Having founded Camp Zeke in 2012, Lisa and Isaac Mamaysky pour their heart and soul into camp. They oversee all aspects of the community and pride themselves on knowing every single camper and staff member who joins the Camp Zeke family.
Lisa graduated magna cum laude with joint degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She has over a decade of experience as a marketing manager at global investment banks. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, hiking, dance, and finding sometimes-elusive recipes for healthy desserts. If you stop by camp, she’s the one walking around with a gallon jug of sunblock ensuring everyone is covered!
Prior to founding Camp Zeke, Isaac played first base on the softball team of an international law firm in Manhattan, where he happened to practice financial litigation. He also taught philosophy at the City University of New York. Isaac earned his juris doctorate cum laude from the Boston University School of Law and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island Honors Program. For nearly a decade, Isaac has been a proponent of plant-based nutrition and an avid runner, weightlifter, cyclist, and skier. More recently, he began practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (and you can often find him showing a move in our martial arts studio!).
Lisa and Isaac live in New York with their daughter, son, and dog.
Prior to joining the Camp Zeke family, Elliot spent 15 summers as a camper, counselor, and ultimately, director of Habonim Dror Camp Na’aleh. Elliot then completed a two-year term as the chief financial officer of the organization, which oversees seven summer camps. He loves camp and was thrilled to continue his camping career as one of the first team members at Camp Zeke.
Elliot graduated with honors from Brandeis University and spent time studying at the London School of Economics. In his free time, Elliot loves biking all over New York City, spending time with his dog Ruby, playing frisbee, basketball, and soccer. He also enjoys cooking delicious and healthy meals for his wife, friends and family.
Executive Manager of Camp Zeke and our Block & Hexter Retreat Center
Laurie began her career in camp on a family camping weekend at the ripe old age of 6 months, and she was hooked! With an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, Laurie began working in camping at the New Jersey “Y” Camps, while still a student. She spent seven summers working her way up from counselor to office manager to division head. After graduation she joined them full time as the director of their senior adult programs.
In 2000, Laurie became the executive director of the Associated Camps, Inc. and Block and Hexter Vacation Center. She led a $1.8 million capital campaign to refurbish program facilities and build a million dollar fitness center. In 2002 Laurie received a certificate in Not-For-Profit Management from the Columbia University Graduate School for Business. More recently, Laurie opened a Glatt Kosher catering company in New Jersey with her sisters.
At Camp Zeke, Laurie manages the Block and Hexter Retreat Center, oversees human resources and year-round hiring, and during the summer, uses her extensive management, catering, and culinary experience to manage the large team that creates amazing gourmet meals for the Camp Zeke community. When camp isn’t in session, Laurie directs weddings, corporate events, and retreats on our beautiful site. Laurie lives in Rockaway, NJ with her fiancé, Frank and enjoys hiking, tennis, bowling, bicycle riding and theater. She has recently begun learning Krav Maga and Crossfit.
Rachel Pineles has a degree in communications and business, and a professional background in corporate and non-profit marketing, but her real passion is Jewish camping. She has been a part of the year-round Zeke team since 2015, planning our events and developing our ambassador program! Rachel has worked with children of all ages in a traditional day school environment, but more importantly in several informal education settings–day camps, overnight camps, leadership training seminars, teen tours, theater production, and much more.
Hailing from New Jersey, Rachel now lives in Israel with her husband and four children where she enjoys walks on the beach, volunteering with soldiers and the needy, visiting museums and the theater, hiking in national parks and participating in the Jerusalem marathon. She loves to travel and explore new places (preferably by jeep, parasail, boat or zip line!) Although she can whip up a mean vegetarian chili or tofu stir-fry, Rachel is famous for her themed birthday cakes. In her spare time she loves to escape with a good book and a great iced coffee.
Lucy is the brains behind Camp Zeke’s elective-based schedule. She works with our talented program team all year to create amazing special events and a robust schedule that’s reinforces Camp Zeke’s mission of celebrating healthy, active living. An Excel guru with meticulous attention to detail, Lucy brings her talents to bear in managing all of the complex moving parts that make for a flawless summer experience for our campers and staff. During the winter months, Lucy also works hand-in-hand with our executive manager on many retreat programs, staff hiring, and various other aspects of summer planning.
Lucy was born and raised in the UK, a short distance from North York Moors National Park where she loves to go hiking and take photographs. She enjoys graphic design and creating masterpieces on Photoshop and Illustrator. She’s excited to be spending her second year on the Camp Zeke team, and she looks forward to growing with the camp for years to come.
Jasmine is our super-talented office administrator. She can answer your questions, update CampInTouch, design a website, and produce videos all while painting a masterpiece (her hobby is painting)! Hailing from Starkville, home of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Jasmine earned her degree in 2015. Before joining the Camp Zeke team full time in 2017, she spent two summers as our camp videographer.
Born and raised in Melbourne, Florida, Jasmine loves the outdoors, especially the beach, and Camp Zeke’s own Hickory lake. As an avid artist and videographer, creative writing, creative arts, dance, and music are her passions.
Lori leads Zeke’s teen in-camp and travel programs. Lori spent 9 wonderful summers attending and working at overnight camps during her childhood, then took a brief 30-year hiatus before joining Zeke in 2015. In her time away from camp, Lori earned her degree in business administration from University of Michigan and a Masters in Social Work from New York University. Her degrees have proved invaluable to her career in finance and marketing — and for providing support to all thoes around her! Lori is also a founder of New Jersey’s first Hebrew language public charter school.
