Authors

Foundation for Jewish CampFoundation for Jewish Camp

Climbing a rock wall, getting up on water skis, singing around a campfire – camp is bliss. Jewish camp is all of this…with a soul. What does that mean? While campers are having a blast, they are gaining independence, learning new skills, and making best friends plus they are living Jewish values like tikkun olam (repairing the world) and experiencing the importance of community. Judaism is weaved into everyday activities providing a connection that stays with campers long after they eat their last s’more.

The Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC) works with over 150 nonprofit Jewish overnight camps of all denominations across North America to increase the number of campers, inspire camp leaders, and develop programs to strengthen camps. Read more about Jewish camp, FJC, & our research on the power of Jewish camp at www.JewishCamp.org

Adam BenmoiseAdam Benmoise

Adam Benmoise has over 15 years of experience in Jewish communal work starting with Synagogue youth development in his native home of Toronto, Canada. There he developed a love for Judaism and Israel education and went on to work as summer camp counselor, specialist, unit head and head counselor at Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, NY. After graduating from York University in Toronto, he continued on at Surprise Lake full time, as the Coordinator of Judaics and Off-Season Programming. After five years full time and 11 summers, Adam left Surprise Lake Camp to become the Executive Director of Habonim Dror Camp Na’aleh. At camp, Adam enjoys playing sports with the kids, swimming in the pool and working closely with his staff. He is currently training for his first NYC Marathon.

Sara Beth BermanSara Beth Berman

Sara Beth Berman has been working as a Jewish educator since a few weeks after her own Bat Mitzvah. Sara Beth, who is proud to have two first names, received her BS in Psychology from the University of Florida and her MA in Jewish Education from the Davidson School at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is elated to be the Nadiv Educator at URJ Camp Coleman and the Davis Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, Sara Beth served as the Associate Director of Storahtelling, and has spent time working in the offices of the Foundation for Jewish Camp and Camp Ramah in the Berkshires. Sara Beth has taught at a variety of synagogues in Florida, New York, and Connecticut, and served in Human Resources at Penguin Group (USA). She has staffed a variety of summer programs, including USY on Wheels, Camp Ramah Darom and Camp Interlaken JCC. She likes to teach in or near the water and use sidewalk chalk as often as possible. At school, Sara Beth relishes the time she gets to spend on experiential projects, both large scale and class-based. At camp, her favorite activities are lake activities, laughing, facilitating the professional development of staff members, delving into the world of Israel Education…and anything with snacks.

Alina BitelAlina Bitel

Alina Bitel is the Program Director of Engagement Initiatives at the Foundation for Jewish Camp. In this role she designs a holistic approach of engaging campers and staff from less involved communities through community partnerships, targeted marketing, consultations, and staff training. She also directs the Cornerstone Fellowship, which promotes Jewish culture change at camp through educational training for counselors and leadership development for supervisory staff. Prior to joining FJC, Alina spent 10 years as the Director of the Teen and Israel Education Departments, and later, the Director of Leadership Development at the Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst.

Alina earned her BA in Psychology/Russian and Slavic Studies at New York University and her Masters of Social Work at Columbia University. She also is a graduate of the JCC Association Merrin Fellowship and holds a certificate of executive education from the UJA Federation of New York and Columbia University SIPA Muehlstein Institute for Jewish Professional Leadership.

Howard BlasHoward Blas

Howard Blas is the director of the Tikvah program at Camp Ramah in New England and a consultant on disabilities camping programs to the National Ramah Commission. He is a 2013 recipient of the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. He lives in New York City with his wife and four children.

Louis BordmanLouis Bordman

Louis Bordman has been a leader in the field of Jewish Education and Jewish camping for over 25 years. Over the last 19 years, his vision and direction inspired the URJ Eisner Camp’s renaissance. During his tenure, Eisner has become one of the most respected camps in the country boasting camper return rate of over 90% and home-grown staff return rate over 85%. His professionalism, vision and passion continue to drive Eisner Camp to be considered one of the premiere Jewish educational and experiential programs and facilities in the North America.

