Meet Our Staff!
Camp Newman’s year-round and summer staff is comprised of a talented and terrific group of adults who share a strong passion for mentoring youth and for role modeling the values of friendships, community, and Judaism. Meet our team below!
To apply to join our team, click here.
Directors & Year-Round Staff
Ruben Arquilevich, Executive Director
Ruben Arquilevich’s role as Executive Director encompasses Camp Newman summer programs, NFTY-CWR, and all new year-round programming. Working with our incredible leadership team, Ruben is strategically transforming and guiding Camp Newman into a center for year-round youth engagement—extending the magic of summer throughout the year!
Ruben has been a camp director since 1987, serving as the head camp director of URJ Camp Newman since 1994. Ruben has an MBA in non-profit management and a minor in Jewish studies from the University of Judaism. He has a BA in Psychology from The Colorado College and is a Wexner Fellow.
Ruben believes that Jewish camping enriches lives by securing Jewish identity, providing lifelong friendships and role models, and creating an environment for growth. He is passionate about the outdoors and the role that nature plays in creating community and inner peace. Ruben lives in Northern California with his wife Vivien and children Jonah, Max and Maia.
Stewart Dalie, Facilities Director
While new to Camp Newman (I just started last May), I am a 27-year alum of another summer camp for children and families with Type I diabetes. As a former camper, CIT, counselor and administrator, I understand and appreciate the importance and purpose of camp life and am happy to be part of a new family at URJ Camp Newman. I have a BS in Environmental Science and Ecology and have worked as an environmental scientist and engineer for 11 of the past 20 years. I spent the past seven years living and working in the Lake Tahoe Basin at Fleur Du Lac Estates as the Facility & Operations Manager/Maintenance Supervisor of the historic Henry J. Kaiser, “Godfather” estate.
Rabbi Allie Fischman, Summer Camp Associate Director
Rabbi Allie collaborates with Rabbi Erin Mason and Mikey Latner to plan and oversee Camp Newman’s summer daily operations.
Rabbi Allie joined the Camp Newman community in 2012 as a Rosh Eidah (Unit Head) and has since filled the roles of CIT Director and Staff Week Coordinator. She has been a songleader and teacher in the Chicago suburbs and the Los Angeles Reform Jewish communities since 2000. In 2012, Allie was awarded a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion and was ordained as Rabbi by HUC-JIR in May 2015.
Lily Gottlieb, Assistant Director of Youth Engagement
Lily is a past camper, staff member and NFTY youth advisor. With a knack for creating accessible, meaningful, and fun activities, Lily has a long history of developing a variety of youth and arts education programs for our camp. And as of July 1, she’ll join our camp and NFTY professional team to begin developing Jewish programming and experiences year-round! Lily comes to us from Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas where she’s been the LoMPTY Youth Group Advisor. She’s also been an active member of the Los Angeles Jewish community and NFTY SoCal, and served as a Madricha for NFTY’s Israel Adventure teen tour in 2014. Lily has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts.
Loal Isaacs, Director of New Initiatives and Retreats
Loal is a life-long member of the Bay Area Jewish community, and one of the new members of the Camp Newman family. He received a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Religion, Philosophy and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Missouri. Loal brings a great passion, expertise and history in working with youth, teens, and families in Jewish life. He has over 15 years of professional experience in this arena working at the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco, Contra Costa JCC, Jewish Federation of the East Bay, and Jewish Family and Children Services in San Francisco. Loal’s children, Sophia and Jonah, will be first time campers in Summer 2016 as well!
Linda Herkes, Registrar
Linda Herkes has worked for Camp Newman for 16 years. Linda particularly enjoys assisting camper parents to work through the scholarship process that enables their children to attend Camp Newman.
Tracey Klapow, Development and Alumni Director
Tracey Klapow has worked for Camp Newman for the past 8 years. In her current role is at Development Operations Director she is able to combine her knowledge and passion to help build and sustain our camp and year round programming. Tracey has a BS in Psychology from Dominican University. Tracey is passionate about camping and youth engagement. Tracey grew up going to overnight summer camp and met her husband at camp. She lives in Petaluma with her husband and sons Adam, Sam and Ze’ev.
