Alison Simpson, Lower Camp Team Leader
Hi! My name is Alison and I am going to be the Lower Camp Team Leader this summer! This is going to be my seventh year at camp, and my second summer in this position. In my real life I live in Boston, and work as a youth educator at a synagogue in Needham, MA, where I currently work with and teach children aged preschool through high school. In my down time I enjoy being outside kayaking, exploring my beautiful city with friends, and finding a good place to drink tea and do crosswords. I am looking forward to spending another summer up high in the Berkshires, and helping both campers and staff fall in love with camp just as I have!
Max Klaben, Upper Camp Team Leader
Greetings! I’m Max Klaben. I’m from Ohio and attended Indiana University where I studied Business. I just returned from Shanghai where I was working for a small production company as a video editor. I love music, photography, videography and traveling. Prior to this year, I served for four years as the Assistant Director of the Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI), the URJ camp in Indiana. I am excited to be back in URJ camping and I am looking forward to great experience at CLC. I love playing ultimate frisbee. I’ve played all over the world and led the Indiana University Ultimate Club to College Nationals in 2007. Over the last few weeks I have met a lot of CLC staff and getting to know everyone has made me really excited for the summer!
Molly Hagan, Lower Nitzanim Unit Head
Hello! My name is Molly Hagan. I am going to be a senior at SUNY Geneseo in the fall and I am studying to be a teacher. I have super crazy curly hair and I like math. This is my 3rd summer working at Crane Lake Camp and I am so excited! My last two summers I have been a general counselor for lower Nitzanim and I loved getting to know everyone and making lasting memories. I can’t wait to meet everyone and see everyone again!
Sarah Levkoff, Upper Nitzanim Unit Head
Hi Crane Lake! I’m Sarah, the Upper Nitzanim Unit Head this summer. I graduated from NYU in 2012, where I studied Educational Theatre. During the year I live in Brooklyn and teach Pre-Kindergarten. When I’m not working, I like baking, singing, and doing yoga. Looking forward to a great summer!
Janelle Sarnevitz, Lower Bonim Unit Head
Hey everyone! I’m Janelle and I just completed my junior year in the Nursing Program at the University of Vermont. I hope to go into pediatric nursing after I graduate. I am originally from a small town outside Boston, MA but I am so excited to be coming back to my second home and excited to be working with the campers and staff this year. I really enjoy listening to Frank Sinatra’s dulcet tones, drinking iced coffee, and getting lost in the Berkshires. I also love spending time with my family and friends. I am so excited for this summer, my 8th at Crane Lake Camp, because I will be working with one of my best friends, Samuel Mark Magida, to run the Bonim unit.
Sam Magida, Upper Bonim Unit Head
Hi! I am a student at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where I have the opportunity to create my own concentration of study. My concentration revolves around education and urban design and understanding how schools function as communities of practice. I am also studying as part of a 5-year program to become certified as an elementary school teacher. Currently, I live in Alphabet City in NYC and I am originally from Southbury, CT. My favorite things all have to do with the spring and the summer and they include: city parks, bicycle riding, and iced coffee. My guilty pleasure television network is HGTV which I use to remedy the absence of warm weather during the winter. I am so excited for this summer, my 12th at Crane Lake Camp, because I will be working with one of my best friends, Janelle Sarnevitz, to run the Bonim unit!
Andy Levine, Lower Chaverim Unit Head
Hi everyone!! My name is Andrew Levine, but you can call me Andy. I will be the Lower Chaverim Unit Head this summer. This will be my 11th summer here at CLC, but my first as a member of senior staff. I recently graduated from the University at Albany with a degree in European History and Education. Throughout this past year, I worked as a tutor/mentor for underprivileged students throughout the Albany region with the Liberty Partnerships Program. When I am not working, I like to play sports, interacting with new people and cooking. I will be returning back to camp after taking last summer off to lead a group of 10th graders across Israel. I am excited to meet new people and to help make each campers summer a truly amazing experience.
