Jonathan Cohen President, The Cohen Camps
Jonathan’s grandparents founded The Cohen Camps, the nonprofit family of three Jewish overnight camps which includes Camp Pembroke, Camp Tel Noar, and Camp Tevya, and he proudly continues their commitment to effective leadership. He has managed the organization for a decade in partnership with the Cohen Camps Board of Directors. A recognized expert in the field of Jewish camping, he serves on the Board of the New Hampshire Camp Directors Association. To his love and knowledge of camp, he adds his 20 years of experience in the business world in product development, strategic planning and change management for financial and technology firms. Jonathan holds a BA in Philosophy from Brandeis University and an MBA from Cornell University.
Amy Coran Co-Director, Camp Pembroke
Amy has spent 20 summers on Lake Oldham; 2023 marks her fourth season as Co-Director, after 3 years as Assistant Director. Previously, she directed residential services for adults with cognitive and physical disabilities, partnering with families to create valuable and meaningful experiences. Amy holds a MA in Human Resources Management from Lasell College, has a BS from University of Delaware in Human Services, Education and Public Policy with a minor in Disabilities Studies, and has completed the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Yitro Leadership Program for Assistant Directors.
Becca Goldman Co-Director, Camp Pembroke
Becca is so excited about her 18th summer at Camp Pembroke! She also previously served as Camp Pembroke Assistant Director, after 8 years serving as Assistant Director at the Cohen Camps’ Camp Tel Noar, helping to strengthen programming, the staff experience and camper care. Becca holds an MBA from Bentley University, and a BS in Hospitality and Tourism Management from University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has also completed the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Yitro Leadership Program for Assistant Directors.
Amanda Charson Acting Director, Camp Tel Noar
This will be Amanda’s 8th summer in the leadership of Tel Noar. Before her current role, she served as Assistant Director for three years, immersed in all the planning, support, hiring, training, and management to create an excellent camping experience. She previously served as CTN’s Program Director for three years. Passionate about youth development, Amanda is an experienced educator with background as a K-12 synagogue educator, youth director, and high school teacher. Amanda holds a BA from the University of Florida and has attended law school. She says, “Growing up at summer camp taught me so much about friendship, independence, and the value of sleepaway camp for growth and confidence. I am so thrilled to create these kinds of experiences as part of the Camp Tel Noar family!”
Ben Portnoy Director, Camp Tevya
Devoted to Camp Tevya since his camper days, Ben joined the year-round team in 2012. He leads by example with a hands-on, camper-first approach. By teaching and cultivating 21st century skills in an immersive environment, Ben believes Jewish summer camp changes lives. He holds an MBA in Leadership from Bentley University, a BA in Sociology and English from the University of Vermont, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Northeastern University. He also completed the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s selective Yitro Leadership Program for Assistant Directors. Ben met his wife, Margo, at Tevya; they both love each summer on the shores of Lake Potanipo, shaping the next generation of Jewish leaders.
Susan Altman Director, Dor L'Dor Israel Programs
Susan is a seasoned nonprofit and Jewish community professional who joined the Cohen Camps in 2022 to lead the Dor L’Dor Israel travel experience for our oldest campers. She served for six years as Executive Director of Temple Shir Tikva, where she built community and developed exciting, meaningful programs that helped attract a 20% growth in membership. She has also held community-building and funding management roles at Friends of Hebrew Senior Life, Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County, WGBH Boston, and CJP. A graduate of Tulane University, she loved her summers as a Jewish camp counselor and administrator throughout college. Her husband attended Camp Teyva and their three teen and young-adult daughters all attended Jewish camp as campers and staff. Susan notes, “Giving a young person this close-up experience of Israel truly solidifies a strong Jewish identity before they head off to college and into the rest of their lives.”
Stacey Smalley Director, Leadership Development + Kadima Teen Leadership
Stacey is the Director of our Kadima Teen Leadership program as well as cultivating leadership throughout our Cohen Camps organization. Stacey grew up as a camper, CIT, counselor, and head counselor at Camp Tevya, where her two sons also attended as campers. She taught for many years as a middle and high school teacher, including at the Fessenden School. She holds a BA and MA in Teaching from Union College, with additional certifications in virtual and experiential Jewish education and in social emotional learning and character development. Stacey says, “My own counselor-in-training summer was transformative for me. It gave me a love of learning and began my journey as a teacher. I am deeply excited to expand these opportunities for our teens and camps.”
Barbara Stevens Director, Development
An alum of Camp Tevya 1972-83, Barbara helps our families, alumni, and donors connect with each other, to fantastic projects and programs, and to a wide range of ways to support the Camps’ communities and spirit. She worked for many years in sports (NBA/NFL teams) and entertainment (tour manager of KC & The Sunshine Band for 10 years!), building and strengthening customer relationships and ensuring great customer experiences. Barbara rejoined The Cohen Camps in late 2013. “I made lifelong friends at Tevya,” Barbara notes. “Not high school or college. CAMP! I am so glad to be here and I love catching up with Cohen Camps’ friends and families from all years.”
Camp connection: Camper at Tel Noar and Tevya; staff at Tevya in kitchen and as driver; parent of Tevya camper-alums
Fun fact: As a grandchild of Eli and Bessie Cohen, I started coming to camp even before I was a camper.
“Like my grandparents and parents, I believe in the importance of perpetuating a tradition of Jewish culture and religion and support of Israel among young people. The best way to do this is by giving young people a fun environment that will allow them to grow as persons.”