As a native New Yorker, Lori is surprised to find herself living in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters who attend Camp Zeke. During her free time, Lori strives to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle with favorite activities ranging from skiing, hiking, and exercising, to preparing tasty nutritious meals for her family. Lori is excited to be leading Camp Zeke’s first international trip to Costa Rica this summer!
Shadow “Dogger” Mamaysky is Camp Zeke’s resident puppy. When not at camp, this two-year-old adventurer lives with Isaac, Lisa, and thier kids. She feels very lucky to have hundreds of friends every summer!
A proud rescue, Shadow is a Boston Lab—half Labrador retriever and half Boston terrier. Shadow enjoys hikes around Hickory Lake, belly rubs, and being a model for studio arts classes. She also likes listening to campers sing by the campfire while hoping someone will drop a marshmallow on the ground.
Zeke’s beloved Dr. Chana Zablocki is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. She earned her medical degree from Hadassah Medical School in Israel and completed her residency at the JFK Family Medicine Residency Program where she also earned a resident teacher award and chief resident award. Chana is a family practitioner at Faith Family Health in Plainfield, NJ, where she cares for people ages 0-120. She is a consultant for the City of Elizabeth’s health department and is also the Medical Director of Stein Hospice, a faith-based hospice in Central NJ. Chana resides in Elizabeth, New Jersey with her husband and children and will be joining us with her family for her third summer.
Director of Culinary Arts
Alexandra holds a master’s in Food Studies, a nutrition degree, and is a certified holistic health coach, pastry chef, recipe developer, teacher and cookbook author. She incorporates her knowledge in diverse food and eating disciplines into her health coaching practice.
Her philosophy is that eating food that makes us thrive and developing a healthy relationship with food starts in the kitchen. She empowers campers to cook fresh, delicious and colorful dishes with the best quality, and least processed ingredients.
Alexandra was born and raised in Mexico City, but has been calling NYC home for the last 15 years, where she lives with her husband and two children. Besides her health coaching practice, she owns Three Tablespoons LLC, a company that makes frozen cookie dough with clean, unrefined and allergy-friendly ingredients, and she’s quite active in promoting healthy eating habits in her community and her children’s school.
She adores working with kids. Besides coming up with the most creative and fun ideas, kids are incredibly effective into producing a ripple effect in their families. Alexandra is looking forward to spending her third summer introducing campers to new healthy ingredients and ways of enjoying them that she’s sure everyone in the family will end up adopting. Check out her AMAZING recipes in the 2015 and 2016 Camp Zeke cookbooks.
Rabbi Cece was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary in May 2010 and is the Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael in Springfield, NJ. She has been with Camp Zeke since we started, pioneering the development of our music-filled Shabbat services and integrated Judaism into camp activities. In addition to her work as a rabbi, she loves to sing, act, and dance, and is a classically trained soprano and a competitive (award winning!) Irish step dancer. Rabbi Cece has experience working at many camps in the Northeast and is excited to be joining the Camp Zeke team for her fifth summer!
Chef Frankie has been wowing college students at Cooper Union College in Manhattan with his delicious food for decades. While Frankie is joining Camp Zeke for his third summer, he has been the chef at our retreat center, Block & Hexter, for over 15 years. He is known for his warm smile, great sense of humor, and ability to artfully present exquisite meals to diners of all ages. His dishes range from unbelievable soups and salads to chicken wings, curries, and healthy desserts! He’s also known for his artful presentations, such as “Ducky” a fresh and colorful salad shaped like a duck, made especially for the many kids in attendance. We look forward to Frankie’s food and presence in Cafe Zeke again this summer!
Program Head - Sports Director
Shirah has been a counselor at Camp Zeke since our first summer! She graduated Skidmore College in 2016 where she studied Health and Exercise Science. Last year she was selected to participate in a prestigious year-long program in Israel. She grew up in Vermont and lived in Israel for five years. Shirah is an avid runner and hiker (especially during foliage season), and she loves drawing, photography, horseback riding, and baking.
“I came to Camp Zeke because nutrition, health, and exercise are a huge part of my life. I especially enjoy sharing my passion for health with others and Camp Zeke is the perfect outlet for all of my interests. I can’t wait to be back!” It can be hard to catch up with Shirah over the summer because she leads our track program and is always on the run!
Director of Security
Michael has always been driven to protect those around him. He is a former New York City Special Patrolman Sergeant with decades of law enforcement and security experience. He is always prepared for anything, and he brings experience as a first responder to our community as well. In his role overseeing safety and security at camp, he manages our security and emergency procedures, working with local police and security firms. His extensive law enforcement and security experience melds perfectly with his love for the outdoors at camp. When not at Zeke, you can find him hiking and fishing with his family!
Visiting Unit Head
Krissy recently graduated from Stony Brook University with her Bachelors in Psychology and plans to pursue a dual degree in Social Work and Law. Camp Zeke has provided a great environment to foster her love for working with children and her future goal of becoming a social worker. At camp, Krissy has worn many hats, using her talents to serve as a song leader, photographer, and a one-woman enthusiasm booster (using the art of comedy!). In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and writing.
Joining us for her fourth summer, Sarah graduated from Muhlenberg College with a degree in psychology and a minor in public health. She grew up in Paoli, Pennsylvania, but has spent most of her summers since the age of seven at Jewish overnight camps in the Poconos.
Sarah’s passions consist of swimming, soccer, and travel. She has visited over 15 different countries, many on trips with Jewish groups. She is excited to be at Camp Zeke where she will continue to share her love for healthy (vegetarian) food, exercise and good times with campers.
