Meet the Staff

June 2nd, 2014

Zach Landres-Schnur, Director
Total Kee Tov summers: 25

Zach has been part of the Camp Kee Tov family for 25 years. He began his “career” as a Habonim camper in 1989 and hasn’t left since! Ten years in the field, 58 nights under the stars on overnights and countless song sessions later, Zach enters his fifth year as Director and is eager to make this the best summer yet!

Kee Tov is in Zach’s blood. Over 10 family members (siblings, parents, cousins, uncles and aunts) have all been CKT staff members. Some have called the Schnur family the Kennedys of Kee Tov. (No one’s actually said that.)

Prior to working at Kee Tov full time, Zach was a sportswriter at a major newspaper and has worked at numerous schools. An avid sports fan, he roots passionately for the San Francisco Giants, 49ers and Washington Huskies (his alma mater). He likes the idea of frequent parades down Market Street.

Zach takes pride in his fuzzy milk pouring, loves the game Mississippi (even in an empty field!) and tries to learn nearly 1,000 camper’s names each summer. (He gets close!)

He eats, breathes and dreams Kee Tov. If you want fun, family and ruach, you’ve come to the right spot. There is no better place on Earth than here! Welcome to Camp Kee Tov!

Contact him anytime at zach@bethelberkeley.org or at 510-848-2372.

Emily Schnitzer, AdministratorEmily
Total Kee Tov summers: 19

Emily could not be more excited to be back at Camp Kee Tov for her third summer as Administrator! After joining the Camp Kee Tov family as an eight-year-old Giborimer in 1996, she hasn’t been able to find anywhere else with more ruach, creativity and, of course, Goldfish!

She completed her tenure as a camper in Gesher 2002 and embarked on the wonderful journey of staff member! After working nine years in Rishonim, Giborim, Mapilim and Chalutzim, culminating with two years as the Giborim Program Director, she settled in to her current role in the office in 2012.

After two years as Administrator, she could not be happier! This will be her 12th year on staff, 38th Family Night, and millionth song session with the legendary Eric Schoen. While a Master’s in Education and teaching credential keeps calling her name, she can’t bring herself to leave the most magical place on Earth.

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

Jamie Costello, Supply and Training SpecialistJamie
Total Kee Tov summers: 17

Jamie Costello spent the first 14 years of his life in Berkeley. Well, actually, El Cerrito. But close enough. Only after he started working at Camp Kee Tov in the bygone era known as the “Nineteen Nineties” did his life come fully to fruition.

After 12 years in the field, Jamie joined the administrative staff of Camp Kee Tov in 2010. Jamie has previously worked as a counselor in Chaverim, Rishonim, Mapilim, and Chalutzim; he was the Program Director of Mapilim and Chaverim. Fun fact: he counts nearly every 2014 PD as a former camper!

Now working behind the scenes he wears many hats, but is primarily in charge of organizing, ordering, purchasing and delivering the food and supplies that make our programming come to life. He also plays a major role in training and mentoring the staff.

When he’s not dreaming of googly eyes, Cheerios and ordering blocks of candle wax in bulk, Jamie works as a speech and language specialist in the Albany Unified School District. He holds a B.S. in Education from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in Speech and Language Pathology from the University of Washington. In 2013 he married a — you guessed it! — former Kee Tov camper and staff member!

Maia Kurland, Chaverim Program Director Maia
Total Kee Tov summers: 17

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 17th straight as part of the Kee Tov family.

This is her eighth year on staff, and she has worked in more programs than any other current staff member, including previously as a Habonim Rosh. Having spent her afternoons in Chaverim every year while she was still a camper, Maia has always had a special place in her heart for that program and is thrilled to return to Chaverim as the Program Director.

When not working on her gaga skills, Maia is a student at UC Santa Barbara where she will graduate this winter with a degree in Psychology. She spends her free time practicing her Hebrew and watching reality TV (no judgment allowed.) Next fall she hopes to head to New York before applying to grad school to pursue occupational therapy. But until then can’t wait to make Chaverim the best program at camp!

Naomie Nankin-Royer, Rishonim Program DirectorNaomie
Total Kee Tov summers: 15

Naomie started camp in 1997 as a six-year-old Habonimer and has been hooked ever since, spending seven amazing summers as a camper! In 2007 she returned to camp as a counselor and has been on staff for the past seven summers, making friendship bracelets and slathering on sunscreen like a pro!