Beth Karlin, Upper Chaverim Unit Head
Hi, my name is Beth and I’m from New Rochelle, New York. This upcoming school year, I’ll be a senior at Marist College, where I study Fashion Merchandising and Business Administration. I just finished a semester abroad in Barcelona, where I was able to experience some of the Spanish and Catalan culture and simultaneously travel around Europe. This will be my 12th summer at Crane Lake and I can’t wait to be a unit head so that I can make sure every single camper has the same incredible experience at camp that I did.
Hannah Gorfinkel, Olim Unit Head
My name is Hannah Gorfinkel, I am 20 years old and live in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I am currently entering my senior year at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs and I am majoring in Art History. This will be my 13th summer at camp and I am still as excited as I was the first day I stepped onto the main lawn. Camp is an ever evolving place that always teaches me something new about myself. I am so honored and thrilled to be able to work with Olim both staff and campers this summer and hopefully help them figure out new things about themselves as well!!
Department Heads & Activity/Program Directors
Rabbi Larry Freedman, Machon Director
I’ve been a URJ camper since I was 8 years old. I spent 11 summers at Eisner finishing my time there as Head Dance Leader. I’ve also worked one summer at Kutz, a bunch of summers at GUCI and Camp George and now back to CLC. I’m the solo rabbi in Newburgh, NY and interested in education, hiking, how to make Jewish living relevant and uplifting and guiding our youngest staff members to bring the best they have. I graduated from Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College, can play a little darbuka and am learning bass guitar.
Cory Hermann, Machon Director
Hello All! I am Cory Hermann and I am the Machon Director this summer. I was a camper and staff member back in the 80’s, I have served several years on the Faculty at CLC, and I have been the Machon Director for the past two summers. During the year, I have worked as the Director of Congregational Education at Temple Shalom in Succasunna, NJ. I received my BS in Education at University of Delaware and my Master of Social Work at Adelphi University. I am thrilled to be working with our Machon program to help train the future staff of CLC. I am also the mom of three boys, two of whom are URJ Crane Lake campers. (The youngest isn’t ready for the bunk just yet!) My husband, Barak, and I are long time camp people and believe in the amazing benefits of sending children to Jewish camp. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Hilary Winer, Programming and Athletics Team Leader
Only a few weeks away and our Summer 2013 community will be back in the bubble creating friendships and memories that will last a lifetime! My name is Hilary and this will be my 13th summer at Crane Lake, 2nd year as the Athletics and Programming Team Leader. I graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2010 (in Canada) with a B.A. in Kinesiology and currently attending Long Island University in New York studying to receive a B.Sc. in Sport Science & Masters in Sports Medicine. Throughout the year I worked as a sports analyst focusing mainly on basketball, and worked with the women’s volleyball and lacrosse teams as an athletic training student. I also volunteer with various organizations throughout the New York City area to give back in the community in which I live in. When I am not studying, working, or volunteering, I enjoy playing sports, reading books, listening to music, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. I am honored and excited to be a part of the Crane Lake community this summer and look forward to sharing my passion and camp experiences with all of you.
Sharon Kaufman, Program Director
My name is Sharon Kaufman and I will be the Program Director at camp this summer. This will be my twelfth summer at camp and third on the Programming team. I just completed my Masters of Arts in Teaching at SUNY New Paltz and am working as a substitute teacher at two local school districts. I can’t wait to be back at camp working with the rest of the Programming team and staff in order to bring great programs to each and every camper.
Matt Buckney, Athletics Director
Hi my name Is Matt Buckney, I am 23 years old and this will be my fourth year at camp. For the first two years at camp I was the Archery Specialist and last summer I served as the Assistant Athletics Director. This year at camp I will be the Athletics Director. I recently just graduated from university Studying Sports Studies with a Sports Development focus. I am really looking forward to another amazing summer at CLC and let the good times roll.
CJ Gibson, Assistant Athletics Director
Hi CLC! During the year, I am a baseball coach for a high school in Miami, Florida. I also work with kids with special needs at the high school. I graduated from Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina where I also played baseball and obtained my bachelors degree in criminal justice. I love making videos and editing them and one day I’d like to be a wedding videographer! I am excited for camp because I get to see friends who I have not seen for more than nine months but most importantly I get to make a positive impact on the lives of children.
