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Merrin Fellows–Cohort VII

Edana Appel
Assistant Director
Camp Livingston, Cincinnati, Ohio

Edana Appel graduated from Brandeis University in 2008 and holds a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies and Judaic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies and a minor in Hebrew Language and Literature. While at Brandeis, she received an award for her contributions to student life on campus as well as the award for being the outstanding senior in the women’s and gender studies department. Edana has been at a Jewish resident camp or in Israel every summer since 1994. She has been a counselor, Judaic specialist, unit head and program director. In 2009, she was the assistant director at Camp Young Judaea West in Ocean Park, Washington. Edana was a Cornerstone Fellow in 2005 and the liaison for CYJ-West in 2009. Edana started with Camp Livingston in December 2009 and had an amazing first summer!

Dan Baer
Assistant Director
Camp Interlaken
Samson Family JCC,  Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dan Baer has held the position of assistant director at Camp Interlaken since 2008. When he is not at camp, Dan plans for the summer ahead, working on staff and camper recruitment, as well as schools-out programs in the the children and youth department. Dan came to Camp Interlaken from Akron, Ohio, where he was most recently the assistant director at Hiram House Camp. Dan graduated from Cornell University with a degree in applied economics and management and a concentration in marketing. He has always had a passion for both working with children and summer camping as well as Jewish life. He was extremely active in Hillel in college and BBYO in high school. He attended JCC Camp Wise as a camper, and loves being back in the realm of Jewish camping. Dan enjoys working out, playing soccer, skiing, and travelling.

Phil Faibish
Camp Director, Centre Camp
Prosserman JCC, Toronto, ON, Canada

Phil Faibish has been affiliated with the JCC and Centre Camp for 20+ years as a camper, C.I.T. and staff member. Phil brings a contagious positive attitude and a wealth of knowledge, experience and skill to Centre Camp. Prior to joining Centre Camp full-time, Phil received his BA from York University in mathematics. Phil was on his way to teacher’s college before accepting the full-time position at Centre Camp – an offer he couldn’t resist. Phil is dedicated to providing campers and staff with top-rated programming infused with a unique Jewish flare. He is also working on a number of new initiatives, including an online social media component that provides parents with real-time updates on camp happenings throughout the summer.

Laura Fendrick
BBYO Assoc. Director
Tween Program Director, Marcus JCC of Atlanta

In 2007,  Laura Fendrick graduated from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business with a degree in marketing. Laura worked in marketing in New York City for two years before moving back to her home town of Atlanta to work with Jewish youth. She has been involved in Jewish organizations for many years, including youth groups and Jewish resident camp. Some of Laura’s favorite activities include hanging out with teens on a nightly basis, playing with her two nieces, and traveling.

Alena Gomulina
Coordinator of Teen Services
Marks JCH of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

Alena Gomulina emigrated to the United States when she was 10 years old from Archangelsk, Russia. She has played an active role at the Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst (the ‘J’) since she was 16, participating in teen leadership initiatives as well as various Jewish identity programs as part of the Zehut Teen Center. While pursuing her B.S. in public affairs from CUNY Baruch College, Alena worked at the Zehut Teen Center as the department’s youth leader, developing and implementing various teen programming, including job training and Israel advocacy. Her work at ZTC led her to her current position at the JCC as the coordinator for teen services. Her passion for art and design influenced her in piloting the JCC Maccabi ArtsFest program, for which she has been the delegation head for the last four years. Alena has volunteered at various family and Jewish identity centered camps for Former Soviet Union Jewry, taking her to Ukraine, Belarus, Israel and more. There is still nothing more rewarding for Alena than walking into a room of 20+ teenagers and facilitating informal Jewish education programs.