In 2006, Louis participated in the Foundation for Jewish Camps' inaugural Executive Leadership Institute. Staff development has long been a hallmark of Louis's work with camp. His direction prompted the growth of numerous year-round staff development seminars. These programs now represent Louis’s "ladder of success" model among the staff. From the "machon program" for entering seniors in High School, to the "Olim Fellowship" for High School Seniors through their Freshman year in College, to the "Cornerstone and Achva Fellowships" for returning 2nd-4th years returning American and Israeli staff, Eisner staff members have developed a true partnership and level of commitment unsurpassed in camping.

Allison CohenAllison Cohen

After 15+ years working at Newsweek and various other magazines Allison Cohen traded in PowerPoint to promote the power of camp as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the Foundation for Jewish Camp and One Happy Camper. Allison’s love for Jewish camp – and a rockin’ song session - started in fourth grade at NJ Y’s Camp Nah-Jee-Wah followed by five summers at URJ Camp Harlam. Her two daughters have a deep appreciation for her extensive lanyard and string bracelet skills and the fact that the ingredients for s’mores are a staple in their pantry.

Marcia CohodesMarcia Cohodes

Marcia Cohodes became an advocate for children with special needs following her older son’s diagnosis of a cognitive disability on the autism spectrum at 19 months. Her incentive to take a leadership role was fueled by the desire to give her son an equal opportunity to participate in the Jewish community. Prior to retiring, Marcia was an investment banker in the municipal securities industry. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, David Goldsteen, and their three children.

Aviva DavisAviva Davis

Aviva Davis is 14 years old and currently lives in Oakland, California. She is a freshman at Head-Royce School in Oakland and is not only a member of the orchestra, but one of two freshman in the audition-only choir, Colla Voce.

Sheira Director-NowackSheira Director-Nowack

After attending The Ohio State University, Sheira Director-Nowack received a Masters in Social Work and Certification in Jewish Communal Services from Yeshiva University. She has been in camping for over 20 years, working in Jewish residential camps as well as day camps. Sheira served as the associate director for a Jewish camp for children who have learning issues and social skill disorders. Her passion often leads towards children who have some learning differences or social skill challenges. Sheira is now the Associate Director of Camp JRF. She is known for her sense of humor and outgoing personality. Most importantly she is now a camper parent and is able to truly understand the questions and ideas that camper parents face. She has been married for the past eleven years to Brian Nowack, and together they adopted Madeline in 2005.

Avi DjanoglyAvi Djanogly

In 2009 Avi Djanogly co-founded and created the award –winning interactive Gabi H2O measurable water conservation education program. He is an informal educator through and through after spending over 20 summers at Jewish camp. He is married to Sylvie, they have three kids and an exceptionally smart collie cross dog.

Lauri ExleyLauri Exley

When not working as a chauffeur, chef, maid, or referee to her two adorable children, Lauri Exley enjoys photography and crochet. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, four-year-old daughter and 18-month-old son.

Jeremy J. FingermanJeremy J. Fingerman

Jeremy J. Fingerman joined the Foundation for Jewish Camp as CEO in 2010 after a highly-regarded 20+ year career as CEO of Manischewitz and in Consumer Packaged Goods, beginning at General Mills, Inc, then at Campbell Soup Company, where he served as President of its largest Division, US Soup. Jeremy spent many wonderful summers at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin as a child where he discovered the joy of Judaism and made lifelong friends. He started his Jewish communal work in high school, serving as international president of United Synagogue Youth. He since served on many philanthropic boards including Jewish Federation, Israel Bonds, American Friends of Magen David Adom, and currently serves as vice-president of his synagogue, Congregation Ahavath Torah.

Jeremy received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Columbia University and an M.B.A. in General Management from Harvard Business School. He lives in Englewood, NJ with his wife, Gail, and two children, Zalman and Esther.

David FurmanDavid Furman

David Furman is the Assistant Director of Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, WA. He has worked at Schechter for the past thirteen summers, four as a full time staff member. Prior to working for CSS, He was the Hillel Engagement Associate at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA. You can reach him at dfurman@campschechter.org.

Lisa HandelmanLisa Handelman

Lisa Handelman is the Community Disabilities Inclusion Specialist for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and Atzma'im Coordinator for Capital Camps and Retreat Center. She lives in Bethesda Maryland with her husband and is the proud mom of 4 wonderful children who all grew up at camp. She can be reached at Lisa.Handelman@shalomdc.org

Jordana HornJordana Horn

Jordana Horn is a writer, a contributing editor for the Jewish parenting website Kveller.com, a columnist for The Jewish Daily Forward, and in her spare time parents five children.

