Meet the Staff

February 19th, 2016

Emily Schnitzer, Camp Kee Tov Director

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 21

Emily could not be more excited to begin this chapter of Camp Kee Tov as the Director! She joined the family in 1996 and after experiencing her first messy day, she never looked back. She spent the next 20 years completely enveloped in this welcoming and fun community. With 7 years as a camper, 7 years on staff, 2 years as the Giborim Program Director and 4 years in the office as the Administrator and Associate Director, she is ready to take the reigns and keep Kee Tov the place to be every summer!

Throughout those 20 years she made her closest friends playing bramble scramble at Sunset State Beach, making breakfast on Giborim overnights and cultivating the future leaders of camp at Staff Training. She loves the sense of community and pride that each camper and counselor shows around Kee Tov. When campers and counselors scream their cheers at the top of their lungs and know what song Eric Schoen is going to sing from his first chord strum- her heart melts.

She can’t wait for this summer to begin! If you’re looking for a place to spend your summers engulfed in creativity, camaraderie, ruach (spirit) and genuine fun- you’ve come to the right place!

Contact her anytime at emily@bethelberkeley.org or 510-848-2372.

 

Allie Liepman, Camp Kee Tov Administrator

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 22

 Allie calls herself a Kee Tov “Lifer.”  She lives and breathes camp. Her Kee Tov life began in Rishonim in 1994 and, 22 years later, she couldn’t be more excited to be in her new role as the Camp Kee Tov Administrator. Before Allie became the Kee Tov Administrator, she was a Program Director for 4 years and worked for Congregation Beth El’s Youth and Family Education programs.

If you ask Allie what her favorite camp memory is she won’t be able to tell you because there are too many to name! That said, some favorites are overnight talent shows, the Gesher Backpacking Trip and dancing in the Map Show.

Allie deeply cares about every registration form, friendship circle and most importantly, every Kee Tov camper! When she isn’t “clickity-clacking” on the office keyboard, she plays softball, quotes Save the Last Dance and spends time with friends and family.

Contact her anytime at campkeetov@bethelberkeley.org or 510-848-2372.

 

Maia Kurland, Rishonim Program Director (Kindergarten)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 18

As a pre-schooler, Maia watched her two older sisters head off to camp every morning and she dreamed of the day she would be able to join them. When she started camp a few years later as a young Habonimer, the level of ruach she experienced far exceeded her greatest expectations and she hasn’t left since. This summer will be Maia’s 18th summer as part of the Kee Tov Family!

This is Maia’s ninth year on staff and she has worked in more programs than any other current staff member. Maia is ready to go back to her roots and work in Rishonim, the first program she ever worked in!

When not working on her gaga skills, Maia is working on what all other twenty-something-year-olds are doing…figuring out her career path. She spends her free time practicing her Hebrew and watching reality TV (no judgment allowed). Next fall she hopes to continue gaining experience working with children, before applying to grad school to pursue child psychology. Until then, she can’t wait to make Rishnoim the best program at camp.

 

Beckett Sheeder, Habonim Program Director (1st and 2nd grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 16

Do you believe that sometimes things are just meant to be? Well don’t call it a comeback, but Beckett is returning to his homeland of Habonim in 2016. Beckett returns to Habonim after taking a year to see what the Gesher life is all about. He couldn’t be happier to be back!

Beckett has spent his time since last Family Night getting City Council Members elected in Houston and living the Podcast life up in Washington DC while working on an education proposal to fix all of Louisiana’s problems (ask him about it). Coming back for a tenth (and final?) summer, Beckett is confident that this will be the most amazing one yet!

Next fall, he will return to college to finish his Political Science degree at LSU (with a minor in college football) whilst continuing to work on his education proposal. Until then he can’t wait to spend the summer with all his new Habonim friends! Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Leave.

 

Alana Levine-Gorelick, Giborim Program Director (3rd and 4th grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 18

Alana began her career as a wee five year old enticed by the ruach that Kee Tov had to offer.  From the start Kee Tov was so engraved in Alana’s summer that her entire family grew up planning every summer family vacation for the break in between the two sessions.  She believes that her year is never complete without singing on the bus, playing capture the flag and tie dying a white (or dirt stained) t-shirt on an overnight.

This is Alana’s 7th year on staff, 5th year working in Giborim, and 18th summer being a part of the Kee Tov fun.  After taking a year off from the wild and craziness that is Giborim, Alana could not be more ecstatic to show the rest of camp just how much greatness Giborim has to offer.

