Meet the Staff

February 23rd, 2018

Emily Schnitzer, Camp Kee Tov Director

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 23

Emily was welcomed into the Camp Kee Tov kehilla kedosha (sacred community) in 1996 as a bright-eyed and curious Giborimer. She remembers vividly her first day at camp with her counselor, also named Emily, who made her feel welcomed and energized with creativity and spirit. Little did she know that this ruach (spirit) would stay with her for the next 20+ years and shape the person she would grow to be. She can boast that her closest friends are those she made at camp. Heck! Even her husband started out as one of her camp friends!  

Her excitement when talking about song sessions is palpable, her joy planning All Camp Shabbat overflowing and her ruach when talking about this amazing kehilla kedosha (sacred community) cannot be matched. Emily lives and breathes Camp Kee Tov and works hard to ensure each member of this community- camper, parent, staff and alum- is proud to represent it’s magic.

After 7 years as a camper and 15 on staff, including two years as the Giborim Program Director, four years in the office as the Administrator and Associate Director and two as Camp Director, she is ecstatic to return for her third summer leading the most creative, energetic and caring staff in the Bay Area!

She can’t wait for the summer to begin! If you’re looking for a place to spend your summers engulfed in creativity, camaraderie, ruach 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: 24

Allie self-identifies as a Kee Tov connoisseur- she truly is an expert judge in matters of all things Kee Tov. Her camp career began in Rishonim in 1994 (most of the current staff weren’t even alive!) and 24 years later (WHOA!), she couldn’t be more excited to continue for the third year as the Camp Kee Tov Administrator. Before Allie shifted into her office role as the Kee Tov Administrator, she was a Program Director for 4 years and worked for Congregation Beth El’s Youth and Family Education programs.

Allie experienced many of her “firsts” at Camp Kee Tov- some would call them her shehecheyanu moments. Some of her favorite “firsts” include going to the top of the Campanile for the first time, jumping off the diving board for first time and river rafting for the first time!

Allie prides herself in formatting and mail merging documents. Not only does she deeply care about every spreadsheet and registration form, but Allie prioritizes making a connection with every single camper to ensure they have the same amazing summer she had in the ‘90s.

Allie is a BIG fan of the number 18 (which numerically symbolizes life in Hebrew) and can’t wait to bring all her chai (life) and ruach (spirit) to Summer 2018! When she isn’t running reports and sending emails, Allie is spending time with family and friends and dancing at her new favorite studio, Hipline!

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

 

Sophia Share, Rishonim Program Director (Kindergarten)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 16

Sophia’s introduction to camp began in Rishonim- singing with Eric, screaming on bus rides and swimming her heart out. After spending the last six summers working in the mighty Habonim, Sophia is so excited to work in a new program and is more than delighted to welcome the Rishonimers into their first year at camp! A summer without Kee Tov is unimaginable and after never missing a single session of camp as a camper, she cannot wait to give the first taste of this amazing place for our littlest kids.

During the offseason, Sophia has been busy at the University of Puget Sound with choreographing for her school’s dance show, joining a sorority and preparing to study abroad in Tokyo. She is excited to experience a whole new culture and yummy food! For now, she cannot wait to be introduced to new friends, program the most creative theme days and show Camp Kee Tov that Rishonim may be little and small but they’ve got the most ruach of all!

 

 

Sasha Price, Habonim Program Director (1st and 2nd grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 18

At the rose-cheeked age of five, Sasha joined the Kee Tov family to discover a place where she could yell, sing and laugh as loud as she wanted; she decided to never leave. It’s not a true summer for Sasha without the smell of sunscreen, Tall Tall Trees, kumzits, and song sessions that never end (please!).

In Sasha’s 18th summer at camp and 2nd year as the Habonim Program Director, she hopes to continue in her tireless effort to “Keep Calm, and Build On” (By “calm” she means “loud and organized chaos” and by “build” she means marshmallow structures, cheers for the ruach exposé, lyrics to Humpty Dumpty, and hugs… lots of hugs). After spending a couple of years with older campers, last year Sasha triumphantly returned back to the fun loving, and boundlessly energetic program of Habonim and can’t wait to do it again for more…MORE FUN!

On her breaks from dreaming of oobleck covered hands, Mississippi games at Gillespie, and cuddles with friends in dew covered sleeping bags, Sasha lives the life of a UC Santa Cruz Literature student. Besides reading for class, you can find her playing guitar, doing yoga or making espresso shots for local coffee drinkers. This summer Sasha hopes to finally get the 51-year-old question answered: Have you ever seen a program that’s been greater?

 

Zoë Steckler, Giborim Program Director (3rd and 4th grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 13

Zoë’s life changed for the better when she joined the CKT community 13 years ago and first belted the words “the G is for greatness!” Since joining Kee Tov as a young Giborimer, Gib has always had a special place in Zoë’s heart. It was there that she formed some of her favorite Kee Tov memories, including perfecting the tie dye spiral, communicating with extraterrestrials in Tilden Park, and adding new cheers to the Giborim ruach repertoire.

