Co-Owner/Director: Joseph Stansky
He received his Bachelors and Master’s degrees at the University of Rochester and Smicha from Rabbi Rudinsky of Monsey in 2003. Joseph was a Rebbe, Athletic Director and Basketball Coach at the Adolph Schreiber Hebrew Academy of Rockland (ASHAR) for three years. He started playing tennis when he was six years old and competed in local, national, collegiate and international tournaments and has been teaching tennis for over 25 years.
Joseph grew up in Belle Harbor, NY and now lives in Monsey with his wife Chaya, daughters Rachel and Sarah and sons Moshe, Yaakov, and Dovid.
Co-Owner/Director: Rabbi Ari Katz
Rabbi Katz is the former Assistant Principal at the Yeshiva of Central Queens. To ensure that Mesorah continues its path of excellence, Rabbi Katz has decided to devote his entire focus and all of his energy to Camp Mesorah where he is working full time. For six summers, he was the Head counselor at HALB’S Avnet Country Day School. Rabbi Katz has a degree in Accounting from Sy Syms School of Business and is continuing in a Masters in Education and Administration program.
Ari and his wife, Deena, spend the entire summer at Camp Mesorah with their four children Yonatan, Talia, Ayala, and Aliza.
Boys Head Counselor (Main Campus): Rabbi Josh Broide
Rabbi Josh Broide is the Founder and Director of the Boca Raton Jewish Experience (BRJE) and the Outreach Rabbi at Boca Raton Synagogue (BRS). Josh has also served as the synagogue’s Executive Director and Youth Director serving over 1,000 children. Before launching the BRJE, he served as the Director of the South Florida Jewish Student Union (JSU) and regularly leads the “March of the Living” and NCSY’s “The Jerusalem Journey” (TJJ). He is the recipient of the prestigious Grinspoon/Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. Josh brings years of experience working with children and young adults of all ages and will continue to help Mesorah’s Boys Campus grow and shine. He is a true leader and excellent role model for our campers.
Girls Head Counselor (Main Campus): Tzipporah Boim
Tzipporah Boim is joining the administrative team as Girls’ Head Counselor. Tzipporah has been the Drama Director at Camp Mesorah since 2005 where she has produced fabulous Girls’ and Boys’ Campus plays. The Campers enjoy her spirited personality and the ease in which she approaches each child with a smile. Her dedication and passion shine through in everything she does. An avid camper for many years, Tzipporah attended Camp Raleigh from Bunk 1 through the Teen Program, and was a Division Head there in the early 1990s.
During the academic year, Tzipporah is a veteran faculty member of the Ramaz Lower School. She has taught third grade since 1993. Tzipporah lives in Jamaica Estates with her husband, Moshe, and their four amazing children, Mimi, David, Jacob, and Becca.
Girls Head Counselor (Teen Campus): Shani Skydell
Shani Skydell joins the Mesorah administrative staff as head counselor of teen girls. Prior to her current career as a social worker, Shani taught at the Ramaz School’s early childhood center and at the JCC of the Five Towns. Shani was also a teen counselor at Mesorah in 1998, and in 1999 she was Nitzotzot Division Head. Since then, she has been a Division Head and preschool Morah at Camp Avnet. Shani received her BA in psychology from Brooklyn College and her MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work.
Shani lives in Manhattan with her husband Rabbi Ben Skydell, Rabbi of Cong. Orach Chaim, and their three children Hannah, Emmie and Zacky. They all look forward to spending a great summer in Camp Mesorah!
Boys Head Counselor (Teen Campus): Chesky Gewirtz
Chesky feels completely at home at Camp Mesorah where he was a camper, teen counselor, and part of the kollel over an eight year span. He most recently held the position of Assistant Head Counselor of the NCSY Kollel in Israel, a popular summer program for North American teens
Chesky holds a Masters degree in Jewish Education from the Azrieli Graduate School and rabbinic ordination from RIETS. During his time at YU, he has worked as an administrator for the CJF’s Torah Leadership Network, a mentor for YU’s Mechina program, and a Chumash rebbi at M.T.A Yeshiva High School for Boys.
