We introduced you last month to our merakzim (unit heads) for the summer, now meet our camper care team! In years past we had a single Camp Mom, but that has evolved into a 3-person camper care team for each session. The camper care team does so many different things at camp, but mostly they make sure that all campers have what they need to feel supported and set up for success for the summer. When parents have questions about how their campers are doing, it is our camper care team that will check in with campers and get back to parents. If there are any issues, they help to problem solve by working with campers, staff, and parents. Meet our amazing team:
Rachel Kurinsky will be spending her 3rd summer as the Inclusion Specialist at CYJ. She has helped us build our program from an ambitious idea to a full inclusion program that has exceeded its participation goals. Rachel comes to Texas by way of New York and has come to love her adopted state – ask her about her favorite country artist or how many times she went to the Rodeo this year! Her husband and 5-year-old son Sephi will also be at camp for both sessions this summer.
Lisa Samuels knows CYJ Texas very well. She grew up in San Antonio and was a camper from 1997 to 2001. While she was at the University of Texas she began working as a counselor at CYJ and joined us at camp for several summers in different roles, including Arts & Crafts director and PR/Communications. Lisa has been a Special Education teacher in Austin for 8 years, so we are very lucky to have her bring her expertise to camp this summer as part of our camper care team. She will be with us for both sessions this summer.
Liron Frank is back for her second summer on the camper care team. Liron moved to Houston from Israel a year and a half ago with her husband and 4 children. For the past 15 years, she has been a drama teacher/director and a Hebrew teacher, working with children of all ages from elementary to high school. She is also certified as a Parent and Family Group Facilitator after studying at the Adler Institute for four years. We are excited that Liron brings her 3 girls as Ofarim, Chalutzim, and Tsofim campers, as well as her toddler son to CYJ with her this summer. The Franks will be at camp for the second session.
Valerie Granoff is new to our CYJ staff, although she did attend CYJ for a year when she was 16. Two of her three sons have been campers at CYJ, including Aaron, who will be a Tsofim camper this summer. Valerie has been a psychotherapist in private practice in Austin for the past 25 years. She is from a family of pet lovers (2 dogs and 12 chickens and thinking about adding a potbelly pig!) and is very excited to be at camp working with kids and enjoying the outdoor activities that she loves. She will be joining us for the first session of camp.