Service Corps Fellow Bios 2013-14

Stefanie Abbot
Temple Judea Manhasset, NY
Eisner Camp
Stefanie Abbott is a sophomore at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island. She is studying psychology with a pre-med track. She is actively involved in the schools pre-medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon and is a part of the school’s Hillel. In her free time, she is a rock climber and is involved with the On Belay Climbing club at her school. Over the summer, Stefanie works at URJ Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts as a facilitator for the Adventure program leading team building and rock climbing activities. She has also been a counselor for the units Ofarim through Tzofim (7th-9th grade). Stefanie is looking forward to working with Temple Judea of Manhasset throughout the year to help strengthen the camp community that is already present and share the wonderful things that the URJ camps offer. She is also excited to run camp style programs to encourage different styles of learning.

Samantha Berezowsky
Temple Sinai (Far West) Houston, TX
Greene Family Camp
Samantha Berezowsky was born in Houston, Texas and grew up in a suburb called Sugar Land. She went to Greene Family Camp as a camper for 4 years and then the NFTY Israel trip. She has been on staff for 4 years at Greene and can’t think of anywhere else she would rather be. Her first 3 years were as a counselor, and this past summer she was the Marketing and Development Assistant. Samantha is excited to be a part of the first ever URJ Service Corps Fellowship because she loves Jewish camping and everything is stands for. She goes to school throughout the year and will be graduating this December. She can't wait to see what the rest of this year holds.

Brandon Binder
Congregation Shomrei Torah Santa Rosa, CA

Camp Newman
Brandon a senior at Sonoma State University and is studying Music Education. He has been on staff at URJ Camp Newman for the past two summers, most recently being the Head Boy’s Counselor. Outside of camp, he can be found learning new instruments, hiking with friends, and watching a San Francisco Giants' baseball game. He is looking forward to making year round connections with campers and their families in addition to sharing his love of Jewish camping in a synagogue setting.


Micah Brandhandler
Lakeside Congregation Highland Park, IL
OSRUI
Micah recently graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he studied Music Education with an emphasis on choral music. Currently he is student teaching in Highland Park Illinois at both the middle school and high school levels. For the past 6 summers Micah has worked at OSRUI, specifically in the unit Chalutzim which is the Hebrew immersion unit. In Chalutzim high school students spend 7 weeks studying and learning about Hebrew and Israel while the counselors only speak to them in Hebrew. Chalutzim was the best summer he had as a camper and loves that he is able to keep these kids interested in Israel and OSRUI for years to come.

Caitlin Brazner
Temple Micah Washington, DC
Camp Harlam
In addition to Caitlin’s work with Temple Micah a part of Service Corps, she also works full time there as the Machon Micah Teen Fellow. She oversees the 8th-12th grade programs, provides administrative support for the educational program, teaches the 5th-7th grades, and tutors the younger students in Hebrew. This past summer she had an amazing time working at URJ Camp Harlam as the Jewish Life Supervisor. Caitlin is looking forward to bringing the ruach of Camp Harlam to Temple Micah this year as part of her Service Corps work.

Brandon Brown
Congregation Rodef Sholom San Rafael, CA

Camp Newman
Brandon Brown is the full time youth group director at Congregation Rodef Sholom, in addition to his work there at the Service Corps Fellow. He is the high school and middle school youth group director and teaches 3 classes. Brandon has worked at URJ Camp Newman for 5 summers. He has been a counselor for two summers, and CIT Advisor for one year, and the last two years he has been the Program Director. Brandon loves anything sports, playing, watching, coaching, or learning. His favorite sports include baseball, basketball, football, frisbee and skiing. He also enjoys playing board games, card games and loves working on tough puzzles on cloudy, rainy nights. Cooking and running are borderline hobbies. Brandon says, "it all depends on the day!" Brandon is most excited about partnering up with the camp he grew up at and loves so much. He loves seeing kids of all ages go to camp and have the time of their life. Brandon hopes that becoming a fellow and working with Camp Newman will raise the awareness of Camp Newman to as many families of Rodef Sholom as possible.