Mikey Latner, Summer Camp Assistant Director
Mikey collaborates with Rabbi Erin Mason and Rabbi Allie Fischman to plan and oversee Camp Newman’s summer daily operations.
Mikey joined the Camp Newman team during the 2014 Summer. From 2010 to 2013 Mikey worked as the full-time Program Director at Camp Poyntelle Lewis Village, a residential camp based in New York City. Mikey grew up as a camper, counselor, lifeguard, Ropes Course Director, Head Counselor, and CIT Director at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in Malibu, CA. Mikey graduated with a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Wheaton College (MA) in 2010. An avid rock climber and skier, Mikey is excited to spend his summers under the Newman sun.
Cheryl Lazar, Bookkeeper
Cheryl Lazar, has loved Camp Newman well before she started working here in 2013, as both her children have been going to camp for several years. Cheryl has worked as a bookkeeper for over 20 years. She lives in San Rafael with her husband Bill, son Sam and daughter Sarah. Cheryl graduated with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Accounting from UCLA.
Samara Leader, NFTY-CWR Senior Regional Director and Camp Newman Senior Assistant Director of Programs
Samara is in her sixth year working for the URJ and summer 2016 will be her 17th at Camp Newman! Samara’s collaborative Camp Newman and NFTY role allows her to envision and implement year-round teen programming. In this capacity, she runs the Camp Newman CIT program, supports the Central West regional board to plan teen retreats, meets with youth professionals, and visions new and innovative teen experiences during the year.
Samara spent several summers at 6 Points Sports Academy in North Carolina and served as Youth Education Program Coordinator at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. Samara graduated from UCLA and earned a Certificate in Jewish Education specializing in adolescents and emerging adults from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. Her favorite camp activities include Ultimate Frisbee, Israeli dance, and engaging in friendly competition with others to see who can take the most steps in a typical camp day.
Rabbi Erin Mason, Camp Director
Rabbi Erin oversees all of Camp Newman’s summer operations and directly supports Camp Newman’s Assistant and Associate Directors. She brings 15 years of experience as a Jewish professional to this position.
She was ordained as a rabbi in 2010 from the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College Jewish Institute of Religion, where she also received master’s degrees in Jewish Education and Hebrew Letters. She is among the first class of the Mandel Fellowship for rabbinic-education students, an experience that allowed her to explore what it means to create, implement, and sustain Jewish institutional visioning and change.
During rabbinical school, Erin interned for three years at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles. She also served as the student rabbi of Congregation Shaareth Israel in Lubbock, Texas and for Chaverim, an organization that serves developmentally disabled adults.
Erin has been passionate about Jewish camp ever since her first summer at URJ Greene Family Camp in 1987. After graduating from The University of Texas in 2000, she spent four great years as GFC’s assistant director and two years as NFTY Texas-Oklahoma’s regional director. Pursuing her love of camping, Erin directed Gindling Hilltop Camp in Malibu for three summers while in rabbinical school.
Rabbi Erin, her husband Michael, their son Zachary, and their daughters Eliza and Aviva Mia live in Belmont, California.
Christine Reiter, Camp Newman Administrator; Director of Operations Camp Newman Retreat Center
Christine Reiter has been with Camp Newman for 15 years. In addition to being our Administrator she is the Director of Operations for the Koret Retreat Center at Camp Newman year-round. Christine lives in San Francisco with her husband and has three daughters who are all Camp Newman alumni. She believes that “It takes a village to raise a child” and is happy that she was able to raise her daughters here at Camp Newman.
Alex Rogers, Assistant Director of Year-Round Programs
Alex Rogers is building out new experiences as part of our year-round engagement initiative. Originally from Buffalo, NY, Alex is a product of Jewish camping and NFTY’s North East Lakes Region. From 2009-2012 Alex was a staff member for the URJ Kutz Camp’s Mitzvah Corps program, serving as a counselor and Assistant Director. Alex received his B.S. in Advertising/Communications from Syracuse University in 2012. From 2012-2014 he served as the NFTY Operations Manager, working from the URJ Headquarters in New York City, where he supported the day-to-day operations of the NFTY regional staff and planned NFTY North American programs including NFTY Convention, Mechina and the Nashir Songleading Institute.
