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About Howard

Howard Howard Blas is a man who truly wears many hats. Trained as a social worker and special education teacher, Howard has applied his knowledge and skills in numerous areas.

In a sense, Howards interest in social work and special education came about by accident, or at least through good fortune. In the summer of 1984, Howard was hired to work in the kitchen of Camp Ramah in New England. At the last moment, the camp director called to ask if Howard would consider making a switch to the Tikvah Program, where he would live and work in a bunk with campers with developmental disabilities. Instantly, it was goodbye kitchen, hello career move! Howard enjoyed the work very much and was inspired to pursue graduate studies in a dual Social Work/Special Education Master's degree program.

Howard continued working in the Tikvah Program for five consecutive summers--as counselor, division head and acting director. Howard returned to Ramah in 2001 to serve as director of the Tikvah Program. Howard directed Tikvah from 2001 to 2015; he created an inclusive camping program, expanded the vocational training program, led several Tikvah Ramah Israel trips, created the year round “Shabbos Is Calling” weekly video conference, has written extensively in inclusive camping and has increased funding for the Tikvah Program. In 2016, Howard became director of the National Ramah Tikvah Network. In this capacity, Howard consults to 9 Ramah Tikvah Programs in the United States and Canada, coordinates training, shares best practices, leads camper and family Israel trips and works with funders in support of inclusive camping.

In addition to Howard’s work at Ramah, Howard has worked as a psychiatric social worker on the child psychiatry unit of a Manhattan hospital and in a day care center, and taught at a school for children with learning disabilities. He has tutored Jewish children, many with learning or other disabilities, and with “special circumstances” for Bar- and Bat-Mitzvah.

He has written a number of articles about parenting for such publications as Manhattan's ParentGuide, Family Photo, Time Out New York, and various Jewish publications across the country, including the St. Louis Jewish Light, the San Diego, Chicago, Las Vegas, Baltimore Jewish Times and the New York Jewish Week. Howard also wrote a series of six parenting articles for a Jewish Journal of Youngstowns, Ohio.

His first article, published in December, 1993, was entitled, "The Balancing Act: How Local Couples Juggle Kids and Careers" (12/93). Other articles included: "Taxi Taxi: Getting around New York City with a Baby" (1/94), "Views from the Sandbox: A guide to Manhattan's Playgrounds" (7/94), and others.

Howard turned several of his observations about New York City into Metropolitan Diaries published in the New York Times, and he published a short story about dogs in Manhattan for, Dogs Tales, a part of the Travelers Tales series of books.

Howard is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to such publications as the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, The Jerusalem Report, The Jerusalem Post, JTA and The Times of Israel.

Howard lives in New York. He continues to teach Jewish Studies, write, and direct the National Ramah Tikvah Network. Howard also lectures extensively on inclusive camping, special b’nai mitzvah and more. Howard has presented at Limmud Conferences in Toronto, Canada and Mexico City, at the Leaders Assembly of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and more.

Howard received the S’fatai Tiftakh Award from Boston Hebrew College’s Center for Jewish Special Education in 2012 and the 2013 Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education.