From The Blog

Exciting News: Our New Executive Director!

Exciting News: Our New Executive Director!

Posted on May 23rd, 2019

Ruben shares the news….

I am thrilled to share some wonderful news! Ari Vared – a former Camp Newman camper, NFTY participant, staff member and camp director – will be the new Executive Director of California Camps and Youth effective June 3, 2019.

In this leadership role, Ari will join our stellar team at URJ Camp Newman, 6 Points Sports CA, 6 Points Sci-Tech West, NFTY CWR and SOCAL to help grow the impact and elevate the enriching experiences we provide to thousands of children and teens.

I have been blessed to watch Ari grow up within our youth and camp community into the sensational leader and person he is today. Ari played an instrumental role in leading Camp Newman’s master plan vision, in raising over $20M dollars towards that vision, and in developing our camp and youth programming. With his experience and an MBA in hand, he then took some years away to work in the corporate world.

We are all so grateful to welcome him (and his wife Sarah and children Levi and Sophie) back “home” to lead our next chapter of growth. Ari leads with passion, vision, joy, empathy, and integrity, striving for and seeking excellence in our shared outcomes and process. We’re thrilled to have Ari and his family back, and to see one of our own camp and NFTY alum take on this role.

Please see below Ari’s thoughts, and join me and our entire team in wishing him a hearty mazal tov!

– Ruben Arquilevich

A Message from Ari Vared, Our New Executive Director!

Ari as a baby at the Camp Swig Family Camp!

My first immersive Jewish experience was at a Camp Swig family camp when I was seven weeks old. My most recent experience was at a PJ Library family camp at Camp Newman on October 8, 2017 – the day before the fire destroyed our beloved Porter Creek home.

Ari (far right) with his family at the PJ Library Family Camp the day prior to the Tubbs fire

In the time between those two experiences, Camp and NFTY nurtured and shaped me into the person I am today. They gave me my closest friends and my greatest mentors. They taught me the life lessons that guide me each day. They introduced me to my wife and surrounded us with a community to celebrate with at our wedding and simchas. They provided the space for three generations of campers (my parents, my wife and I, and our firstborn) to have sacred time together.

My story and experiences are not unique. They are just one example of the incredible power of Camp and NFTY. To say I am beyond excited to rejoin the URJ family and work with the incredible teams at Camp Newman, 6 Points Sports CA, 6 Points Sci-Tech West, NFTY CWR and SOCAL is an understatement.

One of the many blessings of camp and NFTY is that we are steeped in legacy and tradition and yet start anew each year. There is so much goodness to be created and I am hopeful for the future we will build together.

Thank you for welcoming me and my family into this next chapter with open arms and an open heart. There is a tremendous amount of important work before us and I can’t wait to jump right in!

Here’s to an incredible summer 2019!

L’shalom,

Ari Vared
Executive Director, California Camps and Youth