Chesky currently teaches Gemara to sixth graders at The Moriah School of Englewood, New Jersey and is studying for his doctorate in School- Clinical Child Psychology. Chesky and his wife Aliza reside in Washington Heights.
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Meir Goldwicht
Rabbi Goldwicht joined YU as a Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and the Mazer Yeshiva Program. He received semicha from the renowned rabbinic authorities Rabbi Zalman Nehemia Goldberg in 1980, and HaRav HaGaon Betzallel Zolti Zt”l chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, and Rabbi Ovidyah Yosef, HaRav Rashi of Israel. Rabbi Goldwicht has been a Ram at Yeshiva Kerem B’Yavneh, and has given shiurim extensively at Stern College, all over the metropolitan area, and in Israel.
As Mesorah’s Rosh Kollel, Rabbi Goldwicht oversees a Torah learning program for post high school boys which sits in the middle of the Camp Mesorah campus and has extensive contact with Mesorah staff and campers.
Camp Mother (Boys): Simone Broide
Simone received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stern College and her master’s degree in counseling from Johns Hopkins University. Since moving to Boca Raton, Simone has worked in a number of capacities in the community. She was co-youth director with Josh at BRS, resource room teacher at Hillel Day School, assistant school counselor at Yeshiva High School, program director for Chai Lifeline and camp director for Gan Izzy. She is currently working with Josh at BRJE and BRS. As camp mother she will asist all boys who have special dietary requirements, including those with gluten, peanut and other allergies. She will oversee all boys’ laundry needs, and help keep their clothing organized and their bunks neat. She will also help the boys cope with other issues that may arise during the summer, including homesickness. Simone will serve as a liason to parents of campers who have special needs and is always available to help campers in all other capacities.
Amy Bruschansky has over twelve years experience as an early childhood teacher and currently works at Adolph Schreiber Hebrew Academy of Rockland (ASHAR). Amy also served for six years as the Preschool Director at Vacation Village Day Camp. As camp mother Amy will assist girls who have special dietary requirements, including those with gluten, peanut and other allergies. She will oversee all girls’ laundry needs, and help them keep their clothing organized and their bunks neat. She will also be available to help girls cope with other issues that may arise during the summer, including homesickness. When Amy is not playing the role of Mom during the summer, she plays it to her three children in Pomona, New York, where she lives with her husband.
Health Director: Dr. Sheryl Cohen
Dr. Sheryl Cohen MD has a private practice in pediatrics in Fresh Meadows, NY for the past 12 years. She also works at PM Pediatrics, a pediatric urgent care center treating a large spectrum of children with illness and injury located in Syosset, NY.
Aside from her professional life, Dr. Cohen is the co-President of the sisterhood and co-chair of the Youth Committee for the Young Israel of Plainview, a responsibility which includes running youth programs for toddlers through teens, and supervising the shul’s youth director.
Directors of Chinuch: Rabbi Nosson & Dena Rich
Rabbi Nosson Rich and his wife Dena will be joining our administrative staff as co-directors of Chinuch. Rabbi Rich has been the Rabbinic Intern at Congregation Beth Aaron in Teaneck for three years and was a member of our chinuch staff last summer. He received his undergraduate degree from YU and semicha from RIETS. He is currently a member of the Kupeitzky Kollel at RIETS.
Dena received a double masters in early childhood education and special education and has been teaching at the Ramaz Lower School for nine years. She has many years of experience in camp as both division head and chinnuch staff. Nosson and Dena will be joining us this summer with their adorable twins Nachi and Sarah.
