Camp Ramah in Ojai and Camp Alonim in Simi Valley, two of the Los Angeles region’s largest sleep-away summer camps, have named new directors. Ramah tapped Rabbi Joseph Menashe, an associate rabbi at a Conservative synagogue in Dallas, to take the reins from Rabbi Daniel Greyber, who has served as executive director of Ramah since 2002 and announced his resignation in January to pursue a pulpit position. Greyber will stay on through the upcoming camp season, turning Ramah, which is under the educational auspices of American Jewish University’s Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is affiliated with the National Ramah Commission, an arm of the Conservative movement, over to Menashe on Sept. 1.
Before arriving at Dallas’ Congregation Shearith Israel in 2006, the Portland, Ore., native was the director of Hillel at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for six years. His first encounter with Ramah was in 1995 as a teacher and social justice coordinator; he then served in various other Ramah positions, including division head and founder of a Ramah-sponsored social justice program for high school students. Menashe is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and was ordained in 2000 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.
“I am humbled by this honor,” Menashe said, “and excited to build on Ramah California’s storied history of over 50 years, including these last years of incredible growth and vision under the leadership of my friend and colleague, Rabbi Daniel Greyber.”
Greyber plans to complete a one-year fellowship at the Mandel Leadership Institute in Jerusalem, starting in September 2010, after which he will head to Durham, N.C., to become rabbi of Beth El Synagogue, a Conservative congregation.
American Jewish University has announced the hiring of Josh Levine, an Alonim alumnus, who will replace outgoing director and fellow alumna Jordanna Flores, who took the helm in the fall of 2005 and announced her resignation in October 2009.
Levine worked his way up the Alonim ladder from first-time camper in 1991 to counselor, division head, boys’ head counselor and director of leadership programs, among other positions. He now takes over the top leadership role at the Jewish summer camp — effective May 3 — after having worked at an L.A. law firm as an associate since 2005.
“It’s the dream of a lot of campers who love Alonim to one day go back to the camp in a leadership role,” said Levine, who heard about the opening through the Alonim community. “But I care too much about the camp to apply just in order to scratch an itch of nostalgia — I came to this decision very seriously.”