Leadership Team

Professional Staff

Walter Synalovski, Executive Director

Walter returns to CJ with 25 years of experience in running camp and providing our campers with a phenomenal camp experience. Walter started his Camp Judaea journey as an eight-year-old camper and continued through his years as a staff member, even serving as Camp Director from 1992-1995. He worked for 14 years as the Director of Cedar Lake Camp and seven years as the Director of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac.

Walter was born in Puerto Rico and received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Florida International University. After attending Year Course and graduating from FIU, he worked in Miami as a Young Judaea Regional Director. He is fluent in English and Spanish and has two daughters, Lizzy and Rachel.

Elana Pollack Halfaker, Assistant Director

Daughter of alumni, Elana began attending CJ her Offarim year, continuing through Bogrim. The summer of 2010 Elana studied and toured Israel on the Alexander Muss High School in Israel program. In 2011, Elana returned to CJ as a counselor, and the following summer as the Drama Madricha. Elana then worked as the Head of Performing Arts in 2013, and rejoined the CJ family in 2015 as the Summer Communications Director and in 2018 became an Assistant Director.

Elana grew up in the small town of Vero Beach, Florida where she taught Hebrew school in the small Jewish community. Elana continued her involvement with Jewish youth as a Youth Group Advisor in Tallahassee, FL where she attended Florida State University and earned a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media and a minor in Hospitality Management with concentration in Event Planning. Elana and her husband, Cody, live in Atlanta and enjoy strolling the Beltline with their friendly dog, Shirley. Elana looks forward to seeing you at camp in one of her favorite places….the front gate on Opening Day!

Lori Zeligman, Assistant Director

Lori is a former camper, staff member, and Assistant Director of Camp Judaea. After leaving CJ in 2010, Lori worked at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta as the Director of Camp Isidore Alterman and then worked in corporate as a Human Resources Generalist at BrandBank.

Lori is originally from Augusta, GA and while growing up was very active in many different Jewish Youth Groups. Lori received her undergraduate degree with a double major in Literature & Communications and Judaic Studies from The American Jewish University. While in College, Lori studied abroad in Israel at Ben-Gurion University and loved to travel all over to several different countries. After graduation, Lori moved back to the South and began to work in the Atlanta Jewish Community and staffed multiple Birthright trips. Lori earned her master’s degree in Jewish Education from Siegel College and is very passionate about informal, experiential Jewish learning.

Lori met her husband, Michael, at Camp Judaea and they are excited to share the CJ experience with their children, Molly and Bram. Lori’s favorite activity at camp is Rikkud and you can find her every Saturday night dancing on the basketball court with the campers and staff!  

Danny Tuchman, Education Director

Danny started his Camp Judaea journey in 1978 and has been a camper, madrich, and merakez at camp. He has worked in Education for 17 years as a Teacher and High School Principal at the North Broward Preparatory School and the Posnack School in South Florida. Danny also served as a member of CJ’s Board of Directors and Executive Board for many years. He was CJ’s Director of Education during the summers of 2018 and 2019 and is thrilled to now come back “home” as a full time member of camp’s year-round professional staff.

Danny earned a BA in Politics and Middle Eastern Studies from Princeton University and a JD from Georgetown University. He also has an EdS degree in Educational Leadership from Walden University.

He is married to his CJ sweetheart, Gila (Chesnoff), and has three children Coby, Adina and Liora, who each have rich CJ histories of their own. Danny believes strongly in Camp Judaea’s mission of providing campers and staff a rich Jewish summer experience that will inspire them to be future leaders of the Jewish global community.

Gayle Kaplan, Office Administrator

Gayle Kaplan, our Office Administrator, works full-time for Camp Judaea. During the academic year, she runs the office in Atlanta and then moves to camp in Hendersonville, NC for the summer season. Gayle joined us with many years of experience, both as a camp-mom and as an office administrator. Organized, thorough, and personable, Gayle is a leader in her field. Her sunny disposition is well-known among campers, counselors, staff, and parents.

Gayle lives in Marietta, GA with her husband, Seth, and her two children. Originally from South Florida, she has been a part of the southern Jewish community her whole life. Gayle is eager to answer your questions and help each camp family get the most from their summers at Camp Judaea.

Robert Durmire, Caretaker


Camp Judaea, Inc.
Board of Directors

  • Ari Kurtz, Chair (Atlanta, GA)
  • Daniel Malino, First Vice Chair (Atlanta, GA)
  • Civia Gerber, Vice Chair (At Large) (Decatur, GA)
  • Tracy Cohn, Vice Chair (At Large) (Birmingham, AL)
  • Sam Levy, Past Chair (Dunwoody, GA)
  • Marion Aronheim (Lake Worth, FL)
  • Jose Biton (Miami, FL)
  • Daniel Cook (Maplewood, NJ)
  • Randall Foster (Smyrna, GA)
  • Elisheva Funk (Dunwoody, GA)
  • Kathy Hess (Montgomery, AL)
  • Dorrie Kahn (Davie, FL)
  • Charlie Kauss (Atlanta, GA)
  • Herbie Loebl (Hollywood, FL)
  • Robin Mendelson (Davie, FL)
  • Mindy Opper (North Caldwell, NJ)
  • Pip Spandorfer (Atlanta, GA)
  • Aaron Strasser (Greensboro, NC)
  • Walter Synalovski (Ex Officio)

CJ Property, Inc. Board of Directors

Our Camp Judaea Property Board of Directors, comprised of builders, architects and attorneys ensures that our spectacular property and facilities continue to offer a high quality environment for our camp experiences. These Camp Judaea leaders and ambassadors are constantly envisioning new and renovated facilities as well as ensuring that sufficient resources are available to bring them to realization.

  • Ari Kurtz (Atlanta, GA)
  • Robert Steinberg (Charleston, SC)
  • Diane Taub (Aventura, FL)
  • Farlen Halikman, CPA Treasurer (Casselberry, FL)
  • Lisa Synalovski (Plantation, FL)
  • Rachel Wein (Tampa, FL)