Staff

Rabbi Herzel Kranz
Founder
Rabbi Herzel Kranz, founder of Camp Ahava had a vision to reach out and to enable each and every child a wholesome, healthy and peaceful summer for children of all different backgrounds. He founded Camp Ahava in the summer of 1971, (forty four years ago) which literally means love. For campers in the past, the children received a meaningful and enjoyable experience with memories and friendships that have lasted a lifetime. G-d willing, we hope to continue that legacy for our newcomers and returning campers. Rabbi Kranz was born and raised in the sprawling farmlands of the Catskills Mountains of New York. After attending the local day school, he went off to Yeshiva Torah VaDa’as in Brooklyn. He spent his college years in Cleveland, Ohio at the Rabbinical College of Telshe, where he was ordained in 1958. Rabbi Kranz established the Silver Spring Jewish Center in 1967, becoming the first Orthodox rabbi to start a congregation in suburban Washington DC. He is the Senior Rabbi of the Greater Washington area and has been the rabbi and spiritual leader of the Center for the past forty-eight years.
WebsiteFacebook
Chaya Kranz
Director
Chaya has been a staff member of Camp Ahava for many years. She coordinates the camp’s field trips and on-site activities. She loves seeing the campers’ smiling faces throughout the summer. Chaya received her Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Long Island University. She has been involved in Education for 30 years. She directed an English immersion program for children ages 2-6 year in Jerusalem, Israel from 1985-1996 before moving back to the United States. From 1996-1998, Chaya was the head instructor of the Torah Kids class (4-5 years olds) at the Silver Spring Learning Center. Chaya is a Kindergarten and Specialty teacher at the Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts. In addition, she has been the Director of the Hebrew Sheltering Home for the past eighteen years. Chaya was elected as an Ambassador For Peace seven years ago and has traveled to Israel extensively giving lectures and attending seminars to promote peace. Currently, Chaya is the Executive Director at the Silver Spring Jewish Center and the editor of the weekly newsletter. Chaya has four children ages 19 to 26 and is blessed with two granddaughters.
Emily Gould
Art Teacher
Emily Gould graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fines Arts degree. Her areas of study were painting, ceramics, neon sculptures, and computer graphics. In 2003 she received a Joyce Grant from the Chicago Park District to paint murals in the early childhood room at The Lincoln Park Cultural Center in Chicago. The Chicago Sun Times described her work as, “Whimsical, playful, colorful.” Emily has taught art to children and adults of all ages. She directed classes in Mexico for three years to 580 students, and was an educator at the School of Art and Design at Montgomery College at the Silver Spring/Takoma Park campus. For the past several years, Emily has been the Art Instructor for the Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts, which is located on camp grounds. Soon, you will be able to see your children's art work displayed throughout our camp hallways!
Nakisa Karimian
Piano & Violin Teacher
Nakisa Karimian has more than 14 years of experience teaching violin, viola, cello and piano at Victor Litz. She has also played professionally with numerous string ensembles and orchestras in the Washington, DC area. Among these are the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, the Arlington Symphony Orchestra, the Mount Vernon Symphony Orchestra, JCC Symphony orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Born and raised in Iran, she graduated from Conservatory of Music School of Tehran and completed her studies in Spain and later at University of Maryland. Nakisa is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and Maryland Music Teachers Association. Currently, Nakisa has been teaching Violin, Piano, Viola, and Cello at the Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts for the past four years.
Coach Will Duddleson
P.E. Teacher
Will Duddleson has a Class- C coaching license. He attended and played soccer at York College of Pennsylvania. Will coached youth soccer in Germantown, Maryland for 3 years, specializing in 3 and 4 yrs old children. With his company, Instep Fitness, he privately trains athletes of all ages. Will has been coaching and teaching physical education with the Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy since 2013, working withchildren ages 4 through 9. Physical education is an integral part of the total education of every child in Kindergarten through Grade 12. Quality physical education programs are needed to increase the physical competence, health-related fitness, self-responsibility and enjoyment of physical activity for all students so that they can be physically active for a lifetime. Physical education programs can only provide these benefits if they are well-planned and well-implemented. Will looks forward to joining the Camp Ahava staff this summer!