Counselor - Lifeguard
Beth is an avocado fanatic and can’t wait to jet across the pond to spend her third summer at Camp Zeke! She lives in Wales in the UK and is currently studying Nutrition at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Beth has served as a Culinary Arts counselor for two summers, assisting the incredible Chef Alexandra in creating delicious and insane healthy snacks. This year she can’t wait to come back and also join the waterfront team.
In her free time, she likes to experiment in the kitchen, cook for friends and regularly attend the local fitness suite. She loves the outdoors and has previously participated and competed in athletics and gymnastics. Beth is also a qualified netball coach and was once an assistant coach for her local team.
Camp Zeke is a magical place for Beth because she’s never 10 feet away from someone who shares almost the exact same interests as her. Being surrounded by people that are as equally as passionate about your hobbies is something very rare and special to find in life!
Bring on Summer 2017!
Assistant Director of Camper and Counselor Care
Shira has been camper and a counselor at day camps for about 16 years. Camp has easily been the most influential part of her childhood; it is where she found her best friends and made the most amazing memories. She is very excited for her second summer at Camp Zeke!
Shira is entering her second year of graduate studies at Columbia University, where she is earning her Master’s in Social Work. In undergrad at Brandeis University, Shira danced in a company and she still dances as a fun de-stresser. A few years ago when she studied abroad in New Zealand, Shira rekindled a love for hiking and camping that she hopes to share with campers and staff at Camp Zeke this summer!
Gabriel was born and raised in Málaga, Spain. From a young age he became interested in team sports, especially basketball, which is still his favorite. He has been playing for many years on his local team. In high school he discovered his true passion, film and great stories. He started to travel by getting involved in exchange programs, first to London and later to France. He recently graduated with his audiovisual communication degree from Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, during which he traveled to St. Augustine, Florida to help a student exchange summer program organization. Gabriel loves writing and creating stories, and his goal is to work in film industry and become film director. Naturally, in his third summer at Zeke, he will be creating move videos about our summer (check out some of his work on our videos page)! Gabriel sees Camp Zeke as an incredible opportunity to cross again the Atlantic Ocean again and give campers an outstanding camp experience.
Cantor, Songleader and Unit Head
Camp Zeke’s beloved Melanie was recently ordained as a Cantor from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College (mazel tov!) and is the Beth El Congregation of Baltimore’s Cantor Educator and Director of Community Engagement.
She hails from Baltimore, MD and has been involved with Jewish camping since 1996. She has held positions such as a bunk counselor, department head of dance, and head song leader/Jewish life specialist.
She has a Masters in Jewish Education from Towson University Baltimore Hebrew Institute, and also has a degree in engineering from the University of Maryland College Park. She teaches music at Hebrew Schools and in the community as well as runs the youth programming at Beth El Congregation in Baltimore.
Melanie has been a personal trainer for six years, certified by the National Council on Strength and Fitness, and works at Loyola University in the Fitness and Aquatics Center. Cooking (mostly vegetarian), hiking, biking, and practicing yoga daily are Melanie’s interests, but she loves trying new things and having new experiences. Melanie can’t wait for the summer to begin and is excited to be a part of the Camp Zeke team for her third summer!
Counselor - Lifeguard
Daniel was born and raised in Netanya, Israel a coastal city, so naturally he loves spending time at the beach–and especially watching the sunset with a warm drink in hand. Daniel is thrilled to spend his second summer at Camp Zeke because of his personal connection to healthy, active living. He loves creating and enjoying fresh, delicious foods, and while strength training is his favorite way to get moving, he enjoys all sports.
Daniel completed his military service in the IDF four months ago, where he served as a weatherman and as a commander of a meteorologic course. Weather has become of hobby of his, and he often studies weather models in his free time. His friends play a big part of his life, and while they may not want to chat about the weather, they play video games, talk, and share stories. Daniel loves learning and can’t wait for campers to arrive because each person has something special to share with the community.
After going to her first ballet lesson at the age of two, Charlotte was hooked and knew it would be a lifelong passion. It was an obvious choice to develop her love for dance and pass it on to others through teaching. Having trained with the Royal Academy of Dance, Charlotte graduated as a classical ballet teacher and now teaches full time. Although ballet is her main love, she also teaches modern, lyrical and contemporary genres.
Charlotte considers herself to be a creative person and enjoys art (which she studied in college), going to the gym, and attending classes such as Pilates.
“Teaching dance at camp Zeke and being part of the team is so exciting and I can’t wait for this summer and all the adventures to come!”
Kosher Supervisor (mashgiach)
Evan is excited to be joining Camp Zeke for the second summer as the Kosher Supervisor. A 4th generation Dallasite, after high school Evan spent ten years at Yeshiva University in New York earning degrees in Judaic Studies, Accounting, a Masters in Social Work, and spent time studying for Rabbinical ordination.
Following his time in New York, he moved back to his hometown of Dallas, Texas with his wife Susanne and they have two amazing kids, Becca (5) and Alex (1.5). In addition to his work as a kosher supervisor for Dallas Kosher, he also works as an accountant and social worker.
Evan has been riding horses since he was five-years-old and competed nationally as a teen in dressage events. In his spare time he enjoys cheering on his favorite Dallas sports teams, spending time experimenting in the kitchen and volunteering in his local Jewish community.
