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​Yavneh Zoogs

Yavneh Zoogs (Couples) Who Married

Below are a few of the wonderful stories of Yavneh zoogs who have married. We’d love to include your story too. Email your zoog story to us.

  • Judy White & Seymour “Shalom” Schiff
  • Mimi Furman & Jack Aronson
  • Arleen Berger & Warren Bargard
  • Roberta Mades & Norman Milgram
  • Margie Tarmy & Stan Berkowitz
  • Ora Gorovitz & Arnold Band
  • Tova Feivou & Chaim Heifitz
  • Ruth Hurwitz & Barry Ehrlich
  • Roz Tabachnick & Paul Schneid
  • Carol Helfin & Ira Wallach
  • Gilda Micley & Alan Flashman
  • Joan Paller & Harvey Bines
  • Rosalyn Kestenbaum & David Clayman
  • Laura Bailen & Howard Kaufman
  • Margie Pepper & Jeff Kaufman
  • Sue Unger & Matty Green
  • Gwenne Berger & Craig Forman
  • Barbara Wolf & Steve Jablow
  • Beth Goldberg & Ronnie Forman
  • Sasha Weiss & Sam Graham Felson
  • Jordana Berkowitz & Adam Glasgow
  • Karen Jacobs & Tevy Dines
  • Carrie Wald & Jeff Budd
  • Jenn Judd & Jeff Finkelstein
  • Ellen Schiffer & Jonathan Berkowitz
  • Melanie Levy & Doron Fagelson
  • Shira Loewenstein & Yehudah Potok
  • Daniella Pressner & Saul Strosberg
  • Sara Paster & Josh Haskin
  • Becca Slotnick & Steve Shimshak
  • Nat Strosberg & Shira Garber
  • Jessica Gould & Efraim Yudewitz
  • Margie Ross & Adam Decter
  • Jessica Gray & Ari Sussman
  • Lexi Schieber & Jon Gradman
  • Nichole Greenberg & Jon Lopkin
  • Renee Greenberg & Jef Bratspis
  • Susan Hiller & Aron Troen
  • Sandy Machtiger Katz & Ilan Katz
  • Shula Ponet & Nathan Ehrlich
  • Ari Rosenblum & Arriel Eder
  • Alanna Wolf & Herschel Singer
  • Avi Packer & Alicia Hanau
  • Esther Lyon & Jake Eisenhard
  • Jeremy Shaw & Maree Marcus


Carrie Wald Budd and Jeff Budd

Dunwoody, GA

I first saw my husband Jeff Budd when both of us won scholarships and we were having our pictures taken with other winners for The Jewish Advocate. At that time, neither one of new the other existed except for the picture.

We actually met once we got to camp. We were in younger Kfirim and the whole Aydah was invited to the Arayot social that evening. (Not sure now, but then socials were THE thing). He asked me to dance.

I went to his bar mitzvah in ’81 and went to camp for all summers between 1981-1984 and we were in Kerem together-1984. We were good friends through high school and college where it became more serious. We both graduated in 1990 and were married in ’92. In some way or another we have been dancing together ever since.

Our girls, Amanda (K’12) and Julie (K’16) are past and current staff members.

Jonathan Berkowitz and Ellen Schiffer Berkowitz

Dedham, MA

Ellen and I met at Yavneh in 1988 when we were 12 and 13 years old. The funny thing is that my parents, Margie and Stanley Berkowitz, also met at Yavneh when they were 13 years old so the concept of a Yavneh zoog getting married wasn’t a totally foreign thing to me. It was to Ellen, but eventually she saw the light! Our fondest memories of Yavneh are having 4 hour a night phone conversations during the school year and waiting all year in anticipation of coming back to camp where we could be together. Ellen and I continued our long distance relationship through college and married in 1998. We now have three children, one who is a current camper (Noah K’19) and two (Jesse and Sydney) that hopefully will join in a summer soon. We will always be in love with Yavneh.