Molly HottMolly Hott

Molly Hott, Director of Passport NYC is a dedicated “camp person” who has spent her whole life living, breathing and loving summer camp. Molly has over 20 years of camp experience from day camp to sleep away camp. She explored many different areas of the camp industry before joining the 92Y staff in 2010 to become an instrumental part of bringing Passport NYC to life. It is Molly’s personal goal to provide each teen and staff member with the most incredible, positive life-changing experiences each session, summer after summer.

Aaron Mandel and Jamie SimonAaron Mandel and Jamie Simon

Aaron Mandel is the Assistant Director of Teen Programs at Camp Tawonga where he has worked since 2007. He helps coordinate Tawonga’s teen leadership, social media, service learning and experiential education programs. Aaron has a B.A. from Whitman College and completed the Jewish Service Learning Certificate at S.F. State in 2010. Aaron has also led many short term service programs for the American Jewish World Service. He was a Cornerstone Fellow in 2004 and continues to believe, as he always has, in the transformative power and potential of Jewish camp.

Jamie Simon is the Camp Director at Camp Tawonga where she has worked since 2000. She has a B.A. from Sonoma State University and participated in the Executive Leadership Institute with the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Jamie previously worked at United Against Sexual Assault where she served as the Prevention Education Director. She loves working with youth, spending time with her friends and family and is an avid fan of the San Jose Sharks.

Robert KatzRobert Katz

Robert Katz has served as OHEL’s Chief Development Officer for over two years, and has been creating strategic fund raising and marketing campaigns for major Jewish organizations since 1985. OHEL is the parent organization of the widely acclaimed Camp Kaylie.
He previously served as the Executive Vice President of American Friends of Migdal Ohr of Israel. Before that, Robert was Director of Development at International Hillel – The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.
The best summers of his life, unequivocally, were spent in Jewish sleep away camp, in the glorious Pocono Mountains.Robert can be reached at rkatz@ohelfamily.org

Rabbi Avi Katz OrlowRabbi Avi Katz Orlow

Rabbi Avi Orlow is the Director of Jewish Education at the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC). Before joining FJC in 2008, Avi was the Campus Rabbi and Assistant Director of the St. Louis Hillel at Washington University and has held numerous positions as rabbi, educator, and youth leader. He spent 17 years as a camper and then educator at Ramah Camps in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and YUSSR camps in the Former Soviet Union. Avi has a B.A. in religious studies from Columbia University and was ordained in the charter class at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, the open Orthodox rabbinical school. He lives in White
Plains with his wife, Cantor Adina Frydman, and their children, Yadid, Yishama, and Emunah.

Greg KellnerGreg Kellner

Greg Kellner is the director of URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy. He has been part of the URJ Camps and NFTY family for more than 20 years. Most recently, Greg served as the Senior Assistant Director of the URJ Crane Lake Camp and as the Assistant Director of the URJ Eisner Camp. Greg spent the summer of 2007 at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in Malibu, California overseeing the music program and five years as the Youth Advisor for Temple Sinai in Washington, D.C. Greg is currently pursuing his MPA in non-profit management from CUNY Baruch College in Manhattan. He is an alumnus of the Yitro Leadership Program, a professional development program for assistant camp directors through the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Greg enjoys playing the guitar, loves cooking outdoors and being in front of the grill. As an avid skier, Greg travels the world, looking for snow adventures! He is excited for and looking forward to the incredible opportunities that await at 6 Points Sci-Tech.

Todd KestinTodd Kestin

Todd Kestin is a mentor, counselor, and licensed clinical social worker in private practice in suburban Chicago specializing in helping teens and young adults foster healthy and meaningful life relationships and create a greater sense of meaning in their world. Todd utilizes counseling and mentoring programs that are highly individualized to meet the exact needs of his clients. He graduated from the University of Arizona in 2000 and earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from Loyola University in Chicago in 2005. Visit him at www.toddkestin.com or follow him on Twitter @toddkestin.