Camp Rabbi: Rabbi Donald Bixon
Rabbi Bixon is a graduate from Yeshiva College. He received his rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Tehological Seminary. He has been the spiritual leader of the Miami Beach community for 14 years. Currently he is the Rabbi of Beth Israel Congregation in Miami Beach, Florida. He has taught high school at the Rabbi Alexander S. Gross Hebrew Academy. Rabbi Bixon is a member of the Adminstrative Beit Din of the Orthodox Rabbinical Council of South Florida. He is a former Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik Institute Fellow under the leadership of Rabbi Jacob J. Schacter. Rabbi Bixon was part of the Camp Mesorah family in 1994 and 1995 and returned as a member of our chinuch staff in 2009. We are excited to have Rabbi Bixon as our official Camp Rabbi.
Program Director: Jordana Bienenfeld
We are happy to welcome Jordana “Jorge” back to Camp Mesorah as Program Coordinator along with Avi Frier and his team! Jorge has been a long time camper in Mesorah for 7 summers. She then went on to be a teen counselor and teen division head in 2010. Last summer she was a madricha on NCSY’s Michlelet summer program where she gained experience planning activities as well as producing weekly videos. She was also a madrichat at the Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett, NY where she enjoyed interacting with teens. Jorge brings a lot of enthusiasm that she can’t wait to share with the Mesorah family.
Director of Special Programming: Avi Frier
Some say it takes a magician to put together an action-packed program like the one our campers look forward to all year long. Avi Frier is that and much more. As a magician, Avi has performed for celebrities, corporations, and worldwide audiences of all sizes since 1985. He also works with companies as a specialist in team building and staff motivation. As a Program Director, Avi has coordinated youth programs for NCSY, Bnei Akiva, National Council of Young Israel, and multiple camps, shuls, and Jewish schools since 1989. Avi was also the Student Activities Director at the Hebrew Academy of Greater Miami and is currently the Youth Director of Young Israel of Hollywood-Ft. Lauderdale.
Director of Boys Sports: Rabbi Michael Finkelstein
Rabbi Michael Finkelstein is currently the Athletic Director at DRS. He oversees the training, refereeing and performance of all the boys’ sports teams – including hockey, basketball, softball, tennis, volleyball, flag football, soccer, wrestling and fencing. He has also been teaching at DRS for the past 7 years, and is currently a rebbi for 10th grade Gemara and Chumash and 12th grade Jewish History.
Before coming to DRS, Michael was a member of his HS basketball team and YU Golf Team Captain for three years. He graduated from Sy Syms school of business with a degree in accounting and received semicha from YU. He is presently working towards a master’s degree in Jewish Education from Azrieli.
Michael’s sports experience and administrative background, combined with his love for sports and kids, promises to take our cutting edge sports program to new levels. Michael will be joined in camp by his wife, Aliza who will enhance our girls’ Tennis Program with her instruction, and their children Avigail, Dina, Mordechai, and Akiva.
Director of Girls Sports: Nicole Poupko
Nicole is a Speech Pathologist and has worked for the NYC Department of Education for the past thirteen years. She attends various sports clinics and plays competitively all year long. This will be Nicole’s third summer working as Head of Girls’ Sports at Camp Mesorah. She is joined by her husband, Yehuda, and their three wonderful children at camp.
Head of Boys Outback (and much more): Dr. Laz
Dr. Laz (David Lazerson) holds a Ph.D. in educational research and evaluation from the State University of New York at Buffalo, with a minor in urban education; a Masters degree in special education from the State University College at Buffalo, NY and a Bachelor of Science in American studies, State University of New York at Buffalo. He also holds a Bachelor of Divinity from the Rabbinical College of America in Morristown, NJ.
Lazerson has been an Exceptional Student Education (ESE) teacher and special needs music director in the School Board of Broward County, FL since 2002, providing hands-on, music, and other experiential therapeutic techniques for profoundly mentally handicapped, medically-fragile and Trainable Mentally Handicapped (TMH) students at The Quest Center. He is also known for the development of a very unique “sing and sign” music group and choir at The Center whose program services more than 150 students. His musical group, Dr. Laz & the CURE, plays throughout the world, bringing the important message of mutual respect, tolerance and peace. Visit www.drlaz.com for further information on his educational programs and studies, pictures and video clips of his diverse activities.