Kyle Gugerty
Youth & Teen Program Coordinator
Rockville, Maryland

Kyle has worked at the JCC of Greater Washington for over two years and has enjoyed multiple positions. During the year he works primarily in the teen center running “the zone” afterschool program for tweens and teens. He also runs days-off from school programming, vacation breaks, and other youth and teen programs. Kyle’s true joy is working at Camp JCC during the summer as a head counselor of the special-needs inclusion program. When not working hard at the JCC, Kyle enjoys watching movies and going on crazy adventures with his friends.

Ben Horev
Youth, Children and Camp Asst. Coordinator
Jewish Community Center of Greater Vancouver

Ben has grown up at the JCC, participating in after-school care and camp as a kid. Now, as an adult, Ben runs those very same programs he once attended .He is in charge of overseeing the Teen Lounge, programming all events for teens and preteens. He is also the mid-year camp director as well as head “Madrich” during the summer. Ben is also the creator of S.N.A.P (Saturday Night Adventures for pre-teens) and the Youth FHL (Floor Hockey League). Ben Loves hockey and is a big kid at heart.

Marina Imberg
Director of Youth and Camping Services
Shorefront YM-YWHA, Brooklyn, New York

Marina Imberg currently serves as the director for the After School Program, Summer Day Camp, and oversees enrichment classes and community events. Marina was born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine and for the last six years has been living in Brooklyn. She studied economics and after moving to the United States continued her education at Brooklyn College, majoring in business management and finance. During her school years, Marina participated and led numerous programs at the Jewish Agency for Israel, Hillel, and local JCCs. Marina recently obtained her master’s degree from Fordham University in education, specializing in administration and supervision. She is also one of the JCC Association Graduate Scholarship Program recipients. Marina strives for excellence in all she does and hopes to make a significant difference and make a contribution to the lives of youth in the Jewish community.

Matthew Korch
Youth and Family Program Manager
Stroum Jewish Community Center, Mercer Island, Washington

Matthew Korch has been working at the JCC since September 2008. Currently he oversees all before and after school programs at both the main Mercer Island campus and the smaller campus in north Seattle. He also manages the “Teen Scene” program and “Jewish Tween Extreme,” a program he runs in partnership with BBYO, NCSY, and the Jewish Federation of Seattle. Matthew also oversees all of the family programs at the JCC. During the summer he is the assistant summer camp director, managing the camp directors and their staffs, along with daily programming. Matthew has a B.A. in international studies with a focus on Jewish studies, and a minor in political science from the University of Washington. In the hours he is not at the JCC, he is the youth group advisor for his synagogue’s USY chapter and teaches classes at the Community High School of Jewish Studies.

Paul Lurie
Teen Services Director
JCC Maccabi Experience Director, Sports & Recreation Director
JCC of Greater Baltimore, Owings Mills, Maryland

Paul Lurie’s responsibilities include supervising 4 full-time staff people along with overseeing all programming for teens including: BBYO, middle school programs, TNT – Middle School leadership Camp, Road Trip summer camp, and all sports and recreational programs for kids, families, and young adults. Paul was the director for the 2007 Baltimore JCC Maccabi Games and for the first JCC Maccabi Experience combining Games and ArtsFest in Baltimore in 2010. Paul grew up in Baltimore and graduated from the University of Maryland at Baltimore County with a Bachelors degree in both Mathematics and Economics and a minor in Ancient Studies. Paul has worked at the JCC since the age of 15 and shortly after graduation began his professional Jewish journey as a full-time employee of the JCC. Paul is a fan of the Ravens and Orioles (unfortunately) and enjoys golf and poker in his spare time.

Rachel Rustin
Coordinator of Youth and Family Services
Barshop Jewish Community Center, San Antonio, Texas

Rachel Rustin is the Coordinator of Youth and Family Services at the JCC in San Antonio. Her responsibilities include producing youth theatre, running the community Hebrew high school, serving as assistant camp director and coordinating family and holiday programs. Rachel has also run the after-school program and worked in the pre-school in her five years at the ‘J’. Prior to working at the JCC, she spent a year serving in AmeriCorps, working at an inner-city school. She is a graduate of Rice University and is currently pursuing an MS in non-profit management. Rachel enjoys mild Texas winters, riding her bike on beautiful days, and being able to use the word y’all.