Zoë has five summers as a counselor in Gib under her belt. After dipping her toe into Chalutzim for a session, the stars have realigned and Zoë is thrilled to be back in Giborim as Program Director. She can’t wait to return to what she loves most: creative chugim, campfire song sessions in the Wildcat shed, and epic original theme days.

During the Kee Tov off-season, Zoë attends Tufts University and studies Child Study and Human Development. She is currently spending the semester jaunting around Copenhagen where she is working in a middle school, consuming far too many pastries, and struggling to pronounce Danish words.

The countdown to camp has already begun, and Zoë could not be more excited to make this the most ruach-filled summer that Kee Tov has ever seen.

 

Beckett Sheeder, Mapilim Program Director (5th and 6th grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 17

It was widely believed that when Beckett walked off into the sunset on Family Night back in 2016 it was the last we would see of him. But oh were we wrong… the fuzzy milk, Eric Schoen song sessions and the chance to spend just one more summer with all his amazing friends was just too much for him to bear. He packed up his car with all his earthly possessions, said goodbye to Louisiana, and sped back to Berkeley as fast as legally allowed (80mph on the highway in Texas…). 

Beckett is no stranger to CKT, having been introduced to the ruach as a little Habonimer back in 1998. He loved camp as a camper but found his true calling in 2007 when he joined the greatest group of camp counselors this universe has ever seen. In his ten years on staff, including four years as a Program Director, Beckett has had the opportunity to work in Rishonim, Habonim, and Gesher and cannot be more excited to add the illustrious Mapilim to that list this summer.

So goodbye Baton Rouge, (kosher) gumbo and Mike the Tiger and hello Hawk Ridge, fruit Thursdays and returning Mapilim to the ruach competition winner’s circle. Summer is right around the corner and as we always say in Mapilim, “Laissez les bon temps rouler”… “Let the good times roll”!  

 

Nora Sheeder, Chalutzim Program Director (7th and 8th grades)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 13

Throughout history there have been many dynasties that have shared their wealth of knowledge for the greater good. The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty in India, the Kennedy dynasty in American politics, and the Sheeder dynasty at Camp Kee Tov are some of the most memorable. Nora, who looks forward to working on the Program Director team this summer with her brother Beckett for the first time, comes into her second summer as a PD ready to employ some of the many teachings she has absorbed in making this summer in Chalutzim the best yet!

Nora began her CKT career way back in 2002 as a wee Habonimer and instantly fell in love with all things ruach. While she took a couple of years off after ending her time as a camper to find her way onto the Kee Tov staff, Nora has made up for lost time first working as a Senior Counselor in Chalutzim in 2015 and this past summer as the Rishonim Program Director.  This summer, Nora cannot wait to bring the falafel making skills she mastered while in Israel over winter break back to the Tov. She is looking forward to hanging out with her friends, old and new, along with creating fun and exciting games that will live on at Kee Tov for generations to come.

This spring, Nora will graduate from Dickinson College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology. The cold and dark Pennsylvania winters have left her longing for the sweater weather of the Bay Area and luckily enough she has been accepted into her first choice graduate program to study Business Analytics at St. Mary’s College in the fall (call her for babysitting jobs!). She is so excited to finally move back to foggy California and spend another summer at the “Happiest Place on Earth™” (Kee Tov not Disneyland).

 

Tom Miller, Gesher Program Director (9th grade)

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 8

Tom’s Kee Tov career began as an impressionable high school sophomore working in Mapilim in 2010 and he never looked back. Nine consecutive summers later he is ready to reprise his tenure as Gesher PD for the second time: to shape, guide and adventure with the soon-to-be high-schoolers.

During the year, he wears a slightly different hat as a dedicated classroom aide with a lively bunch of Kindergarteners at Tehiyah Day School (look out Habonim!). He’s sure to use skills he’s developed in conflict resolution and classroom management to make sure that the Gesher campers share and play nice.

Tom is thrilled to return as Gesh PD for another incomparable summer at the Tov.

 

Olivia Levine-Gorelick, Chaverim Program Director (Before and After Camp Program):

Years at Camp Kee Tov: 17 

Olivia began her CKT career in Rishonim and has returned every year since! As a double session-er, Olivia’s summers have been filled with fuzzy milk, capture the flag, and RUACH for as long as she can remember. After spending five summers in Rishonim, she is excited to see camp from a new lens, with mixed age programming, gaga games galore and an art room bursting with creativity and fun play. 

This will be Olivia’s seventh summer on staff and 17th summer at camp. Starting as a CIT in Rishonim and becoming the Program Director in 2016, she is thrilled to continue her leadership at camp in Chaverim. She is anticipating the most creative programming of all time and creating a ruach-filled space that will send kids home wanting more. 

When Olivia is not making friendship pins and pouring fuzzy milk, she attends UC Santa Cruz studying Anthropology and Education. When she is not in the classroom, you can find her watercoloring at the beach, drinking tea and riding horses in Santa Cruz.