Meet Our Year-Round 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.
Executive Director, CA Youth and Camping
Ari Vared, Executive Director
Ari Vared – a former Camp Newman camper, NFTY participant, staff member and camp director – is the Executive Director of California Camps and Youth. In this leadership role, Ari is joining 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.
A Message From Ari Vared:
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.
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 Sarah and I, and our children, Levi and Sophie) 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.
– Ari Vared
Summer Camp Directors
Rabbi Allie Fischman, Summer Camp Director
Rabbi Allie oversees all of Camp Newman’s summer operations and directly supports Camp Newman’s Assistant and Associate Directors. She brings over 18 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.
Rabbi Allie joined the Camp Newman community in 2012 as a Rosh Eidah (Unit Head) and has since filled the roles of CIT Director, Staff Week Coordinator and from 2014-2018, Associate Director. 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.
Christine Wedner, Summer Camp Senior Assistant Director
Christine Wedner is excited to be a part of the Camp Newman family as our Senior Assistant Director! Christine has been on staff the past two summers. In 2016, she oversaw Camp Katan, providing a memorable summer experience for our youngest campers – our faculty’s pre-school aged children. In summer 2018, she was the Summer Administrator, managing the camp’s operations. She’s also a superwoman, simultaneously pursuing her Master’s in Education while running a busy household of four children, a husband, and a dog. She can’t wait to continue our tradition of Camper CARE and of creating unforgettable memories!
Beto Salazar Poss, Assistant Director and NFTY CWR Regional Advisor
Beto has been a part of the Camp Newman and NFTY CWR community for twenty years now as a camper, participant, counselor, and various leadership roles before joining our full-time team August 2018 as Assistant Director. Beto has worked tirelessly all year to create an amazing camp experience this summer and we are thrilled that his magic, charisma and leadership will be now be more deeply ingrained into the NFTY experience. Beto’s leadership of NFTY CWR will positively impact our teens and greater community for years to come.
A Message From Beto Salazar-Poss:
I am thrilled to be able to continue positively impacting the lives of our youth by helping to create moments of magic and awe and by creating a safe space for them to be curious and grow. Working at camp during the summer and continuing to work with our teens during the year through NFTY has been an absolute blessing. I’m so happy to be able to put my passion and energy into both Camp Newman and NFTY CWR, and into strengthening the bridge between the two.
Year-Round Directors & Staff
Rachel Dubowe, URJ California Camps Assistant Director and NFTY SOCAL Regional Advisor
Rachel Dubowe, an alumna of URJ Camp Newman, URJ Kutz Camp, and NFTY SOCAL, is the URJ California Camps Assistant Director and NFTY SOCAL Regional Advisor. Rachel will create meaningful, year-round Jewish experiences for NFTY SOCAL participants, and work with our URJ California Camps.
Growing up in Southern California, Rachel was raised with a love of Jewish experiential learning and sunshine. In high school, she tried to attend every NFTY SOCAL event. Rachel is a firm believer in the power of summer camp and credits a significant part of her Jewish identity to URJ Kutz Camp and Camp Newman, where she spent significant time as a participant and senior staff member, specifically in the realm of camper care and inclusion.
Rachel holds a B.S. in Human Development from UC Davis and was very active in her campus Hillel. After participating In a MASA Israel program and working in a variety of Jewish educational environments in the greater LA area, Rachel earned a Master’s in Jewish Education at the Rhea Hirsch School of Education at Hebrew Union College. As part of her education at HUC, she was the Camp Newman and NFTY SOCAL/CWR Intern working with camper care and Jewish education. Most recently, Rachel was the Experiential Educator for the Builders of Jewish Education in Los Angeles.
A Message from Rachel Dubowe:
As a proud NFTY SOCAL and URJ Camps alumna, I could not be more thrilled to return to the world that shaped me as a Reform Jewish teenager from Los Angeles. Since high school, I have been connected to NFTY SOCAL and URJ Camp Newman in a variety of roles and am so excited for what this new position as URJ California Camps Assistant Director and NFTY SOCAL Regional Advisor will bring!
I believe strongly in the power of community, experiential education, and in Jewish teachable moments, and know that this is where NFTY SOCAL and the California Camps truly shine.
I cannot wait to get to know all of you amazing teens, campers, families, youth professionals, educators, lay leaders, and clergy who are intertwined with NFTY SOCAL and California Camps.
Thank you for welcoming me into this meaningful community. I am so ready to see what we can create and learn together!
Martee Fischman, Development and Logistics Associate
Martee Fischman is excited to be joining our full-time team as Development and Logistics Associate after working behind the scenes the last three years at camp, first as Dining Hall Manager in 2015 and as Development Associate in 2016. Martee played a critical role in managing the logistics of launching our first amazing summer at Newman by the Bay, and looks forward to being an integral part of camp’s growth in the future.
Tracey Klapow, Development Director
Tracey Klapow has worked for Camp Newman for the past 13 years. In her role as Development Director she is able to combine her knowledge and passion to help build and sustain our camp and year round programming. Tracey is passionate about camping and youth engagement. Tracey grew up attending Jewish overnight summer camp and met her husband at camp. Tracey’s two sons Sam and Ze’ev grew up at Camp Newman. She has a BS in Psychology from Dominican University. She lives in Petaluma with her husband Adam.
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.
Kim Press, Registrar
Emma Silver, Assistant Director and NFTY CWR Regional Advisor
We are thrilled to welcome Emma back home. Emma served on NFTY CWR’s regional board, attended URJ Camp Newman as a camper, counselor, and unit head, and currently fills the role of Executive Assistant to Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of the Union for Reform Judaism in New York. We have been honored to be part of Emma’s journey and have witnessed Emma’s passion, dedication, commitment, energy, and eagerness to fulfill our mission.
A Message From Emma Silver
I am honored and thrilled to be joining the URJ Camp Newman team as Assistant Camp Director and NFTY CWR Advisor! My introduction to Camp Newman started while I was on the phone with my rabbi after my bat mitzvah, trying to figure out what the next step of my Jewish journey could look like, when she mentioned URJ Camp Newman. A Hebrew school classmate of mine had been spending his summers there since he was seven, and as soon as my rabbi said it, I pictured what my classmate had written in my middle school yearbook the year before: “Go to camp.”
I am thankful every day that I was pointed in the direction of Camp Newman—camp quickly became my place, and as a first-time camper entering high school, both camp and NFTY became my people. As a young person learning how to make her way in the world, I was guided and supported by an incredible team of professional staff—counselors, NFTY advisors, camp directors—who inspired me and gave me opportunities to try on and implement a new set of leadership skills rooted in Jewish values, cultivating all sorts of growth.
It was also in these spaces that I realized I wanted to dedicate my professional life to the Jewish community, and have been pursuing that path ever since. As a staff member at Camp Newman, I learned the sacred task of inspiring a love of Judaism in the next generation at camp, and during my time at university, I got to continue that work by staffing various NFTY and Reform movement events. I am so excited to be returning to and serving a community that I will forever consider home, and look forward to all of the creating, learning, and growing we will do together!
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.
Carly Zenker, Development Associate