Executive Director, CA Youth & Camping
Ari Vared – a former Camp Swig and Newman camper, NFTY participant, staff member and camp director – is the Executive Director of California Camps and Youth. In this leadership role, Ari will help grow the impact and elevate the enriching experiences we provide to thousands of children and teens.
In Ari’s words, “To say I am beyond excited to rejoin the URJ family and work with the incredible teams at Camp Newman and 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy West 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.”
Rabbi Allie Fischman
Rabbi Allie oversees all of Camp Newman’s year-round and summer operations, and directly supports Camp Newman’s Associate and Senior Assistant Directors. She brings over 18 years of experience as a Jewish professional to this position. She 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 earned 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. She lives in the East Bay with her husband, Lane, their son, Jude the Dude, and their pup, Maggie.
Rachel K. Slaton
Associate Camp Director
Rachel begin her camp journey in college when, on a whim, she applied to work at Camp Swig in the summer of 2003, having never attended a Jewish summer camp before. For the next three summers at Camp Newman, she served as Rosh Eidah (Unit Head) for Hagigah and Hevrah and then as Avodah Director in 2006. Those four summers set her on a personal and professional journey in the Jewish educational world, landing on the Los Angeles campus of HUC where she earned her Masters in Jewish Non-Profit Management along with a Masters in Public Administration from USC in 2011. Following graduate school and five years working in the broader Jewish community, Rachel was tapped to help open URJ 6 Points Sports Academy – CA where she served as one of the founding directors from 2016-2020.
She is thrilled to be back – giving back – to where it all began! Rachel met her husband Rich at Camp Swig in 2003 and in the off-season they live in Austin, TX with their son, Jack, and dog, Boone.
Andy (A.C.) Swedlove
Assistant Camp Director
A.C. joined the team in August of 2021 as Assistant Camp Director. Prior to his time with us, he gained significant experience in informal Jewish education having spent many summers as a Sports Director, Logistics Manager, and Assistant Director for Camp Newman, 6 Points Sports Academy-CA, and Kutz Camp, respectively. He grew up in the Reform movement from his early summers at Camp Newman to serving as President on NFTY SOCAL Regional Board. Upon graduating High School, he served as a youth group advisor and program directors for congregations and JCCs throughout California, Colorado and New York.
A.C. received his B.S. in Sports & Recreation Management from Concordia University. He has a deep love of sports, tv/movies, and anything related to zoos and aquariums.
A.C. is pumped to bring his energy and creativity back to the place that has played such a big part in his life. He is also lucky enough to be able to call camp home 365 days a year as he lives on site in Santa Rosa, California.
Kim Press joined the year-round staff as Registrar in 2016, after volunteering at Newman during the summer for many years. Kim’s son Micah and daughter Jamie grew up at Newman between 2005 and 2017, so Kim was a Newman parent for a very long time! Kim and her husband Marc live in San Rafael and are very active members of Congregation Rodef Sholom. When Kim isn’t busy answering parent questions about registration, scholarships, and all things camp-related, she likes to run, row, bake, and read.
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.
Retreat Center Director
Martee has been working on the full-time team for Camp Newman since 2017 and is excited to be transitioning into her new role as the Retreat Center Director. In this role, she will oversee the year-round business at our Porter Creek home. She is excited to combine her passion for hospitality and camping to create unique and exceptional experiences for all who visit our site.
Before joining the full-time team, she began working for Camp Newman in the summers starting In 2015. Her roles included Dining Hall Manager, Development Associate, Logistics Director and full-time as the Logistics and Development Associate until recently. Martee played a critical role in managing the logistics of our summers at Newman By the Bay.
Growing up in the Chicago Suburbs, Martee was active in USY and attended Tamarack Camps in Michigan. She is a HUGE Chicago Bears fan. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois and In 2015, she received her Master’s in Hospitality Administration as well as a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Carly Zenker joined the team in October of 2018 as our Development Associate, after graduating from Loyola Marymount University. As a former URJ camper, NFTYite, and past Newman staff member, Carly knows how much of an impact camp can have on the lives of Jewish young people everywhere. She credits her Jewish camping experience in her youth for helping her to develop her passions for community, Judaism, leadership, and nature. She loves working for camp and getting involved in the diverse Bay Area Jewish community. As someone who moved around a lot as a child, Carly also knows the importance of having a place like camp to call home, and she is grateful to be part of Camp Newman’s story. When she’s not hard at work at her desk thanking camp’s supporters, applying for grants, diving into Salesforce, and working behind the scenes, she spends her time creating Judaism-inspired artwork, playing with her puppy Bandit and his favorite toys, enjoying time in nature and cooking delicious food.