Waterfront Director – Girls: Stacey Edelstein
Stacey served as Head Lifeguard at Ruach Day Camp for the past three years and, prior to that, as Head Lifeguard at Camp Kee-Tov. Prior to her becoming a Head Lifeguard, Stacey was a lifeguard at Camps Avnet and Mesorah for more than 8 years combined. She has scuba diving certification and is also a rescue diver.
Stacey’s love of children and teaching led her to a career as a special education teacher and a social worker. She works with special needs children during the school year, and looks forward to being poolside during the summer.
As Head Lifeguard for Camp Mesorah, Stacey will focus her time on staff training of highly qualified lifeguards to ensure the most effective teaching techniques for swimming. Stacey’s experience provides her with a unique aptitude for dealing with the campers and staff members.
Waterfront Director – Boys: Eric Maslin
Eric Maslin, Director of Boys’ Waterfront: Eric and his wife Abbie have 3 children and live in West Hempstead, New York. He spends his winters as a Special Education Middle School Teacher in the Roosevelt Public Schools. His part-time work includes: Early Intervention Special Instruction Therapy, teaching Bar Mitzvah lessons, tutoring in all academic subjects, and teaching private swimming lessons.
Girls Fitness Director – Tamar Sicklick
Tamar received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Stern College. She holds Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor certifications from numerous U.S. and International Associations and Councils and served as fitness director in HALB’s Avnet Country Day School in past summers.
Tamar currently directs the preschool physical education programs for the JCC of the Greater Five Towns and Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB). Tamar is planning a fun-filled and exciting summer full of step aerobics, kickboxing, weight training, water aerobics, ball classes and more.
Girls Music Director – Saritte Silvera
Saritte is the music teacher at the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach. In addition to her popular weekly music classes at HALB, Saritte directs the music for all major school productions. For the past eight summers, she has taught music at HALB’S Avnet Country Day School, exposing the campers to the latest Jewish music and organizing and directing a Zimriah performance showcasing the summer’s repertiore.
Saritte looks forward to bringing her years of music experience in camp, including starring
in productions of Broadways musicals to Camp Mesorah’s music program.
Art Director: Sarah Tarzik
Sarah, a registered art therapist, works as an art therapist at the Andrus Children’s Center in Yonkers, NY and at Circle of Care in Woodland Park, NJ. At Circle of Care, Sarah leads weekly groups for middle school and high school aged children struggling with multiple emotional and behavioral challenges. Her work at the Andrus Children’s Center includes counseling children with emotional, cognitive and developmental needs individually and in group sessions utilizing contemporary art therapy techniques. At the Hebrew Academy for Special Children, Sarah led weekly art therapy groups for children with various physical and developmental disabilities in a classroom setting.
Sarah’s mastery of art and love for working with children will take the Camp Mesorah art program to new levels.
Director of Waiter Learning Program: Rabbi Yehuda Chanales
Rabbi Yehuda Chanales has been teaching at Torah Academy of Bergen County (TABC) for the past four years. He founded Camp Morasha’s Beit Medrash Program in 2003 and worked in the program for its first four years. Rabbi Chanales founded and directs NCSY’s new Shoresh program for yeshiva middle school and high school students. He holds Semicha from RIETS and a Masters in Education from the Azrieli graduate school where he currently is enrolled in the doctoral program.
His camp Beit Medrash Program experience together with his expertise in education will enable Rabbi Chanales to inspire and enrich the summers of those enrolled in this program, while simultaneously enhancing the informal educational experience of all campers.