Back for her second year, for all things medical, Julie is the go-to person! She works with our amazing nurse, doctor, and medical assistants to make sure your campers have everything they need. Julie is a teacher and social worker who joins us from beautiful Seattle, WA. She is an upper elementary school teacher at a Montessori school. Originally from Australia, she has spent time in India, England, Hawaii, France and New Jersey as a first aid responder, teacher, scout leader and nanny. Julie earned her MSW from Monmouth University in NJ. She is passionate about working with children and outdoor adventure and has walked across all of Spain and climbed Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia.
Counselor - Culinary Arts
Fernando is returning for his third summer at Zeke. Two years ago he was a member of the Cafe Zeke team, and last summer he was a counselor, as well as manager of the beloved Camp Zeke canteen. Some of his most popular (and wholesome!) snacks include smoothies, homemade energy bars, and seasonal fruit salads!
Fernando was born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico. He is studying Tourism Management at university and he is passionate about different cultures and languages. He is now studying Italian! Fernando is a much-loved member of the Zeke family and his positivity and spirit are contagious. He loves sports and staying active! He has played soccer, volleyball, basketball and tennis since he was a child. He likes kayaking and paddle boarding on Hickory Lake.
Culinary Arts and Foundation for Jewish Camp Cornerstone Fellow
Abigail is recent graduate of Johnson & Wales University (JWU) in Providence, Rhode Island who received a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics. She has a huge passion for all things culinary and has been cooking delicious and nutritious foods since she was 12 years old. Her goal is to become a Registered Dietitian after completion of her Dietetic Internship which she will be starting in the fall.
Abby has worked in various hospitals in Providence as a dietary aide and served as the meal director at Brown/RISD Hillel for Sacred Foods Shabbat, a vegan and gluten-free, student cooked Shabbat dinner.
When not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Abby can be found almost anywhere singing and dancing to Broadway musicals, which she did through college as an active member of JWU’s theater group (JWU Players). She’s a core member of Camp Zeke’s team of song leaders! This will be Abby’s third summer at Zeke and is thrilled that she gets to share her culinary nutrition passion with campers all summer long. She absolutely loves spending her summers at camp, and this year she cannot wait to return to the fabulous culinary arts team!
Counselor and Foundation for Jewish Camp Cornerstone Fellow
Delani is excited to begin her third summer at Camp Zeke. Having spent all her summers at sleep-away camp since she was nine, Delani is thrilled to have another opportunity to share her love of sleep-away camp with her campers (including her amazing passion and spirit for Olympics/Color War). She believes that sleep-away camps gives kids the skills to learn sharing, compromise, and team building while building strong, long-lasting friendships! Delani attends college in New Jersey and is majoring in Genocide and Holocaust Studies as well as Jewish Studies. She can’t wait for the summer to begin!!
Born and raised in the lowlands of Scotland, Liam now lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Melissa (who he met at camp!). He studied Business at the University of the West of Scotland and spent four summers working at camps in PA and NH. His first summer ever at camp was at the Block and Hexter Retreat Center, and he is delighted to be returning to the area for his second consecutive year at Zeke.
Liam enjoys cycling, snowboarding, swimming, hiking, fostering senior dogs, a good road trip and eating all the foods! Most days he can be found with a cup of coffee in one hand and a camera in the other. Fun fact – He has one blue eye and one green eye.
Liam’s excellent photography work can be seen throughout our social media feeds, camp website, and his website lgordonphoto.com.
Emma is returning for another amazing summer at Camp Zeke, again as a part of the Cafe Zeke Team. This will be her fifth summer working at camps in both PA and NY. She loves the sense of community that develops from working with so many different people from around the country and world.
Born and raised in Bath, England, Emma grew up with a love of the outdoors, hiking and swimming. She is a graduate of Salford University, Manchester. During the winter, she lives in the French Alps, and has worked at Val D’Isere for two seasons, enjoying the snow and spending every free moment snowboarding. When not working, Emma travels and catches up with friends and family.
Lucy is a Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor from the UK, currently at university pursuing a bachelors degree in sports and clinical nutrition, joining for her second summer at Zeke.
She has competed in many fitness shows and also has a passion for baking healthy treats in her spare time. Her favorite is “maca protein balls” and she always has one of these to snack on before she trains at the gym.
Lucy used to be involved in athletics, netball, horse riding and badminton events and has had over six years of experience teaching and coaching children in many sports.
Having spent a year as a fitness coach in Australia and teaching classes such as Body Pump, Body Attack, GRIT, Core Stability and RPM, Lucy has spent the past three years motivating and educating others to succeed. Her knowledge and drive to inspire everybody reflects on everybody at Camp Zeke and their experience as a whole!
Counselor - Circus Arts
Oscar is joining Camp Zeke for his second summer to teach his passion, circus arts! He began practicing circus arts four years ago at CAFI Academy of Dance and Circus Arts in Cancún, Mexico. After that, he joined the Fractales Circus Company and performed in aerial silks, aerial hoop (lyra), stilts and acro balance throughout many venues.
He is a rising junior majoring in rehabilitation at the Autonomous University of Yucatán, and works as a therapist at Vatten Physical Therapy.
Oscar has deep experience teaching aerial silks to kids ages 6 to 17 years old, and he can’t wait to share his passion with the Camp Zeke family again this summer.
Counselor and Sports Specialist
Everyone’s health and ability to work out is unique and different. Meissa believes we all should keep that in mind in order be the best versions of ourselves. Meissa was born and raised in a small town called Keur Momar Sarr in Senegal, West Africa. Throughout high school, he lacked confidence in lifting weights, playing soccer, and long distance running, but he motivated himself to start living an active life, and though it was hard, his mind was set on his goals. He started to see himself grow and became proud of his abilities. This is something loves to pass on to campers at Zeke (this is his second year!) and through his previous work at other summer programs.