Mallory Saks
Assistant Camp Director
Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village
Samuel Field Y, Bay Terrace Center
Bayside, New York

After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Jewish Studies, Mallory began working full time at the JCC of Central NJ as the Director of Youth and Teen Services and Camp Program Director at Camp Yachad. After 3 successful years there where she learned a tremendous amount, Mallory decided to make the bold transition into Jewish overnight camp. Mallory is now the Assistant Director of JCC sleep away camp associated with the Samuel Field Y, Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village. Mallory primarily runs the teen side of camp and is enthusiastically working with campers and staff to strengthen Jewish values and a sense of strong community. Mallory is committed to informal education and believes that camp is the perfect place for kids to be themselves and grow as individuals. When she is not working, Mallory enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as exploring NYC and traveling whenever possible! Although she stands at less than 5 feet tall, Mallory aspires to grow to new heights through her position as a Jewish leader.

Jamie Skog
JCC Maccabi Teen Coordinator
Robert E. Loup JCC of Denver
Denver, Colorado

Jamie recently started in her position as the Teen Coordinator at the JCC in Denver. Jamie is originally from Omaha, Nebraska. She has a Masters in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and spent the last year living in Tel Aviv. She has spent the past two summers working at the Denver JCC residential summer camp, Ranch Camp, and is excited to be part of the Denver JCC team year round.

Josh Steinharter
Youth Athletic Program Manager & Delegation Head,
Team San Francisco, JCC Maccabi Games
Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Growing up as 100% of the Jewish population in his high school did not stop Josh from getting heavily involved in the Jewish community in Dayton, Ohio. Little did he know that his Temple, camp and NFTY experiences would lead him to his current position as the Youth Athletic Program Manager at the JCCSF. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day operations for over 1,500 kids that participate in the teams, classes, camps and select sports programs, Josh became the San Francisco Delegation Head in 2008 and has guided the group to success, competing in San Diego, Detroit, Denver, Omaha and an amazing hosting year at the San Francisco Games in 2009. Josh is part of the creative team that launched and currently manages the JCCSF Fellowship: Sports Leadership, a unique program designed to transform Jewish athletes into the coaches and leaders of tomorrow. Josh is a big fan of food, sports and movies and is truly at his happiest watching Bull Durham with a large bowl of popcorn.

Terri Travers
Sports, Fitness and Recreation Director
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Terri Travers began as the Basketball Coordinator in the fall of 2002 and was promoted to the SFR Director in August 2004. Terri’s job includes overseeing the fitness center, aquatics department, basketball programming and Harrisburg’s JCC Maccabi Games and JCC Maccabi ArtsFest delegation. In recent years, Terri has started numerous programs to engage more children and teens. Terri grew up in Harrisburg, graduated from Juniata College with honors in 2002 and was a recipient of the Sears Directors Cup. Terri’s favorite part of her job is coaching basketball.

Scott Zorn
Director of Children, Youth and Camping Services
Tucson Jewish Community Center
Tucson, Arizona

Scott Zorn is the Director of Children, Youth and Camping Services at the Tucson Jewish Community Center (2005-present). The position includes being responsible for the center’s K-12 day camps, after-school programs, enrichment classes, special events and teen services (including oversight of BBYO). With a master’s degree in counseling psychology, Scott was a school therapist prior to his work in the JCC Movement, and did production work in the entertainment business prior to that. He grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Tucson with his wife to start their family, Haley (6) and Dylan (4). One of his favorite projects over the past six years has been providing a themed Friday night Shabbat music program to all the JCC children. The children have named his guitar Shabbat, so he is now well known as Shabbat Scott. Scott and his wife are also music specialists at a religious school and he is a member of the Tucson Jewish rock band, Avanim.

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