Megan Brumer
Temple Beth Am Seattle, WA

Camp Kalsman
Megan Brumer is a sophomore at the University of Washington looking to major in computer science and minor in marine biology. She’s been to Jewish summer camp each summer since 3rd grade including many summers at URJ Camp Kalsman and a summer at URJ Kutz Camp in the songleading track. All throughout high school she was extremely involved with NFTY-NW and BTY, her temple youth group, and in college she is currently involved in Hillel, the Jewish student union on campus as the Jewish Life Programming Coordinator. She loves to songlead and was a camp songleader for the past two summers at URJ Camp Kalsman. She is extremely excited to be part of the URJ Camp Service Corps Fellows strengthening the bond between URJ Camp Kalsman and Temple Beth Am.

Jillian Cogan
Adath Emanu-El Mt Laurel, NJ

Camp Harlam
In addition to her work with Service Corps, Jillian is the music educator and songleader at Adath Emanu-El and also the pre-school music teacher at the Katz JCC in Cherry Hill. She graduated from Indiana University in 2011, where she double-majored in Jewish Studies and Folklore-Ethnomusicology. Jill has spent the last 15 summers at URJ Camp Harlam, where she has worked as a cabin counselor, music supervisor, and most recently worked with the youngest campers as the Carmel unit head. Jill is proud to be a URJ Camps Service Corps Fellow, and is most excited to bring the feeling of the camp community to Adath Emanu-El and get more kids to camp!

Jillian Comer
Temple Sinai Washington DC

Camp Harlam
Jillian is currently a senior at the University of Maryland where she is pursuing an accounting major. Upon graduation, she will be working in the AERS Business Risk consulting department at Deloitte’s Rosslyn, VA office starting in September. She been attending Camp Harlam since the summer of 2007 and have worked with a variety of age groups ever since becoming a staff member in 2010. This past summer she had the pleasure of working with the oldest kids at camp (15 year olds) as the Chavurah Assistant. The passion they showed for camp each day reminded her of why she continues to come back on staff year after year. Jillian is very excited to work as a Service Corps fellow at Temple Sinai and bring fun camp programming to the synagogue in order to get the next generation of campers hooked on Camp Harlam.

Benjamin Goldberg
Temple Beth Israel Skokie Illinois
OSRUI
Ben Goldberg graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012 with a double major in Psychology and English Literature. This will be his fourteenth summer at OSRUI and his eighth summer on staff. Ben has served the URJ in a variety of positions and capacities, including a counseling internship as one of the Inclusion Coordinators. Ben is currently working in Winnetka Public Schools district 36 in their special education department where he tutors students with special needs one on one or in small groups. In addition to his full-time position, Ben enjoys his part time jobs as Temple Beth Israel youth group program director, Junior youth group program director, and 8th and 9th grade Sunday school teacher. Ben is overjoyed to be a member of the URJ camp service corp, and is especially grateful for the opportunity to spread camp culture and positivity throughout his congregation. He looks forward to meeting his fellow fellows in January.

Sarah Beth Gordon
Temple Israel Tulsa, OK

Greene Family Camp
Sarah Beth lives in Tulsa Oklahoma and is a member of Temple Israel. She has worked at the child development center located in her Temple since the summer of 2007 where she has worked with children from the ages of 6 weeks to 5 years. She has also taught at her Temple's religious school for 5 years. During the summers, Sarah Beth spends her time at the URJ Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas. Over the last 4 summers she has been a general counselor, a challenge course specialist, participated in the Cornerstone Fellowship, and been the assistant challenge course director. Sarah Beth cherishes the time she spends with her Jewish family and is looking forward to sharing her passion with the world.

Sarah Gurvis
Temple Shir Tikva Wayland, MA

Eisner Camp
Sarah lives in Norwood, MA, and has a few different jobs – she teachers Hebrew School at Temple Shalom in Newton, works at Quebrada Baking Co in Wellesley, and nannys for 4 wonderful girls. Sarah spent the last 14 summers at Eisner Camp as a camper, counselor, and unit head. Her summers at Eisner were amazing, and completely life changing, and Sarah feels she learned who she is, and who she wants to be as an adult and as a Jew from experiences at camp. Being a unit head for the past 3 summers, she had the opportunity to work with hundreds of campers and staff, and tried to help them have the same meaningful experience she had. Sarah’s goal for this year is to continue that work outside of camp, to ensure that the camp mission and experience can carry throughout the year for campers. Sarah very much looks forward to spending time at Shir Tikva with current, and future campers, working together to bring camp out of the summer, and into our lives all year long.

