About Cohen Camps

Meet the Leadership

Get to know the President, Directors, and Board of the Cohen Camps.

Executive Leadership

Jonathan Cohen

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.

Ben Portnoy

Ben Portnoy Executive Director, The Cohen Camps

Working closely with the Jonathan (above), Ben manages the operations of all three Cohen Camps (Tevya, Tel Noar, and Pembroke) and the teen programs (Dor L’Dor Israel experiences and Kadima Teen Leadership). He focuses on summer staffing, family engagement, program excellence, and budget management in collaboration with each camp and program’s leadership team, while also contributing to the organization’s overall strategy and long-term planning.

Ben brings to this role long experience with the Cohen Camps as well as expertise. He first joined Tevya as a 2nd-generation camper, and even met his wife Margo at camp. He joined the year-round Tevya team in 2012, where former Tevya Director—current Dor L’Dor Director—Mindee Greenberg mentored Ben as her successor. He served as Tevya Director from Fall 2019-Winter 2023. Ben 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.

Year-Round Camp Leadership

Camp Pembroke
Amy Coran

Amy Coran Co-Director, Camp Pembroke

Amy has spent 21 summers on Lake Oldham; 2024 marks her fifth 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

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.

Camp Tel Noar
Man smiling

Aaron Gurvis Director, Camp Tel Noar

An enthusiastic and experienced Jewish educator, Aaron has come to CTN from his role as Assistant Director of URJ Crane Lake Camp, where he oversaw all camp programs, Jewish life and learning, staff training, and much more. He brings special experience in teen engagement and leadership programming, having served as NFTY Northeast Regional Advisor. He has worked with children and teens in numerous educator roles at Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, MA. And he has held summer leadership roles at URJ 6 Points Sci Tech Academy and URJ Eisner Camp and as a Group Leader on Kesher Birthright and NFTY trips in Israel. Aaron holds a Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults from Hebrew Union College and earned his BA in Linguistics with a Minor in Information Technology from UMass/Amherst.

Danny Fier Assistant Director: Operations, Camp Tel Noar

Danny has been returning home to Tel Noar each year since 2007. Danny spent his formative years at CTN as both a camper and counselor, singing his heart out with the Shira Department every Shabbat. Danny is passionate about Jewish youth development and community building; he was an active participant in NFTY Northeast throughout high school and was Community Vice President for Tufts Hillel in college. In recent years, he has worked various professional roles in program development, publishing, and customer service which have given him a skill set well-suited for tackling operational challenges and fostering relationships. He holds a BA in English and Psychology from Tufts University.

Samantha Goldenblatt Assistant Director: Programming, Camp Tel Noar

Samantha is excited for her 7th summer at Camp Tel Noar: she served as Program Director for the last two years, and Assistant Program Director before that. Her love of camp has grown each year! In her current role, she continues to provide new and exciting programs for the campers, including day and evening activities, trips, and special events. She also focuses on building an enriching experience for the staff, supporting their growth as leaders. Samantha holds a master’s degree in Education from Cambridge College and was a former math teacher and drama club director. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and her dog.

Camp Tevya

Lauren Fishman Director, Camp Tevya

Just like the campers, Lauren lives 10 months for 2. Summer 2024 marks her inaugural summer as Camp Tevya Director. She has held leadership roles at Tevya for 10 years, the last five as Assistant Director, where she planned and created the summer experience for campers, teens, and staff with a focus on Bunk Life.

Lauren is a Tevya parent married to a Tevya alum; their three children are all Tevya campers (although she attended Camp Pembroke as a camper! ) She maintains that camp is the best gift they ever could have given their kids. Prior to joining Tevya’s year-round team, she served as a Director at SCORE! Education Center and taught in elementary schools in Chelsea and Newton. Lauren holds an MA in Elementary Education from Lesley University and BA in Sociology from Union College.

Elissa Edwards Assistant Director, Camp Tevya

Elissa joins Camp Tevya after a total of 25 staff and camper summers in Jewish camping at JCC Camp Grossman—where she served on the Leadership Team—and Camp Young Judaea (CYJ). When not at camp, she served as Coordinator of Inclusion and Support Services at JCC Greater Boston, after having taught Special Education in Massachusetts and Virgina. Elissa holds a B.A. in psychology and a M.A.T. in Special Education (K-12) from James Madison University.

DorL'Dor Israel Programs
Mindee headshot

Mindee Greenberg, LSCW Director, Dor L'Dor Israel Programs

Mindee is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of Jewish young people. She previously led Camp Tevya, nine summers as Director, and two others as Program Director and then Associate Director. Both her children traveled to Israel with Dor L’Dor. She has taken part in selective leadership programs such as Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Lekhu Lakhem, with an extended seminar in Israel, and Avi Chai Foundation’s Chazon, to develop immersive Israel education experiences. Before rejoining the Cohen Camps in 2023, Mindee served as Director of Enrollment and Community Outreach at Epstein Hillel School in Marblehead, MA—a school also founded by Eli Cohen! She holds a Masters of Social Work (Washington Univ., St. Louis) and in Education (Boston Univ.), and holds volunteer leadership roles in her community including on her synagogue Board. She says, “A personal connection to Israel is one of the pillars of a strong Jewish identity—a connection that resonates so achingly right now. I look forward to getting to know and reflect with every teen in the program as we share this journey together.”

Kadima Teen Leadership logo
Stacey Smalley

Stacey Smalley Director, Leadership Development + Kadima Teen Leadership

Stacey is the Director of our Kadima Teen Leadership program while also 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

Barbara Stevens Director, Development, The Cohen Camps

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.”

Board of Directors

Each member of the Cohen Camps Board of Directors brings personal and professional expertise to their role and is deeply committed to our nonprofit mission. Many are camp alumni, past camp staff, and/or parents of current or past campers, with all three camps represented. Others lend their expertise from the broader community. Together we are positioning the organization to thrive.

Women's Journey to Israel

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