Rabbi Elisa KoppelRabbi Elisa Koppel

Rabbi Elisa Koppel is the Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth-El in San Antonio, TX. Her experience with Jewish camp started at age 10 at her first summer at Camp Harlam in Kunkletown, PA and continues each summer (currently as visiting faculty at Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, TX). Follow her on twitter at @rabbiisa and check out her personal blog, Off the REKord.

Qwynn LandfieldQwynn Landfield

Qwynn Landfield is 15 years old, lives in Yorktown Heights, NY, and has one sister. She is a high school honor roll student with an interest in the sciences and is part of her local Youth Volunteer Ambulance Corps. She enjoys lacrosse, yoga, reading, and most of all her amazing summers at Camp Laurelwood. Although her family likes hiking and they go to the mountains every summer, she doesn’t really enjoy the hiking, she only tags along for the spectacular views at the top.

Rebecca LeibowitzRebecca Leibowitz

Rebecca Leibowitz is a Senior Program Manager at Foundation for Jewish Camp. She earned her Master’s in Social Work with a focus on Jewish Communal Studies and Community Organization from the Wurzweiler School at Yeshiva University, with field placements at FEGS Health and Human Service Agency and at UJA-Federation of New York. Since 2008, Rebecca has managed FJC’s professional development programs for year-round Jewish camp staff, including The Elisa and Robert Spungen Bildner Fellowship, The Yitro Leadership Program, and The Executive Leadership Institute, while also being involved with the Lekhu Lakhem Fellowship and the Goodman Camping Initiative. She sits on the board for the NYC chapter of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America. Armed with memories of color wars and raids at Camp Tel Yehudah, Rebecca shares her energy and passion for Jewish camp and cultivating Jewish camp leadership with everyone she meets. She currently resides in the East Village of NYC with her boyfriend and a chubby pug.

Aimee LernerAimee Lerner

Aimee is the Marketing Manager at Foundation for Jewish Camp. Originally hailing from swanky Las Vegas, she made her way to the east coast for college, acquiring a BA in the History of Urban Development from Columbia University and a BA in Modern Jewish Studies from List College. After first experiencing camp as a young girl at Camp Foxtail, Aimee was a camper and Madornik at Camp Ramah in California. Upon moving to the east coast, she joined the community at Camp Ramah in the Poconos and held a record number of different titles while on staff there. She credits her time at camp for keeping her down to earth, providing her with a wealth of silly songs to sing to her nephews, and cultivating lifelong friendships with exceptional people.

Josh LevineJosh Levine

Josh Levine is the director of Camp Alonim, a non-denominational Jewish overnight camp and day camp in Southern California. During his tenure, Josh has overseen the largest sessions in Alonim’s history, significant increases in fundraising, and innovations in the camp’s teen, arts, and family programs. In 2011, the Foundation for Jewish Camp selected Josh for its Executive Leadership Institute.

Josh attended Brown University and was the recipient of both a Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs and the American Jewish Committee Goldman Fellowship. Josh holds a law degree from UC Berkeley and previously worked as an attorney and federal law clerk.

Devorah LiebermanDevorah Lieberman

Devorah Lieberman was born in Valley Stream, Long Island in 1984. After graduating from high school in 2006, she attended an Orthodox Jewish girls’ seminar in Jerusalem for two years before working in a nursery school and kindergarten class as a teacher’s assistant for five years. Every summer from the time she was 13-22 years old, Devorah was a camper in a Yachad bunk at Camp Morasha. She has been in the work program performing several different jobs at camp every summer since then. In June 2010 she moved into an Ohel group home in Brooklyn, NY. Devorah currently works in the Yachad office in New York part of the week and for the Foundation for Jewish Camp the other part of the week. She enjoys both jobs and says that she and her family are very proud of everything she has, and continues to, accomplish.

Isaac MamayskyIsaac Mamaysky

Isaac Mamaysky is the cofounder and executive director of Camp Zeke, a Jewish camp where kids celebrate healthy, active living through athletics and culinary arts. Camp Zeke is generously funded by the Foundation for Jewish Camp, Jim Joseph Foundation, Avi Chai Foundation, and the UJA-Federation of New York.