Alaina Yoakum, Director of Marketing & Communications
Alaina Yoakum drives the marketing and communications strategy for Camp Newman’s year-round and summer programming, and coordinates development projects. Alaina was formerly the Festival and Program Manager for the Center for Jewish Peoplehood at the Osher Marin JCC, where she planned and promoted events, such as Talmud classes, programs with up-and-coming visiting scholars, and large-scale community festivals. She has extensive experience in event production, marketing, and communications; she managed the social media campaign for Goodwill’s boutique store launch, planned events for Genentech and Hilton Hotels, and served as Marketing Director for Bay Area and New York firms.
Alaina received her B.A. in English from San Francisco State and her master’s in Journalism and Communications from the University of Oregon. She is a former board member of Congregation Kol Shofar. Alaina’s relationship with Camp Newman began in 2009 when they asked her to work in the camp office as a last-minute replacement. She agreed, enrolling her two daughters in Camp Katan and Bonim. The three were hooked instantly. Alaina went on to teach sculpture and mosaics as part of Camp Newman’s Hagigah program, before accepting this position in the summer of 2014.
Summer 2016 Team
Each summer, URJ Camp Newman hires, trains, mentors and supports up to 250 staff who are charged with making sure your child or teen has the very best Camp Newman experience possible. This caring, dedicated and specially-trained staff includes Israelis, camp alumni, doctors and nurses, rabbinical students, Jewish educators, and clergy.
We liken our Summer Camp staff to a tree – our Shoresh (the “roots”), Directors, Rabbis, Cantors and Educators support a team of Geza specialists and unit heads (the “stems”) who in turn support our campers, the leaves. We invite you to get to know them!
Coordinator of Junior Camp – Nicole Berne
Coordinator of Teen Camp – Julie Bressler
Nefesh Coordinator – Rachel Dubowe
Avodah Coordinator – Michael Flyat
CIT Coordinator – Samara Leader
Program Coordinator (Assistant to the Assistant Director*) – Max Ruzi
Logistics Coordinator – Beto Salazar-Poss
Rabbis, Cantors & Educators
Rabbis, Cantors & Educators
June 20-July 3
Rabbi Steven Chester, Temple Sinai
Rabbi Jason Gwasdoff, Temple Israel
Rabbi Rick Winer, Temple Beth Israel
Rabbi Laura Novak Winer, Association of Reform Jewish Educators
Rabbi Shawna Brynjegard-Bialik, Temple Ahavat Shalom
Rabbi Howard Laibson, Shir Chadash
Rabbi Daniel Feder, Peninsula Temple Sholom
Educator Philip Hankin, Temple Emanu-El
Educator Debi Rowe, Temple Beth El
Cantor Sara Hass, Temple Israel of Long Beach
Cantor Lizzie Weiss
July 4-July 17
Cantor Ilan Davidson, Temple Beth El
Cantor Paul Buch, Temple Beth Israel
Cantor Ross Wolman, Temple Chai
Educator Sharon Brown, Temple Israel
Rabbi Greg Wolfe, Congregation Bet Haverim
Rabbi Nancy Myers, Temple Beth David
Rabbi Cheryl Rosenstein, Temple Beth El
Rabbi Nancy Wechsler, Congregation Berh Shalom
Educator Heather Erez, Congregation Emanu-El
Rabbi Sara Mason-Barkin, Peninsula Temple Beth El
Rabbi Lisa Kingston, Peninsula Temple Beth El