Meissa is finishing his degree in Exercise Science at Penn State Berks, and is working towards becoming a personal trainer/high school soccer coach. He is a member of the PSU kinesiology club. When not studying, you can find Meissa in the gym working out or playing soccer.
He says: “You can do anything you want when you change the I can’t to I can!”
Mindy Majewski is so excited to spend her second summer at Camp Zeke! She lives in Huntington, NY with her husband Jeff, two dogs, and two kids (Lily, 11, and Cooper, 7), who are also super excited for their second summer at Zeke. She enjoys cooking, arts and crafts, music and theater. Having grown up going to camp, Mindy loves everything about the camp experience and is thrilled to be back in camp after a long break!
Joliette, originally from Ridgefield, CT, recently graduated from Boston University with a degree in Elementary Education and English, and will start her teaching career following this summer (her second!) at Zeke. She has interned in several fourth and fifth grade classrooms, tutored elementary students, and worked as a substitute teacher.
As a student, she was a proud member of BU Global Water Brigades, a public health based club working towards sustainable development in Honduras. Additionally, she is a chapter member of Kappa Alpha Theta and a Dean’s Host for Boston University’s School of Education.
Outside of class and clubs, Jojo can be found working out at the gym, cooking, baking, or hanging out with her friends. She runs her own food Instagram, and loves all food! Her combined passions for working with children, dance, fitness, and good food are what brought her to Camp Zeke. She is excited for her second summer with Camp Zeke and cannot wait to get back!
Counselor - Sports Focus
Beau joins us from England for his second summer. He is finishing his degree in Drama at Canterbury University. He plans to become a drama teacher after completing his masters degree. Beau loves football (well actually, most sports), going to music concerts, and traveling! He can’t wait to bring his positive and cheery attitude to camp and spend his second summer in the beautiful Pocono Mountains.
Cafe Zeke team
Rachel is joining the kitchen staff for her second summer at Camp Zeke, and she can’t wait to experience it all again! She is studying Chemistry at Lancaster University in England and aspiring to be a food scientist and nutritionist. Outside of academia, you will find her lifting weights in the gym or rowing with her university’s boat club! To compliment her active lifestyle, she loves cooking healthy and nutritious food. Exploring new cultures and travelling is an exciting part of her life, and she will embark on a study year abroad in Oregon once camp finishes!
Michael will be coming back for his 3rd summer after (sadly) missing the previous year. He was born in Los Angeles and loved going to his Jewish summer camp for 8 summers. In 2006, he moved to Israel with his family and he played professional soccer until the age of 25. In the fall, Michael will be in his 3rd in final year of his Communications degree at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. His passion is sports, which is why he also has his own radio show/podcast called “The Extra Point”. Aside from sports, Michael has a specialization in his degree with visual communication studies where he writes, produces, films, and edits his own creative videos.
Camp Zeke instantly became a 2nd home for Michael in the summer of 2015. Being able to find time after his exams to come for 2nd session is an absolute dream, and he cannot wait to bring back all his energy and fun spirit back to Zeke.
Cafe Zeke team
Carla joins us from Mexico, for her second summer at Zeke. She is studying gastronomy in university. Carla is a responsible, friendly and open minded person who enjoys studying, movies, and athletic activities. When not cooking up a storm, she reads, spends time with family and friends, and travels throughout her beautiful country.
She aspires to be a great chef in the future, while making people happy with her scrumptious food. She cannot wait to join the Cafe Zeke kitchen team again and see campers enjoy her dishes!
Counselor - Baseball
Ed was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and has also lived in Florida and Guatemala. He is a senior at Syracuse University studying Computer Engineering, and he is the soccer captain of his college intramural team, as well as a former varsity soccer captain of his high school team. Ed’s passions include baseball, soccer, bodybuilding, playing the piano, playing chess, computer science, and electrical engineering.
In this past year, Ed has spent his time engaging and teaching underprivileged children the fundamentals of Computer Science and introducing them to the software industry. In his down time, Ed loves going to the movies and watching his favorite soccer team – F.C. Barcelona!
Counselor - Circus Arts
Shirley has two passions: science and dance! She started dancing was when she was 11 years old and since then has studied jazz, ballet, contemporary dance, and aerial dance, among others.
Over time she found her favorites: jazz and aerial dance, specifically aerial hoop and aerial silks. She is a graduate of the State Center of Fine Arts for Jazz dancing.
Shirley began practicing aerial dance when she was 15 years old and has had the opportunity to perform across her country. She has many years of teaching experience for dancers ranging from 4 to 17 years old.
She’s currently studying Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Autonomous University of Yucatán, México. “I’m so excited to meet all the campers this summer”
Counselor - Volleyball
Rafael joins us from Veracruz. Ever since he was a kid, Rafael has loved traveling and getting to know the world. He combined that with his passion for economics and finance, and is currently pursing his degree in International Trade Management.
Rafael is very dedicated to fitness and sports, and he has experience teaching both soccer and volleyball to kids. Rafael is full of energy and enjoys meeting new people, learning from them and sharing his experiences.
“I am so excited to be part of Zeke as a counselor and I cannot wait to see the campers play volleyball!”
This is Jessica’s first summer at Camp Zeke. Haling from Suffern, NY, Jessica attended the University at Buffalo and has a B.A. in Communication.
When she is not being a teacher’s assistant for her adorable preschoolers, you can find her in the kitchen testing out new recipes. She enjoys exploring and going to new places.
Jessica loves everything that has to do with camp and spirit. She is really excited to meet all the campers and to have a great summer!