Aaron MandelAaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is the Assistant Director of Teen Programs at Camp Tawonga where he has worked since 2007. He helps coordinate Tawonga’s teen leadership, social media, service learning and experiential education programs. Aaron has a B.A. from Whitman College and completed the Jewish Service Learning Certificate at S.F. State in 2010. Aaron has also led many short term service programs for the American Jewish World Service. He was a Cornerstone Fellow in 2004 and continues to believe, as he always has, in the transformative power and potential of Jewish camp.

Jamie Simon is the Camp Director at Camp Tawonga where she has worked since 2000. She has a B.A. from Sonoma State University and participated in the Executive Leadership Institute with the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Jamie previously worked at United Against Sexual Assault where she served as the Prevention Education Director. She loves working with youth, spending time with her friends and family and is an avid fan of the San Jose Sharks.

Ari PolskyAri Polsky

Ari Polsky is the Communications Coordinator for Ramah Outdoor Adventure at Ramah in the Rockies. He is a proud UC Davis alumnus with a Bachelors Degree in Art Studio. Ari has been involved in the Ramah Camping Movement for over 15 years. Additionally, he was an FJC Cornerstone Fellow in 2009. Ari travels to Israel regularly staffing Birthright and March of the Living trips. In his spare time, Ari enjoys traveling, photography, rock climbing, and marathoning The West Wing.

Adam C. RosenbergAdam C. Rosenberg

Adam C. Rosenberg, Esq. is the Executive Director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center. In this position he brings together his passion for community development and his background in not for profit management and law to wage a battle against child sexual abuse. Mr. Rosenberg was appointed to the Governor’s State Council on Child Abuse and Neglect in 2009 and is Vice President of the Maryland Children’s Alliance in addition to serving on Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s transition committee. He frequently lectures, conducts audits, and runs workshops for youth serving institutions on recognizing, responding to, and the importance of reporting sexual child abuse as well as child advocacy center development, non-profit board development, and social networking. Mr. Rosenberg is a graduate of Cornell University, the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and a proud alumni of and camper parent at URJ Camp Harlam.

Jon Adam RossJon Adam Ross

Jon Adam Ross is a widely acclaimed theater artist. He has created original works in both the commercial and educational spheres. Holder of a BFA in Acting from NYU Tisch, Jon has performed his one-man show, Walking in Memphis: The Life of a Southern Jew, off-Broadway and around the globe. A founding company member of Storahtelling and the Northwoods Ramah Theater Company, he is currently touring with his new solo show, God of Our Fathers. As a highly sought-after artist in residence, Jon leads workshops and facilitates the creation of theater using physical and emotional exploration of stories from ancient Jewish narratives. Jon has taught and created as an artist in residence at Union Theological Seminary, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Yeshiva University, the Institute for Southern Jewish Life, Anshe Emet Synagogue (Chicago), and with many other communities around the country. Jon has also served as faculty for the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Spielberg and Cornerstone Fellowships. Jon's acting roots stem from his long-term association with Camp Ramah in Wisconsin, where he serves as Director of Performing Arts. For more visit www.jonadamross.com.

Rachel SaksRachel Saks

Rachel Saks, M.S. R.D., has loved to cook ever since she was old enough to stand on a chair at the counter and wield a plastic knife. She has an M.S. in Education and is a Registered Dietitian. Rachel has taught cooking classes at JCC Manhattan and the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts. She developed and ran Healthy Living, a Ramah program for 8-16 year olds that combines nutrition education, mindful eating, cooking instruction and physical activity. Rachel is also the co-author of Jewish American Food Culture. She brings a unique, holistic philosophy to teaching nutrition and believes that a healthy lifestyle is built on making the right choices in the kitchen, at the supermarket, and at the table.

Rachel spent a total of 13 summers at Camp Ramah in the Poconos (8 as a camper and 5 as a staff member) and met her husband there in 2000. She feels that a positive encounter with Jewish camp can be one of the most formative and important experiences in a child’s life.

Melissa Frey and Samantha DresserMelissa Frey and Samantha Dresser

Melissa Frey is the director of the URJ Kutz Camp in Warwick, NY. Samantha Dresser, MSW, LCSW, is the director of the Mitzvah Corps Program at Kutz.

