Dear Kehillat Yavneh,
As we shared with you recently in our Year In Review, Camp Yavneh is blessed to have strong community support. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that organizations that take the time to look inward and see how they can be sustainable for many years will continue to thrive even in new realities. The Yavneh Board of Directors is acutely aware of our desire to maintain our status as one of the strongest non-profit, independent, Jewish overnight camps in North America and has spearheaded a new leadership structure for camp. Running an organization like Yavneh is both exciting and complex, and our strategic planning process has helped us crystalize where we see our institution moving in the coming years.
It is with tremendous excitement that we share with you the rollout of Yavneh’s collaborative leadership model for Kayitz ‘21. In this restructuring, we continue to look to Bil Zarch for camp’s vision and strategic planning in his new role as Executive Director for Yavneh. In addition, we are excited to announce that Michi Rosenhek Zelermyer will take on responsibility for the day-to-day running of camp as she steps into a new role as our Summer Camp Director. As a team, Bil and Michi have a four year track record of working together cohesively, honoring Yavneh’s incredible history and masoret (tradition), while creatively steering towards Yavneh’s future.
The role of the Executive Director is to ensure Yavneh’s long-term health and grow its influence in the North American and New England Jewish camping world, while keeping Yavneh’s summer program the best it can be. Bil will continue to focus on recruitment of new campers, and build relationships with organizations and individuals who share Yavneh’s commitment to Klal Yisrael. Bil will continue to be the point person for new parents, alumni, donors, and prospective families as Yavneh’s greatest champion. He will oversee grants and funding, as well as grow other aspects of camp’s offerings, like Na’aleh (Yavneh’s Israel trip for 11th graders), Family Camp at the end of the summer, and retreat bookings.
The role of Summer Camp Director is to oversee the camper and staff experience for the summer program, promoting an environment of safety, teamwork, responsibility, inclusivity, and Jewish spirituality in camp’s K’lal Yisrael setting. Michi’s off-season responsibilities will include overseeing the hiring of staff, evaluations of programs and operations, and planning the calendar for the upcoming summer. Michi has a strong programmatic and leadership background. Her enthusiasm for camping and Jewish practice, strong organizational and interpersonal skills, and the ability to encourage, lead, and support others are traits that will enable her to inspire our tzevet (staff) and chanichim (campers) to grow.
Other members of our Hanhallah (Leadership) Team will continue to be key leaders and resources. Our unflappable year-round Director of Operations, Netanel Spiegel, helps run camp efficiently and effectively with responsibility for operational and financial management. Assistant Director Lisa Rubins, who brings longevity and experience alongside her tremendous love for camp, continually provides insight and creativity in the fun and organization of the summer. Our experienced and compassionate Director of Camper Care, Miriam Loren, ensures that every camper has an extraordinary summer experience and that all needs are met. During the summer, our Rosh Noar (Head of Upper Camp) Alanna Wolf and Rosh Tze’irim (Head of Lower Camp) Steve Shimshak oversee Roshei Ayda (Unit Heads) and madrichim (counselors) in their respective age groups and deliver exceptional program supervision. Our leadership team is rounded out with Director of Philanthropy Adina Zarchan, who has been particularly influential this year; her impressive efforts and dedication to camp’s mission have helped us sustain our community in trying months.
Please join us in wishing a hearty Mazal Tov and Hatzlachah (Good Luck) as this whole team, along with all the other summer leaders and staff, plan for an amazing summer experience for 2021.
Bil Zarch Matt Hills
Executive Director President, Board of Directors