Kara Hoffman
Tree of Life Congregation Columbia, SC

Camp Coleman
Kara is a Sophomore at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. She attended URJ Camp Coleman for 8 summers as well as participating in NFTY in Israel. She is a NFTY-SAR alum and served as the Social Action Vice President during the 2011-2012 school year. She is currently studying Sport and Entertainment Management with hopes of becoming a camp director in the future. At USC she is involved with Hillel, Phi Mu Fraternity, and Dace marathon, as well as working for Outdoor Recreation.

Rebekah Houpt
Temple Anshe Sholom Hamilton, ON, Canada

Camp George
Rebekah has spent the last two summers working at Camp George, first as a Drama Specialist, and then as Head of Drama. Her favourite part of her job was watching each cabin bond while doing improvisation games. Rebekah is a second year Arts and Science student at McMaster University, and teaches religious school music at Temple Anshe Sholom on the side. She is very excited about her Camps Service Corps position, and is most excited for her Camp George-style service, which will take advantage of local Camp George song-leaders, staff, campers, and everything that makes a Camp George service special! Rebekah is also looking forward to her monthly specialty area programs, and using them as a way to really get to know her Hamilton campers. Here’s to the year to come!

Josh Kleymeyer
Isaac M. Wise Temple Cincinnati, Ohio

GUCI
Josh Kleymeyer lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and has been playing sports all his life. This love for sports inspired him to take his position this past summer at Goldman Union Camp Institute. Josh redesigned the sports program to better facilitate teaching values such as sportsmanship, honesty and importance of exercise to campers through competition in sports. This was his fifth summer working for Goldman Union Camp. Being a Service Corps. Fellow, he is most excited about being able to reach out to new families to show them how great of a camp Goldman Union Camp is and how much of an impact it has on campers lives.

Marnie Lang
Temple David Monroeville, PA

Camp Harlam
Marnie Lang is a Junior at the University of Pittsburgh. She is majoring in Applied Developmental Psychology with a minor in Studio Arts. Marnie has been working at Camp Harlam for the past two years as the digital photography specialty counselor as well as a Cornerstone Fellow this past summer. This year at school she is working as the 9th grade teacher at Temple David in Monroeville, PA where she is also the Service Corps Fellow. Marnie is also busy with an internship through where she is doing research about the Flight 93 memorial and its effects on children who live nearby for which she will be presenting at a STAR Poster Conference in May. Marnie is most excited to get to translate her art skills into her job as a Service Corps Fellow and to be a part of this amazing opportunity!

Jacob Levine
Temple Beth Emeth Ann Arbor, MI

Kutz
Jacob Levine is a freshman at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, studying education and Judaic studies. This year he is working with OSRUI and Kutz Camp, in partnership with Temple Beth Emeth in Ann Arbor. He was very involved with NFTY in high school and has spent the past three summers at Kutz, first as a participant and then as staff, to which he can’t wait to return! Outside of camp, he is a lover of all things social media and Diet Coke.

Sarah Levkoff
Temple Israel New York City
Crane Lake Camp
Sarah Levkoff is the Service Corps Fellow for Temple Israel in New York City, where she is advocating especially for Eisner and Crane Lake Camps. Sarah recently spent her first summer at Crane Lake, where she was a Unit Head for the youngest age group. Sarah is most looking forward to making connections with Jewish families in and around New York, sharing her wonderful camp experiences, and designing programs at Temple Israel to excite prospective campers. Sarah graduated from NYU in 2012 with a B.S. in Educational Theatre, and she now teaches Pre-Kindergarten.