Rabbi Isaac SaposnikRabbi Isaac Saposnik

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik is a graduate of Tufts University and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He has served as Director of Camp JRF since 2008, having previously served as Assistant Director for five years. As Director of No’ar Hadash, he launched the Reconstructionist movement’s successful teen No'ar Hadash Israel Experience. A long-time Jewish camper and youth worker who worked previously for URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute and NFTY, Isaac is thrilled to share his passion for creative and engaging Judaism with a new generation of youth. He is a graduate of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Executive Leadership Institute. Isaac is married to Jeanne Calloway, a second-grade teacher, whom he met at Camp JRF.

Sue ScheffSue Scheff

Sue Scheff is an author and Parent Advocate. She founded Parents' Universal Resource Experts, Inc in 2001. Her expertise is educating parents that are struggling with their out-of-control teenager and Internet safety for both kids and adults. In her book, Wit's End! Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out-of-Control Teen, (Health Communications, Inc), Sue journals her own difficulties with her teen, as well as offers prescriptive advice for parents at their wit's end. After being victimized online and cyber-stalked due to her advocacy work, Sue won a landmark case for Internet Defamation and Invasion of Privacy. Since then, her name and voice has become synonymous with helping others that are being destroyed virtually as well as educating kids and adults about their online reputation. As a Parent Advocate, Sue believes that parenting teens today is a challenge and parents need all the help and resources they can get. An educated parent is a prepared parent. She is a contributor to many publications and has been featured on a variety of TV shows regarding her work.

Benjamin SchorrBenjamin Schorr

Benjamin Schorr, a native Californian, is currently in the 8th grade and is a lifelong-lover of video games. He credits his first social skills teacher with teaching him the appropriate ways to respond to others in all sorts of situations including the types he shares in his blog posts. Ben will be returning to Round Lake Camp for his third summer and is counting the days until June 26th.

Renee SeptimusRenee Septimus

Renée Septimus is a social worker and Jewish educator. She lives with her husband Joe on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and is the very proud mom of four married children and a savta (that's Hebrew for grandmother) to a (growing) bunch of absolutely perfect grandchildren!

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik and Sheira Director-NowackRabbi Isaac Saposnik and Sheira Director-Nowack

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik is a graduate of Tufts University and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He has served as Director of Camp JRF since 2008, having previously served as Assistant Director for five years. As Director of No’ar Hadash, he launched the Reconstructionist movement’s successful teen No’ar Hadash Israel Experience. A long-time Jewish camper and youth worker who worked previously for URJ Olin-Sang-Ruby Union Institute and NFTY, Isaac is thrilled to share his passion for creative and engaging Judaism with a new generation of youth. He is a graduate of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Executive Leadership Institute. Isaac is married to Jeanne Calloway, a second-grade teacher, whom he met at Camp JRF.

After attending The Ohio State University, Sheira Director-Nowack received a Masters in Social Work and Certification in Jewish Communal Services from Yeshiva University. She has been in camping for over 20 years, working in Jewish residential camps as well as day camps. Sheira served as the associate director for a Jewish camp for children who have learning issues and social skill disorders. Her passion often leads towards children who have some learning differences or social skill challenges. Sheira is now the Associate Director of Camp JRF. She is known for her sense of humor and outgoing personality. Most importantly she is now a camper parent and is able to truly understand the questions and ideas that camper parents face. She has been married for the past eleven years to Brian Nowack, and together they adopted Madeline in 2005.

Miriam ShwartzMiriam Shwartz

Miriam Shwartz was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, IA. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, graduating Summa Cum Laude and with Honors. Miriam attended the JCC Ranch Camp as a camper and has worked as a staff member since 1999; she met her husband and now co-director, Gilad, while working at the camp in 2001. This upcoming summer will be Miriam’s 17th season at Ranch Camp. She and Gilad live at the camp year-round with their 2 dogs, 3 cats, 3 horses, 2 cows, 2 goats, and 7 seven chickens. She considers camp to be instrumental in the development of her Jewish Identity and commitment to working in Jewish Education.

Lenore SkenazyLenore Skenazy

Lenore Skenazy is founder of the book and blog, “Free-Range Kids” (www.freerangekids.com), which launched the anti-helicopter parenting movement. A public speaker and frequent guest on talk shows, she has written for everyone from The Washington Post to Mad Magazine. Yep. The Mad Magazine. She also invented, “Take Our Children to the Park…And Leave Them There Day.” A graduate of Yale and Columbia, she lives in New York City with her husband and teen sons who are half-Free-Range and half Facebook addicts. Then again, so is she.