She has worked in Habonim, Giborim and Rishonim, and is excited to return for a second year as Rish Program Director this year!

Naomie graduated from UC Berkeley last May with a BA in English Lit and hopes to return to school for a Masters of Education and a teaching credential sometime in the next two years. For now she has been enjoying some time off from school, working as a nanny to several awesome Kee Tov families, studying for the GREs and snuggling with her adorable cat.

She can’t wait for another summer filled with ruach, imagination and Kee Tov magic!

Beckett Sheeder, Habonim Program DirectorBeckett
Total Kee Tov summers: 14

Whether he is on shores of the Pacific, in the hill country of Texas or exploring the cities of Europe, Beckett Sheeder is always dreaming about summers spent at Camp Kee Tov. This year is his eighth on staff and second straight as the Habonim program director. He is confident that this summer Habonim will enjoy a level of ruach never experienced before.

Beckett took the year off from school this year to do three things: work at Oakland’s Grand Bakery, backpack through Europe and perfect the world’s greatest fuzzy-milk pour. Next fall he will return to college to finish his Political Science degree at LSU (with a minor in college football and Louisiana gumbo.) Until then he can’t wait to spend another summer as a builder in Habonim!

Allie Liepman, Giborim Program DirectorAllie
Total Kee Tov summers: 21

When Allie Liepman first joined the Camp Kee Tov family things were very different: Kodak was America’s most admired company, Jim Harbaugh was the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts and Barack Obama had recently graduated law school. While the world has changed a lot over the last 21 years Allie’s undeniable love for camp has remained constant.

This is Allie’s 11th year on staff. She has been the Chaverim Program Director the past two years and before that was the Program Director of Mapilim. She is absolutely thrilled to be returning to Giborim, the program closest to her heart and where she worked her first six summers on staff. She has no doubt that “the heroes” of Camp Kee Tov will be having a summer to remember.

Even when Allie is not making friendship bracelets or planning Capture the Flag strategy during the summer, she still is dedicated to working with children. Allie graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 (go Ducks!) with a degree in Family and Human Services and hopes to pursue a career in social work or education.

Charlie Schnitzer, Mapilim Program DirectorCharlie
Total Kee Tov summers: 15

Charlie had his first taste of Kee Tov in 1998 as a tiny Habonimer and has been coming back for seconds, thirds, and now fifteenths every summer!

After a legendary Gesher camper year in 2006, Charlie proved himself to be a worthy advocate of Kee Tov knowledge and started working on his legacy as a Kee Tov Counselor in 2007.

He has worked in Habonim and Gesher but is beyond ecstatic to return to camp as the Program Director in Mapilim!

Charlie will graduate this spring from UC Santa Barbara with a BFA in Dance. He looks forward to showing off his dancing skills and adding some extra umph into the Map show!

Charlie can’t wait for a Kee Tov summer filled with new experiences, ruach, positivity and creativity!

Carly Thompson, Chalutzim Program DirectorCarly
Total Kee Tov summers: 18

Carly started going to Camp Kee Tov at the age of five and instantly fell in love. She believes no summer would be complete without foggy Bay Area summers, sitting in wet grass during kumzits as the sun starts to peek through the fog, the cow suit costume, goofy theme days, BWS (bathroom/water/sunscreen), name games, Capture the Flag, FUZZY MILK, singing with Eric, stripping down to your swimsuit to put on freezing cold sunscreen and then scrambling to get your clothes back on, King Park, structure time, snircle, All Camp Shabbat, Family Night and her favorite people to share all the memories with!

After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Political Science and French, Carly moved to Toulouse, France to teach English to high school students and go on frequent adventures. After her travels abroad, Carly will be returning to the Bay Area for her 18th summer at camp, energized and excited to work as the Program Director of Chalutzim!

Ethan Levy, Gesher Program Director Ethan
Total Kee Tov summers: 16

Ethan is still hooked on CKT 20 years after his first taste in Gib ’95. A former Beth El religious school teacher and Midrasha graduate, he holds the distinction of having worked in every program at camp.

Ethan comes crawling back to the Tov on a break from his graduate studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev. In September he will return to southern Israel to study groundwater flow with renewed Ruach!

Ethan is back for his second stint as a Program Director, third summer in Gesher and ninth on staff. You may hear him refer to the summer as “so fun it’s uncomfortable,” or “the best thing since shawarma,” or “the only job I will ever have.”