Sgan Rosh Kollel / Beit Midrash Program: Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz
Rabbi Aryeh Leibowitz currently serves as the assistant director of the American program at Yeshivat Shaalvim, where he gives a number of shiurim in gemara and machshava. He is completing a doctorate on the Baalei HaTosfot and is the author of “Hashgacha Pratis: An exploration of Divine Providence and Free Will.” (Targum Press)
Rabbi Leibowitz has years of camping experience, most recently serving as athletic director of Camp Lavi and, before that, Kollel coordinator and shoel umeishiv for the Lavi Kollel. Prior to his aliyah, Rabbi Leibowitz served as hockey coach at the Frisch school for five years.
The blend of Torah scholarship and camping experience makes Rabbbi Leibowitz the perfect person to help lead the Boys Campus Beit Medrash and insure its success.
Tennis Director: Dr. Brian Kalb
Brian has been teaching tennis for over twenty years. He has brought an excitement to our Tennis program year after year. He is a certified USTA Drill Instructor and has coached and played at the competitive level. Brian was the Captain of Yeshiva University’s Tennis team, and received an All-Conference award for his undefeated record. He was the Tennis Pro at Camp Lavi for five years, where he brought his campers to the Wayne County championships in Pennsylvania, year after year. Brian was the Coach of HAFTR high School’s tennis team as well.
Through off-court conditioning, drills, match play, as well as exciting division tournaments for the boys and girls campuses, Brian has made Tennis a real buzz around our Campus. He has not only taught many of our beginners to play, he has taken other more advanced players to a competitive level.
Many parents look forward to grabbing a few volleys, and going home with his Great Giveaways, on Visiting day every summer. Brian is available for private lessons outside of the regular activity schedule. Please feel free to contact him with any questions or interest at email@example.com.
Baseball Director: Dan Pelberg
Dan Pelberg played three years of high school baseball at Council Rock High School South in PA, where he was a pitcher, first baseman, and outfielder. Dan has continued to play in amateur baseball leagues in PA and MA over the past six years, competing against current and former collegiate and minor league players. Along with his knowledge playing the game, Dan has been a Little League umpire for the past 10 years and has assisted in winter instructional clinics for local Little League teams. Dan is skilled and knowledgeable in every aspect of the game and will be offering private lessons this summer.
Director of Operations: Michael Pelikow
Michael Pelikow joins the Mesorah family as Director of Operations. He has years of experience working with other camps in this department. Michael will be joining us from Israel, following his recent aliyah from North Woodmere, NY with his wife Alisa, and children Ashi and Mia. Michael received his BA from Brooklyn College. He is certified in NYS and ia medic with over ten year’s experience, He is also state certified as a firefighter, with a specialty in Wilderness and Tactical Rescue.
Office Manager: Adeeva Pomeranz
Adeeva Pomeranz joined Camp Mesorah this past November as Office Manager – but it’s more of a “welcome back”, as she was counselor at Mesorah while in college. Adeeva, who has her Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Jewish communal service, is very excited to be a part of the Mesorah family and making sure that all campers have a fantastic summer. She welcomes all parents to e-mail or call her at the office with any questions or concerns. Adeeva lives in New Hempstead, right next door to our winter office. She and her husband, Shlomo, have three kids – Binyamin and Yisrael who are 8th and 5th graders at ASHAR, and Bracha who is 2.
Director of Public Relations: P’nina Seplowitz
P’nina brings 13 years of marketing experience with her to Camp Mesorah. She graduated from Sy Syms School of Business with a degree in Marketing and is currently the Senior Vice President for MagazinesUSA.com. P’nina edits and publishes the videos released on a daily basis during camp and also sends out regular updates and newsletters, keeping parents informed about all the activities in camp. She also recently authored her first children’s book. We are thrilled to have someone of P’nina’s professional caliber on staff and welcome her and her three beautiful children Ezra, A.J. and Suri to camp for the summer.
Director of Security: Justin Hubman
Justin Hubman joins the administrative staff as the Director of Security. Justin is certified in NY as a Peace Officer, EMT, Fire Fighter, and security guard. Justin has been involved in Law Enforcement, Fire, and EMS for the past 8 years. Justin is currently working on earning his B.A. at Utica College in Cyber-Security: Computer Forensics and Investigations.