When Alana is not dreaming of Camp Kee Tov, she is a student at the University of Puget Sound pursuing a degree in Business. When not in the classroom she can be found schmoozing with alumni or hanging out with the chocolate Labradors who walk through campus each day.

 

Rachel Kator, Mapilim Program Director (5th and 6th grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 18

Rachel began her Kee Tov career back in 1999 as a wee Rishonimer and never looked back. Whether she was getting sunburned, stealing the spotlight from E-Schoen or imitating her counselors’ performances of Kumsitz, Rachel knew she had found her home for the summer! By the time Gesher rolled around, she was positive she wanted to become a counselor at the camp where she had spent so many unforgettable summers.

Rachel spent her first three years as a counselor with the mighty Giborim (where her nickname ‘RayKay’ was coined), the next couple with Rishonim, adventured with crazy Chalutzimers for one and spent last year as the Program Director of Rishonim. She has always wanted to work in Mapilim and the time has finally come for her to lead the pack!

While she’s not spending her time living and breathing Camp Kee Tov, Rachel enjoys practicing her Spanish with anyone who will partake, playing soccer, making tortillas at Tacubaya and imitating the internet sensation, “Marcel the Shell.” She spent her first couple years of college at UC Santa Cruz and is currently taking classes at Berkeley City College. For now, she’s awaiting the arrival of a summer that’s bound to be filled with never-ending ruach.

 

Charlie Schnitzer, Chalutzim Program Director (7th and 8th grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 17

1998 was a huge year: Britney Spears came onto the scene, the Backstreet Boys ran the world and, most importantly, Kee Tov welcomed Charlie into the family. Since then, Charlie has returned to camp year after year, first as a camper, then as a counselor, and now for the third time as a Program Director. He is extremely excited to take on Chalutzim this summer and hopes to add to the legacy and charm of the program.

In the dull months in-between summers, Charlie began working as a School Assistant at the San Francisco Ballet School and joined a dance collective in Palo Alto. Additionally, Charlie has been stepping up his kitchen game, challenging himself to cook and bake new things weekly.

Charlie looks forward to a summer filled with the scent of sunscreen and the sound of laughter. He can’t wait for the summer to begin! In the words of the famous Eric Schoen: “Why can’t it be now? Why can’t it be today?”

 

Misha Yerlick, Gesher Program Director (9th grade)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 22

Misha has been at Camp Kee Tov so long he bleeds fuzzy milk and plans on naming his first two children “Ruach” and “Have you got that.” Misha, the son of an Israeli caterer and Beth El Hebrew School Teacher, grew up participating in every Jewish activity/camp one could think of, but nothing ever did it quite like The Tov.

In his eleven summers on staff, Misha has worked in four programs and this year will be continuing to put his Mechanical Engineering degree to good use by building some bridges as Gesher Program Director.

After taking last summer off (only his second Kee-Tov-Less summer in the last 22), he is bursting with ruach and ready to unleash an unforgettable summer.  In their last year as campers, Gesher will go out in style: cruising around the bay, backpacking in the Sierras and on countless other adventures.  He can’t wait to keep this summer so Gesh and so clean, clean.

 

Victoria Miller, Chaverim Program Director (Before and After Camp Program)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 10

After a brief hiatus spent working and studying in Washington DC last summer, Victoria couldn’t stay away from fuzzy milk and the Map Show for any longer. She is excited to return to camp for her 10th summer as the Program Director of Chaverim! Victoria worked in Chaverim as a CIT, and has also worked in Giborim and Mapilim. Transitioning from her latest role as the Arts and Crafts specialist in Mapilim in 2014, Victoria looks forward to showing the CKT community just how much creativity it takes to keep the ruach levels high before the camp day starts and when it ends. She cannot wait to work with campers of all ages and their families as one of the first and last shining faces they see each day!

When not making lanyards or playing Capture the Flag on the Beth El wood chips, Victoria also enjoys traveling, writing and going to concerts in her free time. After spending the last four years translating ruach to school spirit and ‘raising high’ from our nation’s capital, Victoria will finish her undergraduate degree in International Affairs at the George Washington University in May. She is looking forward to bringing the good vibes and fun memories from this summer with her when she moves to Australia in September.

Victoria cannot wait to finish up her college career and trade in her textbooks for the coveted Chaverim clipboard and fanny pack this summer as Program Director!