About Tevya

Meet the Leadership + Staff

We look forward to getting to know you!


Ben Portnoy

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.

Woman smiling

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.

Two Campers And Counselor

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.

Woman smiling

Susan Altman
Director, Dor L'Dor Israel Programs

Susan is a seasoned nonprofit and Jewish community professional who leads the Dor L’Dor Israel travel experience for our oldest campers. Susan notes, “Giving a young person this close-up experience of Israel truly solidifies a strong Jewish identity before they head off to college and into the rest of their lives.”

Woman smiling

Stacey Smalley, M.A.T.
Director, Leadership Development + Kadima Teen Leadership

Stacey is the Director of our Kadima Teen Leadership program as well as cultivating leadership throughout our Cohen Camps organization. She holds a BA and MA in Teaching from Union College, with additional certifications in virtual and experiential Jewish education and in social emotional learning and character development.

Summer Staff

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 2023.

2023 Leadership Team

We will update this section to introduce the 2024 team in Spring 2024.

Assistant Director of Operations: Dan Wulf
MESH Coordinator: Rachael Kaplan
Program Director: Debbie Dylan
Assistant Program Director: Kim Hilton

Office Manager: Michelle Wilen
Executive Chef: Chris Kirk
Head of Maintenance: Steve Simard
Head of Housekeeping: Deb Simard

Olim Head Counselor (3rd-6th Grade Boys): Kevin Fisher (1st Session) and Callum Whalley (2nd Session)
Olot Head Counselor (3rd-6th Grade Girls): Adina Kurzman
Tsofim Head Counselor (7th-8th Grade Boys): Sloan Silberman
Tsofot Head Counselor (7th-8th Grade Girls): Antonia Rocchio
Bogrim Head Counselor (9th-10th Grade Boys) + Camper Care Coordinator: Ben Aronson
Bogrot Head Counselor (9th-10th Grade Girls): Jamie Marcus

Head of Arts and Crafts: Nadav Grunberg
Head of Israel Delegation (Rosh Mishlachat): Galia Kovesh
Head of Jewish Life & Learning: Hannah Gundersheim
Head of Land Sports: Jon Fass
Head of Performing Arts: Anna Waiter
Head of Nature: Hanna Dudzik
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.

"We feel so fortunate that we found a place like Camp Tevya for our children. The smiles and hearing, ‘I had the best summer ever!’ are more than enough for us! I’m so grateful to the staff for bringing the best out of my kids and accepting them for who they truly are as individuals!"
Tevya Parent
Camp Tevya 2019

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