Unit Head & Jewish Life Director
Born and raised in Toronto, Tzvi is a huge fan of the Canadian outdoors. He loves to spend time during his summers canoeing and camping.
Growing up camping with his family every summer, he’s learned all the ins and outs of camping, including pitching and felling a tent. After learning in Yeshiva for three years, which encouraged his love of Torah and Mitzvot, he became the director for NCSY Jr (grade 6-8 division).
An avid reader, his best-loved genre is science fiction and his absolute favorite series is Ender’s Game. He’s been going to summer camp since he was a child and loves it!
Noam was born and raised in Israel. She completed her army service in last August, after two years as a teaching solider for deaf and hard of hearing children. She now teaches children in grades 1-8.
Throughout her high school years, she volunteered with elementary school and nursery school children from high-risk backgrounds. She served as the chairman and spokeswoman for the municipal youth council of Yokne’am. Noam was also a counselor in the youth movement “Bnei Akiva” and loves keeping in touch with her campers — many whom are now counselors themselves.
Hiking and traveling are Noam’s favorite pastimes and she loves traveling throughout Israel and the world. Noam knows Israeli sign language and teaches her students different signs and songs in sign language. In her free time, she cooks and bakes healthy food, and she used to run an independent cooking summer program for kids. She also is a student of theater, directing shows throughout high school.
Noam likes teaching and education and intends to study it and develop her skills for many years to come. She believes education can make the world a better and healthier place. She is excited to develop her campers’ curiosity and teach them new things. She can’t wait to meet her campers and join the Camp Zeke family!
Counselor - Dance
Lizzie is excited to join the team for her first summer in the US at Camp Zeke! She is from the UK living near the vibrant, seaside city of Brighton, where she can be her true, vegan self. She has grown up cooking with her family and has developed a love for food, but her main passion is dance!
From the age of 3 she has trained in tap, contemporary, ballet and musical theatre, just to mention a few! She can’t wait to join the dance society at the University she will attend in September, where she will be studying Forensic Psychology. She is thrilled to be able to share her love for dance with everyone at camp, and having mentored children at her previous dance school and theater company, she is looking forward to being able to do so again!
She sees this summer as an opportunity to help others find their natural rhythm, develop their social skills, and embrace the ethic of doing good for others that Camp Zeke inspires! She can’t wait for Summer 2018!
Fikrat studied Management Development in Singapore, and he is currently studying Finance Investment and Risk Management so he can become a financial analyst. He loves to travel, and he’s very excited to spend the summer at Camp Zeke! He’s looking forward to swimming in the lake, hiking, and cooking. “This summer is going to be so much fun! I can’t wait to meet the campers!”
Ofir is from Kiryat Ono in Israel. Located just 15 minutes from Tel Aviv, she spends a lot of time at the beach and exploring the city. For the past two years, she served in the army in an intelligence unit. She joined the Israel Scouts when she was in fourth grade, and after six years, became an instructor for three- first as a guide and then a commander. Besides being a Scout, she is passionate about cooking. She’s been cooking since she was a little girl and likes to make and bake healthy foods. She also loves making jewelry as a hobby, and can’t wait to craft this summer at camp!
Counselor - Circus Arts
Rodrigo is from Mérida, México and is an aerialist, circus instructor, and lifelong circus student. He started training when he was 15 years old at Akros Aerial School, and has performed throughout Mexico on aerial skills, triple trapeze, aerial straps and other acrobatic skills. He’s had the opportunity to learn from artists in Cirque du Soleil, and he hopes to be an artist for them in the future.
Rodrigo is currently in university studying business administration and communication and entertainment. “I am very excited to be part of the staff this year to be able to share this incredible discipline with the Camp Zeke family. I’m looking forward to meeting my campers!”
Pursuing her passion for helping people, Tina is a licensed Physiotherapist in Glasgow, Scotland. She is currently taking a sabbatical to lead a unit at camp. In past summers, she has worked at a camp for kids with special needs in Wisconsin, which is an experience that she cherishes. Outside of her professional interests, Tina loves sports (especially hockey and swimming). She’s looking forward to bonding with campers and staff this summer, and forming strong relationships with their parents.
Cafe Zeke Team
Williams was born in Cape Coast, Ghana, and raised in Kumasi, the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He holds a degree in Human Resources and Marketing, and he is currently studying Business and Economics at Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic. He is very energetic and loves to travel! He has traveled to France, Austria, Hungry, Belgium, Slovakia, and many other countries. Williams also enjoy writing poems, music, singing, rapping, listening to music, watching soccer, basketball, movies, news, swimming and reading books. He taught football in Ghana, and he cannot wait to get back on the field this summer. He’s very excited to be a part of the Camp Zeke family this summer!
Counselor - Lifeguard
Dora is from Budapest, Hungary where she is currently studying Sports Organization. Her favorite sport is water polo, and she has been playing for over 15 years! Dora would love to become a water polo coach when she finishes school. In her free time, she likes to run and try different sports like curling, skating, snowboarding, wakeboarding, and hiking. One of her favorite hobbies is riding horses. She also loves to cook and can’t wait to make delicious meals this summer. “I’m so excited for camp to start!”
Abi is in her first year of college studying fashion history and theory. She hails from Hampshire, England and grew up in the beautiful South Downs National Park, so she loves hiking, cycling, watersports, and animals. Some of Abi’s fondest memories are of summers spent cycling miles to her local fruit-picking farm and swimming in rivers en route. Aside from that, she’s a big fan of traveling, skiing, reading, textiles, and clothes-making both for friends, family and herself. One of Abi’s biggest joys has been teaching and making clothes and toys for children. She also loves to cook and enjoys sharing the endless possibilities of vegan cooking and just how yummy these nutritious foods can be! She is very excited to meet all the campers, and help them have a fantastic summer!