Yaelle Nisinzweig, Assistant Program Director
Hello there! My name is Yaelle and this summer I am an Assistant Program Director for the always fun and exciting lower camp. This is my 14th summer at camp so it really is a second home and family to me. This is my first summer on senior staff after being a lifeguard at the lake and a general counselor for the past three years. During the year I study at Boston University majoring in severe special education and minoring in political science. This past semester I studied in Dublin learning how to embrace rain, perfecting an Irish accent, frolicking with sheep, and taking in the beauty and culture. I am so excited to start this new position at camp and help make a magical summer for the all the campers!
Henry Weiner, Assistant Program Director
Hello Crane Lakers!!! This will be my third year working at Crane Lake, and my first summer as Senior Staff. Currently, I am a senior at Ithaca College pursuing a degree in Recreation Management, and I am very passionately involved with Jewish life both on and off of campus. In my free time you can find me trying to start up a basketball game or watching an endless collection of television shows on Netflix. One thing that I take great pride in is my ability to make the perfect bag of microwave popcorn, and yes, I do stop the timer at one second every time so I can pretend I am a secret agent trying to save the world. A few of my favorite activities at camp include Israeli Dance and Song Session, trying to create a circular whirlpool in a rectangular pool (it is possible, just very difficult), and getting my Jewish education on during LIMUD!!! I am so incredibly excited to be working on the programming team this summer and I can not wait to get back to the magical bubble that is Crane Lake Camp.
Melissa Palombi, Arts and Crafts Director
I am coming from Boulder, Colorado to spend my first summer at Crane Lake! Being in the woods of the Berkshires I will feel right at home as I love the outdoors, hiking and skiing, and can’t wait to canoe and hit the ropes course. To me, art, nature and spirituality are all connected and I can’t wait to bring them together at Crane Lake. My background is in stage design, as I received my BFA from the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon University. I worked in New York for Broadway designers and the Washington National Opera in DC in the costume department before moving out west to be closer to the Rockies. In Aspen, Colorado, I ski instructed children ages 3-9 and worked the ESPN “X-Games” as a camera assistant before heading to Boulder where I got my MA in Art History. In addition, I started the process for certification in K-12 art education and hope to complete it in the fall. I have a passion for the arts and believe everyone has the ability to express themselves creatively, we just have to find what works for us. My goal for the summer is for all campers to have fun with art and perhaps discover something about their creative selves they did not know before. I look forward to meeting everyone soon!
Adina Safran, Aquatics Director
My name is Adina and I am very excited to return to Crane Lake for her 13th summer! I am currently pursuing her Master’s in Early Childhood Education and Special Education at St. John’s University in Queens, NY. During the year I coach a swim team and give swim lessons at the local JCC. I love traveling and experiencing new things, and cannot wait to be back at camp enjoying the sunshine and new lake toys!
Betsy Marantz, Camper Care Coordinator
Betsy Marantz is returning for her 6th summer at Crane Lake Camp as Camper Care Coordinator, aka “Camp Mom”. Betsy grew up going to camp, was active in NFTY-MAR and her synagogue, and served as counselor, senior staff and faculty at several of our sister URJ camps at different times. Betsy has been a professional Jewish educator for 15 years, serving in almost every Jewish setting imaginable: congregations, camps, museums, day and religious schools, JCC, and youth groups. Betsy has always been passionate about camping and loves that she is able to spend her summers “in the bubble”, being with such an amazing group of campers and staff, who teach her something new regularly! Betsy’s most gratifying camp moment was when her son told her that he was proud that his mom was “two moms”, his and Crane Lake’s. She is certified by the North American Association of Temple Educators as a RJE (Reform Jewish Educator) and received a Joint Masters Degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and a BA with Honors in Religion from Dartmouth College. She lives in South Glastonbury, CT with her husband, a CLC faculty member, and two children, who are both campers at Crane Lake.
Pam Hausler, Head Nurse
I am so excited about my 9th year at camp. I continue to love to return to the bubble and hear about everybody’s year and see how many kids ahve changed and grown. It is hard to believe that my daughter Hanna is old enough to be a Machon. My daughter Kenna will be in Upper Chaverim and my son Brett will be back in a different role, working with Corey Cutler at both Eisner and CLC. Let the summer begin!
