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
Summer Camp Directors
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 over 15 years of experience as a Jewish professional to this position. She fully believes in the power of Jewish camp to inspire a love of Judaism, allow campers and staff alike to believe in themselves, and to become their best selves.
Erin has been passionate about Jewish camp since she was 10-years-old. After graduating from The University of Texas in 2000, she was an assistant camp director at URJ Greene Family Camp and was a regional youth director for the North American Federation of Temple Youth. While in rabbinical school, Erin directed Gindling Hilltop Camp in Malibu.
Ordained as a rabbi in 2010 from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Erin 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. This past spring, Erin was honored to receive the Helen Diller Family Award for Excellence in Informal Jewish Education.
As a rabbinical student, Erin served Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles as an intern, Congregation Shaareth Israel in Lubbock, Texas as student rabbi, and Chaverim, an organization that serves developmentally disabled adults.
Rabbi Erin lives in northern California with Michael and their children Zachary, Eliza, and Aviva.
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.
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.
Year-Round Directors & 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.
Lily Gottlieb, Regional Director, NFTY Southern California
Lily is an educator, artist and experienced youth professional. 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 Camp Newman and within the NFTY SOCAL community. She has been a member of the Newman professional team since 2016 and has spent the last six summers with Camp Newman, including one summer as a Madricha for NFTY’s Israel Adventure teen tour. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lily is excited to be back in Southern California for this role and loves being able to collaborate with the many creative and innovative minds in the region. Lily has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts.
Tracey Klapow, Development 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.
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, Director of Teen Engagement
Samara is in her eighth year working for the URJ and has spent 18 summers at Camp Newman! Samara’s collaborative Camp Newman and NFTY role allows her to oversee the implementation of year-round teen programming. In this capacity, she meets with youth professionals, educators, and clergy, works to vision new and innovative teen experiences, and supports the NFTY Central West and NFTY SOCAL Regional Directors. She also serves in an integrated role onsite at Camp Newman during the summers.
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. She 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.
Sierra Meszaros, Regional Director, NFTY Central West Region
Sierra is currently serving as the NFTY Central Western Region, Regional Advisor and is extremely excited to head into her second summer at camp! Throughout the year Sierra works with teen leaders to build high quality Jewish programming for their peers, creating spaces for teens throughout the region to continue to grow as leaders and as young Jews. Sierra is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she grew up as a member at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills, but in recent years has come to call the small Northern Nevada town of Genoa her new home town. She has long had a passion for the Jewish community which has manifested itself in various ways over the years, beginning as a TYG member, later becoming a youth educator, and TYG advisor. Sierra cannot wait to work with CIT 2018, and to see a new set of Camp Newman leaders bring the magic and wonder to camp!
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 2018 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 – TBD
Coordinator of Teen Camp – TBD
Nefesh Coordinator – Rachel Dubowe
Avodah Coordinator – Samara Leader
CIT Coordinator – Sierra Meszaros
Program Coordinator (Assistant to the Assistant Director*) – TBD
Logistics Coordinator – TBD
Rabbis, Cantors & Educators
Rabbis, Cantors & Educators
Medical & Nefesh Staff
Medical & Nefesh Staff
Medical Advisory Council Members
Roberta Bavin, DNP, CPNP (Fresno, CA)
Greg Hirsch, M.D. (San Diego, CA)
Summer 2018 Nefesh Staff
Summer 2018 Medical & Nefesh Staff
Specialists & General Counselors
Our In-Cabin Staff