Rabbi Joel Simonds, University Synagogue/HUC/RAC
Rabbi Dana Magat, Temple Emanu-El
Rabbi Julia Weisz, Congregation Or Ami
July 19-Aug 3
Cantor Jaime Shpall, Congregation Beth Am
Cantor Arik Luck, Emanu El
Rabbi Mona Alfi, Congregation B’nai Israel
Rabbi Ryan Bauer, Congregation Emanu-El
Rabbi Chuck Briskin, Temple Beth El
Rabbi Jim Kaufman, Temple Beth Hillel
Rabbi Jonathan Kupetz, Temple Beth Israel
Rabbi Karen Sherman, Temple Etz Rimon
Rabbi Morley Feinstein, University Synagogue
Rabbi Joshua Knobel, Stephen Wise Temple
Rabbi Lisa Berney
Educator Lisa Langer, URJ and HUC
Rabbi David Young, Congregation B’nai Tzedek
Cantor Natalie Young, Temple Beth El of South Orange County
Cantor Kerith Spencer-Shapiro, University Synagogue
Educator Jessie Downey, University Synagogue
Rabbi Jim Kaufman, Temple Beth Hillel
Rabbi Jon Prosnit, Congregation Beth Am
Rabbi Malcom Cohen, Temple Sinai
Educator Sara Jean Lipman, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
Rabbi Beth Singer, Temple Emanuel
Rabbi Jonathan Singer, Temple Emanuel
Rabbi Sarah Bassin, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
Rabbi Stephanie Kramer, Congregation Shomrei Torah
Rabbi Alan Henkin, CCAR
Medical & Nefesh Staff
Medical & Nefesh Staff
Medical Advisory Council Members
Roberta Bavin, DNP, CPNP (Fresno, CA)
Greg Hirsch, M.D. (San Diego, CA)
Summer 2016 Nefesh Staff
Dina Hankin, Ph.D., Child Psychologist (Oakland, CA)
Robin Lewis, L.M.F.T. (Irvine, CA)
Ellen R Goldsmith, L.C.S.W. (Seal Beach, CA)
Joanne Cohen, M.A., D.T.R.-B.C. (San Francisco, CA)
Shelly Ball-Burack, L.C.S.W. (Berkeley, CA)
Holly Asher Drinen, M.D. (Phoenix, AZ)
Lisa Cohen Bennett, M.D. (Berkeley, CA)
Bill Cheney, Education Specialist (San Carlos, CA)
Deborah Burg-Schnirman, M.S.W. (Petaluma, CA)
Robin Lewis, L.M.F.T. (Irvine, CA)
Summer 2016 Medical & Nefesh Staff
Dr Mark Alson, Physician
Roberta Bavin, PNP
Dr. Jeff Burack, Physician
William Cohen, D.O.
Dr. Ofer Eibschutz, Physician
Dr. Daniel Glatt, Physician
Dr. Tamar Gottfried, Physician
Esther Greenburg, RN
Dr Greg Hirsch, Physician
Barbara Honiberg, Medical Staff
Lois Jacobs, Registered Nurse
Dr. Sharon Kaminker, Pediatrician
Carri Kapstrom, Registered Nurse
Dr. Barry Meskin, Physician
Dr. Poornima Mukerji, Physician
Dr Edward Nagel, Physician
Dana Paskowitz, Registered Nurse
Alissa Robinow, Medical Administrator
Dr. Joey Robinow, Physician
Diana Sherman, PNP
Carolyn Smith, Registered Nurse
Dr. Amy Solomon, Family Physician
Ann Soloway, Nurse, RN
Dr. Seth Stabinsky, Physician
Dr. Sharon Sternfeld, Pediatrician “Camp Doc”
Dr Naomi Torgersen, Physician
Rita Weikal, Registered Nurse
Jennifer Wood, Registered Nurse
Songleading: Dan Nichols
Papercutting: Isaac Brynjegard-Bialik
Storytelling: David Azen
Calligraphy: Sarah Edelstein
Print Making: Peretz Wolf-Prusan
Dance: Rebecca Hendel
Tallitot: Nancy Pechner
Cooking: Diana Zankowsky
Songleading: Steve Krause
Arts & Crafts: Elizabeth Kleinman
Photography: Josh Mason-Barkin
Art Journaling: Harriet Skelly
Needlepoint: Marty Lawson
Quilligraphy: Debbie Harris
Theater: Paul Prunty
Specialists & General Counselors
Our In-Cabin Staff
Inbar Maoz Kerbelov
Eldar Ben Shushan
Danielle Ben Yedidia