Rabbi Yehudah Potok and Shira Loewenstein

Sharon, MA

Shira and Yehudah met for the first time in the summer of 1998. She was in Kerem and Yehudah had come back for the last few weeks of camp to be a shofet for Maccabiah. They had quite a heated exchange at Kikar Leah in which Yehudah claimed “there was no Maccabiah  this year” and Shira left in a huff. The next summer Yehudah was leading the Na'aleh trip and Shira was supposed to be a participant. While she was terribly excited about the experience, she secretly hoped that he wouldn’t ruin the entire trip for her–he didn’t. Flash forward to three summers later when they were both members of the Tzevet, they were already good friends, and they decided to begin dating. A year later they got engaged in Israel where they were both living, and they got married in January of 2004. They are now living in Sharon, MA with their four children and after a brief break they have returned to camp as part of Tzevet Morim.

Shira is third generation Yavnite. Her great aunt and uncle, Arnie and Ora Band were one of the original Yavneh Zoogs, having met there many decades before Shira was born. Her mother came to work at Yavneh for one summer before going to Israel for a year abroad (to brush up on her Hebrew skills). Yehudah came to Yavneh through Reica Finkelstein who was Yehudah’s sister’s college roommate. Yehudah and his siblings were looking for a camp where all three of them could attend, and Yavneh seemed like a great fit. Debbie agreed when she hired Yehudah and his older sister Shulie for the summer of 1993.

We still hold Yavneh in a very special place in both of our hearts and we are so pleased to be able to share our camp with our children.

Rebecca Slotnick and Steve Shimshak

Needham, MA

Steve (Kerem ’94) and Becca (Kerem ’92) met at Yavneh as Roshei Aydah in 1999. Steve claims he had a crush on Becca when she was in Kerem  and he was merely a Maalot camper. Becca and Steve’s favorite Yavneh memories are from their wedding in 2005. Highlights include Daniella Pressner designing the invitation, Rabbi Dov Lerea serving as the MeSader Kiddushin, Joel Sussman singing under the chuppah and a Maccabiah breakout (with over-under included!): a fainting M & M (Eric Polirer) was saved by Tigger (Efraim Yudewitz). The mastermind of this amazing shtick was Jen Smith (Kerem ’91). There were Sheket wars sending mazal tovs, Yavneh simcha makers T shirts and an impromptu singing of “On and On, Dor l’dor.” And Jim Webber caught it all on camera. It was certainly Steve and Becca’s favorite Peulat Erev ever!

Becca and Steve live in Needham, MA with their bunk of girls: Isabella Rose and Zoe Ann, twins born in 2014 and Lucy the Yorkipoo.

Ruth Hurwitz Ehrlich and Barry Ehrlich

Newton, MA

Barry and I met back in 1969. Barry was a counselor and I was a camper. He was 15 and I was 13. We used to write notes to each other and he used to bring me back lollipops from his days off. Fondest memories for me was spending all Friday afternoon getting ready for Shabbat and having lots of free time in the afternoons to hang out with friends.

Barry and I started going out five years later. We both ended up at Brandeis. Then about 20 years ago (1990), we brought our 4 sons to Yavneh and we finished the Ehrlich presence at Yavneh in 2006. (Barry worked as the camp doctor in 1990 and I was chief ganenet from 1991-2006).

We hope that the Ehrlich presence will live on in the future!

Alanna and Herschel

Northhampton, MA
While we became “friends” (or at least on Facebook) in 2007, after Herschel was finishing his Leviim summer and Alanna her Maalot summer, we didn’t start dating until we were counselors. Our first “date” was a night off from camp at an arcade at Hampton Beach – nothing more romantic, right?!

After the first summer we got together, Herschel went off to Israel and Alanna went off to college, including a semester abroad in Ireland. While away, Alanna assumed this relationship was just a summer fling…but Heschel thought otherwise! Herschel looked forward to continuing the relationship back at camp the next summer, while Alanna anticipated no such thing.

Well, nearly 7 years and a wedding later – joke’s on Alanna! We are both so grateful to have each spent 14 summers at camp. Yavneh gave our relationship a foundation of goofiness, adventure, and fun, and taught us the importance of being part of a diverse and vibrant Jewish community.