Camp YavnehCamp Yavneh
February 07, 2018

New Staff Updates

Author - Camp Yavneh

Dear Yavneh Community, 

Visiting camp last week, I observed a quiet and steady buzz of activity – the Chadar Ochel (dining hall) has been beautifully painted on the inside, a new girls bunk is being built, there are plans underway for enhancements on the Agam (lake) and on the Migrash Sport (sports field) and this is just the beginning!
Meanwhile, in the office, Yavneh staff has been working around the clock to make sure that Kayitz ‘18 is another amazing summer. So, it is with much excitement and joy I introduce you to two new members of the Yavneh community who will be joining our Hanhallah (Leadership team).

The first position is Mashgiach Ruchani (Spiritual Advisor). We conducted an extensive search and screening and ultimately interviewed nine candidates.  I am thrilled to introduce the community to Rabbi Yaakov Komisar. Rav Yaakov immediately struck everyone who met him with a sincere openness towards Jewish life and practice. His thoughtful approach in engaging young people through his work at Gann Academy in Boston convinced both me and our search committee that he would be a perfect fit at Yavneh. Growing up as a camper at Camp Coleman in Georgia, Rav Yaakov believes camp should create defining moments in the growth of adolescent Jews. But what truly secured his job at Yavneh was how his students light up when his name is mentioned. Rav Yaakov will help lead us on a journey as we define what it means to be a Klal Yisrael camp in 2018. We also welcome his wife, DeDe Jacobs Komisar, a theatre director, and their three sons to the Yavneh community.

Our year-long strategic plan process has identified programming as an area of renewed focus. As we look at our resources and continue to enhance our programming at Yavneh, we have taken time to reflect on what makes Yavneh such an incredibly special place.  Yavneh programming can be divided into two discrete, yet complementary areas: day-to-day and special/ signature programming, each with distinct needs 

Please welcome Michelle Rosenhek Zelermyer to the role of programming director at Yavneh. Michi, as she is called by all that know her, is an experienced Jewish educator hailing from Montreal. She grew up in the camping world in Quebec. Michi brings a depth of programmatic knowledge combined with a strong Jewish background. Observing her in Montreal, it was apparent that she is respected and a valued member of that community. She has already impressed us with her attention to detail and her can-do demeanor. She was introduced to Yavneh last year as her eldest son, Max, was a Gurim camper, during 2nd session. Michi is married to Cantor Gideon Zelermyer and they have one other son, Ben, who will be in Parparim this summer.

We often tell prospective parents that we have a number of signature programs which truly sets our camp apart.  These include Zimriyah, Maccabiah, Rikudiyah, Ketzev and Shabbat programming. Each of these signature programs creates moments in the life of a Yavneh camper that they cherish and hold as a memory for many years to come. In order to continue to nurture what makes Yavneh a special place, I have asked Lisa Rubins to take on a specific role at camp as signature programs coordinator. Lisa, the consummate Jewish educator, has an understanding of the camp world, a passion for creating a spectacular summer for each camper and a deep love for Yavneh surpassed by few. Her job will be to ensure that our signature programs maintain their Yavneh character and flavor.

Full bios of all three of these leaders are available at the website –

I hope you will join us in welcoming both Rav Yaakov and Michi to the Yavneh family and wish Lisa much success on her new role. 


Bil Zarch