Ross Glinkenhouse, K’far Teva Director
Shalom! I am Ross Glinkenhouse and am a Graduate of Florida Atlantic University, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Design/Technical Theatre. After University, I was an intern at the Juilliard School, working with their production department in the “Electrics Shop,” but learned that my passion was for Jewish Experiential Education with our youth. My previous summers at the URJ Crane Lake Camp helped affirm this passion. I am entering my 6th year as Youth Director at Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, NY. I care deeply about my job and love to learn and grow, taking any opportunity to broaden my horizons as a Youth Professional. I have been trained as a group leader for Moving Traditions Campaign for Jewish Boys, worked with the URJ to create and implement the 2009 URJ Youth Workers Conference, and served as the Vice President at Large on the first Executive Board of RYPA (Reform Youth Professionals’ Association). In 2012, I became an Alumni of Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, completing their Certificate in Jewish Education for Adolescents and Emerging Adults. I am looking forward to my 10th summer in the bubble working to strengthen our children’s ties to the great outdoors and Judaism!
Lauren Chizner, Limud Director
This will be my 7th summer at CLC. I began on faculty when Jacob, my oldest, was only 8! I have my masters degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. Over the years I have served as Director of Education for Temple Beth-El of Great Neck and the Community Hebrew High School. I have also served as an educational consultant for Long Island congregations through my work at SAJES and then The Jewish Education Project. I grew up at Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, Texas. I am married to Rabbi Todd Chizner, rabbi at Temple Judea of Manhasset, and mother of 3 Crane Lake Campers– Jacob, Jed and Rachel!
Lisa Tenenbaum, Assistant Limud Director
This will be my 14th year at camp. During the year, I work as the Hebrew teacher at the Ben Gamla Charter school in Palm Beach, and as the Confirmation teacher and B’nai Mitzvah tutor at Temple Shaarei Shalom. My favorite part of camp is being part of an such a special community. I love our daily tefillah, hearing all of our voices singing together as we welcome the day. Friday Night song and dance session is another of my favorites! I enjoy participating, but I also like to stand back and watch all of the staff and campers celebrating together. But, the best part of camp is being able to share the lives of so many campers and staff, and to watch them grow and mature into successful young Jewish adults.
Lauren Resnikoff, Assistant Limud Director
I am excited to be joining the Senior Staff of Crane Lake Camp, after serving on faculty here for 7 years. During the school year, I am a synagogue educational director and work at Temple Judea in Manhasset, NY. I am the proud mom of 3 Crane Lake campers, and was a URJ camper myself as a child.
Jason Bogdan, Performing Arts Director
My name is Jason Bogdan and I am excited to be the Performing Arts Director again this summer at Crane Lake. During the year, I am a teaching artist in New York City, working to promote literacy through theater and directing various shows. I am also pursuing my Master’s Degree in Social Work at Touro College. I am looking forward to strengthening the Crane Lake community this summer through theater and creating magic on stage in our shows!
Jeffrey Schwartz, Head Songleader
Hi! I am Jeffrey Schwartz and I can’t wait to return for my 7th summer at Crane Lake Camp and my first summer on Senior Staff! I am a 4th-year student at Cornell University where I study Philosophy and Religious Studies. At school I am Music Director for my a cappella group, the Class Notes, and a member of Cornell’s all-male choir, the Cornell University Glee Club. I am also the Director of Religious Life for Kesher, the Reform Jewish group on campus. On Sundays I teach music at Temple Beth-El in Ithaca, where I work with kids from pre-K through 7th grade. After I finish my studies at Cornell, I am hoping to eventually go on to Rabbinic school at Hebrew Union College.
Katy Copplestone, Outdoor Adventure Director
Hi my name is Katy Copplestone and this year I will be the Outdoor Adventure Director at Crane Lake. I am from Liverpool, England and this will be my third year at camp. When I am not at camp I work full-time for one of Europe’s largest children’s play centres. With any free time I have I love being outdoors, exploring the British countryside on long walks with my family and friends. This year I aim to make Ropes and Camp an enjoyable, exciting and safe place for both campers and staff!