Meet the Leadership + Staff
We look forward to getting to know you!
Ben Portnoy, Director
Devoted to Camp Tevya since his camper days, Ben joined the year-round team in 2012. He leads by example with a hands-on, camper-first approach. By teaching and cultivating 21st century skills in an immersive environment, Ben believes Jewish summer camp changes lives. He 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. He also completed the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s selective Yitro Leadership Program for Assistant Directors. Ben met his wife, Margo, at Tevya; they both love each summer on the shores of Lake Potanipo, shaping the next generation of Jewish leaders.
Lauren Fishman, Assistant Director
Just like the campers, Lauren lives 10 months for 2. Prior to her current role, she served as Tevya’s Tsofot Head Counselor for five summers. Her love of camp grew as a camper at Camp Pembroke, another Cohen Camp, for several summers. Prior to joining Tevya’s year-round team, Lauren served as a Director at SCORE! Education Center and taught in elementary schools in Chelsea and Newton. She holds a MA in Elementary Education from Lesley University and BA in Sociology from Union College. Her husband, Dave, is a Tevya alum; their three children are all Tevya campers. She maintains that camp is the best gift they ever could have given their kids.
Michelle Wilen, Registrar
Michelle joined the Tevya team as our summer Office Manager in 2019 and is excited to stay on throughout the year as Registrar, focusing on camper enrollment. To this role, Michelle brings her warmth, experience as a Tevya parent, continuity as summer Office Manager, and a passion for community planning. In her career before children, she was an environmental planner. Tevya is a special place for Michelle and her family, and she is glad to be a part of the team that works to bring joy to so many campers.
The team of Tevya staff takes its responsibility to nurture and care for our campers very seriously. Each team member works hard to serve as a role model and to make a positive impact each day.
Tevya administrative and supervisory personnel are camping professionals and educators with many years of experience working with children. Many Tevya counselors were Tevya campers themselves, and many of those came through our Dor L’Dor Israel travel capstone program and our Kadima teen leadership training. Some of our counselors come from abroad, including a delegation from Israel, greatly enhancing the camp experience.
We select our staff for their experience, maturity, creativity, and sense of responsibility. Our summer staff attends a week-long Staff Orientation, in addition to individual specialty training to improve teaching skills. Ongoing training continues throughout the summer with seminars and mentoring.
Camp Tevya’s Summer Leadership Team members are essential to creating incredible summer experiences for staff and campers alike. Below are the leadership positions for Summer 2022.
2023 team to be announced in Spring 2023
Assistant Director of Operations: Dan Wulf
Program Director: Debbie Dylan
Head of Leadership Development: Gayle Seletz
MESH Coordinator: Rachael Kaplan
Office Manager: Michelle Wilen
Head Nurse: Jill Raisman
Executive Chef: Chris Kirk
Head of Maintenance: Steve Simard
Head of Housekeeping: Deb Simard
Olim Head Counselor (3rd-6th Grade Boys): Miri Sharon
Olot/Younger Tsofot Head Counselor (3rd-7th Grade Girls): Adina Kurzman
Tsofim Head Counselor (7th-8th Grade Boys): Callum Whalley
Bogrim Head Counselor (9th-10th Grade Boys) + Camper Care Coordinator: Ben Aronson
Older Tsofot/Bogrot Head Counselor (8th-10th Grade Girls): Jamie Marcus
Head of Arts and Crafts: Ashley Buckholtz
Head of Israel Delegation (Rosh Mishlachat): Galia Kovesh
Head of Jewish Life: Hannah Gundersheim
Head of Land Sports: Jon Fass
Head of Performing Arts: Anna Waiter
Heads of Media: Jamie Gould
Head of Nature: TBA
Head of Tennis: Ido Paz
Head of Waterfront: Arielle Welch
Year-round Administration + Colleagues
The Leadership Team is supported by the staff of The Cohen Camps, the family of three Jewish overnight camps which also includes Camp Tel Noar and Camp Pembroke. The three camps share a year-round office and collaborate on a shared vision, pooling ideas and refining best practices to all of our campers’ great benefit.
Would you like to take part in creating incredible summer experiences for staff and campers alike?