Stuart Goldberg
Table Tennis Instructor
Stuart Goldberg has been playing table tennis for as long as he can remember! He is a senior Olympian and Gold/Silver/Bronze medalist in Texas and in the State of Maryland. As a matter of fact, he was elected to the El Paso, Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2014! Stuart was honored receiving an award on May 2014 for his new title! He grew up in Detroit, Michigan and moved here from El Paso, Texas a few years ago to be close to his extended family. Stuart is looking forward to teaching and playing table tennis with all the campers this summer.
Godeberthe Wakana
Early and After Care Instructor
She is a certified educator for children aging from early childhood up to 12 years old. Educational background and field of skills and professional activities include children and teens’ psychological profiling (in concrete situations of education); pedagogic projects planning; health and sanitary environment in a community school; first aid for children; children nutrition; group’s dynamics; creative activities.
Abraham Shalom
Judaic Instructor and Counselor
Abraham (Abie) Shalom is excited for his 8th summer working at Camp Ahava! He began working as a CIT (Counselor In Training) and instantly fell in love with the atmosphere, staff and most of all, the kids at Camp Ahava. Over the many years, he has taken on multiple duties including Head Counselor and Judaics Instructor. Abie will be teaching Parashat Hashavua every Friday and will be in charge of the Oneg Shabbat Party for the campers this summer. Currently, Abie is studying at Yeshiva University’s School of Business in New York City, looking toward earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. Abie grew up in Kemp Mill going to Camp Ahava his entire life. His personal experience as both a camper and counselor has proven invaluable in his interactions with the children at Camp Ahava. Abie is proud to be a part of our staff and feels that Camp Ahava offers an incredible experience for children of all ages. He can’t wait to see all of the familiar faces, as well as many new ones this summer of 2015!
Rina Greiniman
Counselor
Rina worked the past few summers at Camp Ahava with the campers in the oldest bunk. She also was a teacher for younger children for two years in her native country, Israel. Rina is bilingual and loves being with children of all different ages. For the past two years, Rina has been working in the field of Early Childhood education. She likes to read and loves to have fun. Rina is a professional face painter and will be put to work at the camp carnival and other activities planned for this summer. She is looking forward to being back with the campers at Camp Ahava this summer!
Maayan Aniti
Music Dance Instructor
Maayan has been at Camp Ahava since she was in kindergarten! After she “graduated” from being a camper herself, she moved on to being a Counselor In Training and then for the past several years, a Counselor and Dance Instructor! Maayan taught dance for the past four years at Camp Ahava with all different age groups. She also coordinated the dance production at the Talent Show the past few summers. Maayan has taken voice lessons for several years and loves to sing. She also took dance lessons for many years at Peters Studio of Dance. She can’t wait to run the talent show, teach a dance production and be with your kids again this summer! Maayan loves Camp Ahava and has been back practically every summer since she was a little girl!
Nechama Zaks
Counselor
Nechama Zaks has been a counselor at Camp Ahava for as long as she can remember. She loves working with children and provides them with exceptional love and attention! Nechama also taught in a preschool several years ago overseas in Israel. Currently, she works at the Leo Bernstein Jewish Academy of Fine Arts. Nechama is a licensed cosmetologist and professional make up artist. She is looking forward to playing with your children this summer!
Counselor
Jacqueline Hyman
Drama Instructor and Counselor
Jacqueline first started as a camper at Camp Ahava for many years. Afterwards, she became a Counselor In Training for 3 years and last year, she was a Junior Counselor in Bunk 1. Jacqueline has lots of experience working with younger children as she has a little sister and young cousins that she adores to play with. She enjoys acting (theatre) very much. Jacqueline was in the Drama Stage Company at her school and was in several high school productions including leading roles. She appeared in Hairspray, Grease and Pippin the past several years. She was the Assistant Vocal Director and led the vocal rehearsals. Jacqueline takes voice and piano lessons and loves to sing. She looks forward to being with the children at Camp Ahava this summer!