Michael Levy
Rockdale Temple Cincinnati, OH

GUCI
Michael Levy is a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati. He is majoring in accounting and is a brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi, the Jewish Fraternity. He grew up in Cincinnati and is a member of Wise Temple. He is also a long time camper at Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI). He was a camper for six years, from second year Shoresh through second year in Anaf.(5th-10th grade). He has been on staff the past two summers, as a counselor and this past summer as the Security Director and part of the maintenance team. He currently works at Cincinnati Hillel as an engagement intern. Michael’s goal is to get more Jewish students engaged in Jewish life on campus. He is very excited to be a part of the URJ Camp Service Corps Fellows and loves the idea of implementing camp into religious school as being the one to be able to help get more kids to go to camp that have never gone before.

Jennifer Luskey
Temple Beth Shalom Austin, Texas

Greene Family Camp
Jennifer Luskey, from Midland, Texas, is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a degree in public relations with a business foundations certificate. Luskey is an intern for JHL Company, an active member in Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority and a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta/Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society. Luskey has dedicated many summers of her life to Greene Family Camp. Being a camper for ten years, and a counselor for the last three years has helped her earn fellowships and take leadership roles among the campers and staff members. Most recently, Luskey was a unit supervisor where she oversaw fifty staff members and over two hundred and fifty campers all summer. She is excited to be working with Temple Beth Shalom in Austin Texas to mentor students and raise the number of children who attend camps through the Service Corps program. Reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family are Luskey’s favorite activities. In May 2014 Luskey will graduate and hopes to find a job where she can include all of her passions and help inspire others.

Alec Lybik
Temple Shir Shalom West Bloomfield, Michigan
GUCI
Alec is a student at the University of Michigan where he is studying economics, but is originally from the Indianapolis area. He has spent the last 13 summers at GUCI, with the past 2 on staff as a counselor working with all of the age groups. He spent 2 years on the NFTY-Ohio Valley Regional board as treasurer and Social Action Vice President. Alec is really excited to be working in West Bloomfield, and working again with the URJ for a cause that has meant so much to him.

Nicole Mackey
Temple Israel Memphis, TN
Jacobs Camp
Nicole Mackey goes to school at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN and is an Environmental Science major. She spends her time at school volunteering for different organizations including coordinating service trips to rebuild homes over her fall and spring break. She also is starting to work at local hospitals in Memphis because she wants to go to medical school after college. She has been going to Henry S. Jacobs Camp for 13 years. She has been on staff for four years and this past summer she was a counselor for the oldest kids. There, she helped to plan programs to help them think about who they are and their life values. She is most looking forward to continuing her work with Jewish camps even over the school year and getting to know some of the youth in the congregation in Memphis.

Alex Rosenbaum
Congregation Ahavath Chesed Jacksonville, FL

Camp Coleman
Alex Rosenbaum is a senior at the University of Central Florida studying Elementary Education. She is a full time, second grade, student teacher at East Lake Elementary School. She is looking to further her education through graduate school studying Multicultural Education and Sociocultural Development. Over the past year she has worked as the Youth Director at Congregation of Reform Judaism and has once again become an active member of the National Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY). She began going to URJ Camp Coleman in 2001 and has continued to cherish each summer thereafter, for a total of thirteen summers. She is an alumni of the Coleman Machon (staff in training) Program, as well as the URJ Olim and Cornerstone fellowships. She has dedicated her four years on staff as a Counselor and Programmer, and looks forward to this upcoming summer.

Julia Solomon
Temple Emanu-El Birmingham, AL
Jacobs Camp
Julia started going to Henry S. Jacobs Camp the summer of 2003. She has been a camper there for 9 summers and had her first year as a counselor this year. Julia is currently a Pre-Nursing student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and living in Birmingham. She is very excited to help families send their children for an amazing summer at Jacobs Camp. She loves being an ambassador for Henry S. Jacobs camp and having such a strong support system from the Jewish community in Birmingham, AL.

Beryl Trauth-Jurman
Norther Virginia Hebrew Congregation, VA

Camp Harlam
Beryl is a graduate student at George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia and is the youth activities coordinator at Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation. He has spent the past seven summers working at URJ Camp Harlam as a counselor, Jewish life supervisor, and unit head. He is really excited to have the opportunity to bring camp to his synagogue through Service Corps.

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