Mark hails from the land down under, Maroubra, Australia. He recently graduated from the University of New South Wales with a double degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.”I’m spending a year exploring the world, and Camp Zeke is my first stop along the way!”
For the last ten years, Mark has been both a lifeguard at the pool and beach so he is excited to bring his safety skills and first aid experience to the waterfront team. “I have been in the Scouting movement since I was 7 and have been a scout leader for the past five years. I’ve tried every water sport possible; sailing, canoeing, canyoning, SUPing, surf skiing, pack and white-water rafting. I’m so excited to teach all the campers how to enjoy the water safely!”
Yael comes from Neve-Monosson, Israel. She was a medic in the IDF and loved her job so much that she extended her time in the army. When Yael was in the 4th grade, she joined the Israeli Scouts youth movement, and in 9th grade, she took a one year course to be a counselor. The following year she became a counselor and had her own group of kids. “In my free time, I love taking spin classes. I also love to bake for my family and friends. I’m very excited for camp to start and I can’t wait for this summer!”
Marina was born in Mexico City and moved to Cancun when she was three years old. She loves nature, exploring new places and recently became the director of the Hebrew Scouts of Cancun. “I like traveling, meeting new people, learning new things and going on adventures with friends. In my free time, I enjoy going to the beach, surfing, skateboarding, and camping with my family.” Marina hopes to study medicine or become a scientist in the future. This is her first summer at Camp Zeke, and she is excited to meet all the campers and create incredible memories with them!
Mikey is excited to return for his third year at Camp Zeke. He recently graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Chemistry and will begin his career as a teacher in September.
Mikey enjoys working with children and loves to get involved with all the amazing activities at camp. He has had the chance to experience Camp Zeke from many perspectives, working in our very own Café Zeke his first year, and then after that as counselor. He cannot wait for yet another amazing summer!
Cafe Zeke Team
Aldona is from Poland and can’t wait to come to come to Camp Zeke this summer! She currently studies Forensic Science at the University of Warsaw. Some of her hobbies include swimming, traveling, and watching musicals. “I love meeting new people and discovering new places and learning about different cultures. I’m very excited to be a part of camp this summer!”
Director of Camper Care
Riva has been involved in Jewish overnight camping for the last 14 years. She joins us from a Jewish camp in Connecticut. Her roles ranged from supervising upper and teen girls and staff to overseeing biking and hiking trips.
When not at camp, Riva teaches for the Baltimore County School District and her local synagogue’s Hebrew school. Riva and her husband Robert reside in Maryland and have three daughters: one in high school, one in college, and one proudly serving in the Peace Corps.
“It’s important for me to connect with all campers and staff, which is vital to fostering a long-term impact. I love helping instill a strong Jewish identity in campers by bringing awareness of core Jewish values in a relaxing, approachable way that allows everyone to be confident and the best versions of themselves.”
Riva is excited to start her new role at Camp Zeke and to continue making a difference in children’s lives through summer camp. She looks forward to new challenges and adding to her extended summer family.
Cafe Zeke Team
Martyna is a master’s student studying Finance and Accounting at the University of Economics and Business in Poznan (Poland). “I like adventure and getting to know new people and places. I have traveled throughout Europe, and I’m excited to visit the United States. I enjoy exercising and cooking healthy meals, and I am so excited that Camp Zeke supports a healthy and active lifestyle. I can’t wait to come to Camp Zeke this summer!”
Michael was born in the Bronx, NY but calls Brooklyn, NY home. Growing up in the city meant camp was almost the only time he experienced different surroundings. Some of his closest friends and best memories are from camp.
Michael is currently pursuing his Bachelors in computer science at SUNY Potsdam. He’s an accomplished athlete and has played basketball and football for the majority of his life. He also has secret passions for reading and baking. “I look forward to meeting my campers and making summer 18’ one to remember!”
Cafe Zeke Team
Stefania was born and raised in Budapest in Hungary. She studied tourism in a bilingual high school and then continued her studies in catering and tourism at the Business School of Budapest. “I was a member of a dance group for ten years where I learned different styles of dance like modern, ballet, hip-hop, and theater dance. I also enjoy playing volleyball!”
For the past three years, Stefania has been working on a sightseeing cruise, and she loves meeting new guests and helping them while learning about their cultures. “I have traveled a lot in Europe, and I’m so excited to come to visit the US. This will be my first summer at Camp Zeke, and I’m looking forward to being a part of this fantastic summer!”
Cafe Zeke Team
Geena is currently studying Mechatronics Systems at VSB Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic. She loves all outdoor activities, and she ran the 400m and 800m on the track team in both high school and college. She also enjoys playing basketball and badminton. “I’m a bubbly, optimistic person and always ready for something new and fun. I’m really excited about camp and looking forward to a great summer!”
Shayna is excited to be returning to Camp Zeke for her fifth summer! She recently graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and a concentration in Management and Leadership. “I’m eager to use these skills in my new role at camp. As a member of the Camp Zeke family since the beginning, I have worn many hats: counselor, lifeguard, Zumba instructor, volleyball coach, captain of sequential winning color wars teams, supportive friend, and co-worker.”