Noam SlomovicNoam Slomovic

Noam Slomovic is an eighth-grader at the Manhattan Day School and lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Noam followed in his brothers’ footsteps, becoming an avid and enthusiastic Jewish camper at Moshava, Indian Orchard. He looks forward to summers all-year long!

Evan TaksarEvan Taksar

Evan Taksar is originally from Los Angeles, CA and currently finds herself in Boston, MA. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a B.A. in Political Science and Jewish Studies. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Jewish Professional Leadership and an M.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies through the Hornstein Program for Jewish Professional Leadership at Brandeis University. She spent 15 summers as a camper and staff member at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu, CA and considers camp to be the most formative Jewish experience thus far in her life. Summer 2014 is her first summer as the Chizuk Fellow/Judaic Programming Director at JCC Camp Chi. Her favorite activities include: eating as many grilled cheese sandwiches as possible, tie-dying, singing Danny's Song at the top of her lungs, and going on adventures.

Stefan TeodosicStefan Teodosic

Stefan Teodosic is the Executive Director of B’nai B’rith Beber Camp and the Perlman Conference Center in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. He has worked in the Jewish camping world for almost 20 years, including 10 at the Executive level. He has a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of Michigan, as well as an M.B.A. from Thunderbird, The American Graduate School of International Management. Before his move to the Jewish professional world, Stefan spent several years working in the strategic financial services sector at American Express. Stefan has sat on several boards, including the American Camp Association Illinois Section, Camp Kesem and SCOPE. He and his wife Cortney are expecting their first child in April; he loves guitar, sports and travel and is frequently mistaken for George Clooney.

Lisa TobinLisa Tobin

Lisa Tobin is the Director of Disabilities Initiative at the Foundation for Jewish Camp. Prior to working at FJC, Lisa worked at NJY Camps as the Director of Round Lake Camp where she helped to move the camp from being a self-contained camp serving children with disabilities to an inclusion camp. Lisa began her work in the field of special needs and camping at Camp Ramapo where she was first introduced to residential camping and all that it entails. Her work at Ramapo inspired her to move forward in pursuing an M.A. in Special Education (NYU), an MSW (University of Maryland) and an MA in Jewish Studies (Baltimore Hebrew University). Lisa is a licensed school social worker and a FEREP scholar and has worked at Jewish Federations in Baltimore and in Stamford, CT. She also spent time as a classroom special education teacher and as a bilingual (Spanish) educational evaluator for AHRC. Lisa lives in West Orange, NJ with her husband Rob and their four children Maya, Yossi, Ezra and Avi.

Stephen WeitzmanStephen Weitzman

Stephen Weitzman is a member of the Union for Reform Judaism’s North American Board and serves as the chair of the URJ’s Special Needs Camping Committee. He is also a member of the North American Camp Commission and the URJ Press Editorial Board. A past president of the URJ – Greater New York Council, Weitzman is presently the principal of the religious school at Temple Isaiah in Stony Brook, N.Y. He considers it an honor and a privilege to have been a member of URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy’s pioneer faculty.)

Joel YanofskyJoel Yanofsky

Joel Yanofsky is a Montreal writer. His book Bad Animals: A Father’s Accidental Education in Autism is available from Penguin in Canada and Skyhorse in the U.S.

Isaac ZablockiIsaac Zablocki

Isaac Zablocki is the Director of the Israel Film Center at the JCC in Manhattan. He was born in New York, and grew up in Israel and served in the IDF's leading film unit as an Educational film producer. He attended film school at Columbia University and went on to work at Miramax films. He produced and directed a feature film entitled Reality Lost and developed film educational programs for the Board of Education. Since 2004 Isaac has been the Director of Film Programs at the JCC in Manhattan. He programs over seven film festivals a year including the acclaimed Other Israel Film Festival about Arab and minority populations in Israel, and Reelabilites: NY Disabilities Film Festival - now a national program in over 13 major cities across the U.S. As Director of the Israel Film Center, he is the leading programmer of Israeli films in the U.S. and developed the largest on-line database of Israeli films as well as Israel Film Center Stream, the leading site for streaming Israeli films.