, Erica’s love of Ramah expanded to include Ramah Nyack. While walking their oldest son, Avishai, who was then a Kochavim camper (rising kindergartener), into camp, Erica was drawn to the passion and energy she felt on the migrash.The following summer she returned to her summer Ramah roots and began calling Ramah Nyack her summer home, first as the yoetzet of Shorashim (rising first graders) and then, for seven summers, as Rosh Shorashim. Erica also had the privilege of serving as a mentor to the sganim(assistant division heads).

When Erica and Ephraim aren’t in their summer residence of the Upper Beit Am, they can be found in Riverdale, NY, living a few blocks away from two institutions and communities which they hold dear: SAR Academy, where Erica has been teaching kindergarten for the past seven years; and Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale (CSAIR), where Erica and Ephraim are committed synagogue members. Erica and Ephraim's personal interests and professional talents inform their work at CSAIR--Ephraim serves on the synagogue’s executive committee and has been the synagogue treasurer for the past five years, while Erica serves as co-chair of The Passport to Jewish Education committee, a groundbreaking program which provides need-blind scholarships for children to attend Jewish day schools, religious school, and summer camps. Ephraim is a partner at McLagan, a compensation consulting firm, where he has been working since 2002. Erica and Ephraim have three children, Avishai, Nadiv, and Shefa, who attend SAR Academy during the school year. Their summers have been spent at Ramah, where their love of Judaism, commitment to Israel, and sense of themselves has been developed and nourished.

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