With her contagious enthusiasm, Shayna loves working with kids and inspiring a healthy and active lifestyle. Her passions are endless, ranging from sports, performing and visual arts, to simply sitting and having a good conversation. Her favorite motto is “kindness is a choice we can make.”
Dani was born and raised in fabulous Livingston, New Jersey. She recently graduated from Boston University, Summa Cum Laude, where she studied Psychology and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. This upcoming fall, she will start a doctorate (PsyD) degree at Kean University in Combined School/Clinical Child Psychology. She received specialized training in collaborative treatment methods, child anxiety disorders and selective mutism as a research assistant at The Child Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. In her spare time, Dani loves to sing, volunteer and go running. Throughout undergrad, Dani was extremely involved in Jewish life, worked as a BU admissions tour guide and was in an a capella group. Her love of working with kids inspires her future career goal of becoming a child psychologist working with children with chronic illnesses. Dani is thrilled to be a part of the Camp Zeke team!
Director of Facilities
Our director of facilities, George, is a highly-regarded and essential member of the Camp Zeke family. George oversees the meticulous care of camp, manages our facilities team, plans and implements floor-to-ceiling building renovations, and serves as the liaison and first point of contact for architects, the local township, building inspectors, contractors, permitting agents, and countless others.
George’s longstanding connection to camp began when his father built many of the buildings that our campers now enjoy. Following in those footsteps, George recently completed the construction of our fitness complex, one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings at camp. Under George’s direction, our facilities team renovated almost the entire site before our inaugural summer, and continues to update and create new bunks as our enrollment continue to skyrocket!
Beyond the many skills that George brings to his craft, he is a kind and caring person who is universally admired by those who have the pleasure to work with him. Affectionately called “Mr. Fix It” by his team, George’s impeccable work ethic, care, and dedication are reflected in every inch of camp.
Spotlight on the Board of Directors
DR. SARA STAVE
Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board
Sara Stave, Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board, has a BA in Psychology & Elementary Education from Connecticut College and a PsyD in School/ Clinical Child Psychology from Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf School. She lives in Westchester, New York with her husband and Co-Chair, Channing, and their two children.
She works as a School Psychologist in Westchester. In addition, she conducts pre-school and elementary school evaluations to help children with special needs access services.
Her son, Stratton, who is twelve years old, will be happy to share with you that he was the very first camper signed up for Camp Zeke, and will attend this year for his (and the camp’s) third summer. Her daughter, Sabrina, who is six years old, is anxiously counting down the days until she can attend Zeke as a camper.
She loves doing hundreds of activities – often simultaneously – including skiing, cooking, photography, fostering abandoned kittens, and arts and crafts projects.
DR. CHANNING STAVE
Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board
Channing Stave, Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board, has a BA in Psychology from Columbia University and a PhD in Organizational Psychology from New York University. He lives in Westchester, New York with his wife and Co-Chair, Sara, and their two children.
He is a founder and Chief Operating Officer of Disuptyx, LLC, a marketing and market research firm that specializes in heuristics based messaging in Scarsdale, New York. Previously, he led Market Research and Analytics functions at IBM, Pfizer, and Medco. He is also Secretary for the Board of Solving Kids Cancer.
His son, Stratton, who is twelve years old, will be happy to share with you that he was the very first camper signed up for Camp Zeke, and will attend this year for his (and the camp’s) third summer. His daughter, Sabrina, who is six years old, is anxiously counting down the days until she can attend Zeke as a camper.
He spends his winters skiing and his springs coaching Stratton and Sabrina’s baseball teams. He also enjoys traveling and cooking.
David Samdperil joined the Camp Zeke family back when the camp was just an idea and the logo was a sketch on a napkin. He comes to us from Atlanta, Georgia by way of Rhode Island, where his love and understanding of the power of summer camp started at Camp JORI back in the mid ’80s.
Today, David is the founder and owner of Track Seven Events, LLC an award-winning event design firm based in Atlanta. The company produces world class galas up and down the east coast by transforming empty venues into amazing event experiences.
His client list includes fortune 500 companies, national sporting events, numerous weddings and mitzvahs, and celebrity events (we keep telling him to put the picture with Shaq as his Facebook profile). Track Seven also has strong partnerships with non-profit organizations like Susan G. Komen, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, FIDF, and of course, Camp Zeke. David and his team donate both planning expertise and assets to help make charity events spectacular and more profitable.
When he is not working at Track Seven and building Camp Zeke, you can find David playing golf, skiing in Vermont, boating, beaching and cooking after a long day of outdoor adventures.
Partners and Consultants
DR. ARLENE SPARK AND THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
Every one of Camp Zeke’s meals is analyzed under the supervision of Dr. Arlene Spark, EdD, RD, FADA, FACN, to make sure that campers get everything they need for action-packed days and an energized summer. Dr. Spark is the Chair of the City University of New York’s Nutrition Program for the Doctorate in Public Health degree. For the past 35 years, she has taught on all levels from pre-school through graduate medical education, and has worked in clinical pediatric nutrition and food policy. Dr. Spark is a registered dietitian (RD) who was in the first cohort of RDs to become board certified as a specialist in pediatric nutrition. Always a pioneer, Dr. Spark was the first adviser to Camp Zeke!
Dr. Spark and her team of students work with Camp Zeke and our chefs year-round to bring the freshest and healthiest ingredients into our kitchen, and the most scrumptious meals into our campers’ bellies. They also advised on the full renovation of our teaching kitchen, where campers will learn to prepare dishes, as well as our production kitchen, where our team of chefs cook for Camp Zeke.
Dr. Spark is the author of Nutrition in Public Health: Principles, Policies, and Practice.
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