Monthly Archives: April 2016

Tzevet in the Spotlight: Shayna Lopp

Meet Returning Counselor: Shayna LoppStaff Pic

A second-generation camper and staff member, Shayna joins us from Atlanta, GA for her eighth summer at Camp Judaea.

Growing up and attending camp with her sister, Lindsay, Shayna knew she would one day return as a staff member. Her father, a CJ alum, encouraged her by telling her how fun and accomplishing it is to be a staff member. Evidently, Shayna agreed, as this will  be her fourth summer working at camp!

“I come back to CJ because it is my summer home. I’ve made so many memories and friends at camp, and I like to see the campers grow throughout their CJ experience.”

While not at CJ, Shayna studies Education at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL. She enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and being a sister of Theta Phi Alpha.

Tzevet in the Spotlight: Sarah Selcer

Meet Returning Counselor: Sarah Selcer

Sarah, originally from Puerto Rico, grew up in Parkland, FL, but spent her summers with her brother, Alex, in Hendersonville, NC at Camp Judaea. CJ is in her blood, as her parents are both alumni who attribute their meeting to Camp Judaea. The Selcers’ connection to Camp Judaea is so strong, in fact, that Sarah’s brother’s Bar Mitzvah was held at Camp!image1 (2)

Sarah is excited to arrive for her third summer as a staff member and cannot imagine a summer without CJ. She loves returning and being able to provide her campers the same amazing CJ experience that she had as a camper.

“CJ is my second home! It has helped shape me as a person, my Jewish values, my Jewish identity, and my love for Israel!”

Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and friends and being outdoors—at the beach or running. Don’t be alarmed if you hear her fellow staff members refer to her as “Giggles,” as Sarah always has a smile on her face.

Since last summer, Sarah participated in a gap year program called Kivunim during which she lived in Israel and traveled to many places all around the world which are rich in Jewish history. When camp ends this summer, Sarah will attend American University in Washington, DC to study International Relations in the Middle East.

Tzevet in the Spotlight: Gadi Djangoly

Meet Our Rosh Ropes: Gadi Djangoly

We met Gadi last summer when he was a ropes course staff member. We are thrilled to welcome him back as the Rosh Ropes (Ropes Director) for his second CJ summer.unnamed (3)

As a camper, Gadi attended Blue Star. As he saw on social media that his former camp friends were returning to camp to become staff members, his camp memories inspired him to, one day, work as a counselor. He contacted Tom Rosenberg, who he knew from Blue Star, and fell in love with CJ through their conversations, pictures, and videos on the website. He knew it would be the perfect fit. The decision for Gadi to return to Camp Judaea this summer was made easy because he had “the perfect summer” with us in 2015.

“The staff members were great and motivated, and the campers were hungry for excitement. The Ropes activity area is one of the most challenging activities a camper can do at camp both physically and mentally. Helping a camper achieve his/her goal, whether it’s going down the zip line, climbing to the top of the hard wall or just simply to face their fear of heights, gives me the best feeling.”

Gadi admires Camp Judaea for its constant devotion to Zionism. He intends to incorporate as much of Israel as he can into the Ropes activities. On the Migdal (tower) there is a full-scale map of Israel that the campers will be able to climb in order to locate and reach specific cities. He is also a fan of using Hebrew vocabulary like hevel (rope) and casda (helmet) to help the campers learn.

Gadi is originally from London but made Aliya to Raanana, Israel when he was sixteen. His hobbies include running with his dogs, playing guitar, and Krav Maga. He served in the elite Israeli Paratroopers from 2011-2014. Over the last year, he has been living and working in London as a personal trainer and outdoor boot camp instructor specializing in functional training.

“I like motivating people. That is why I became a personal trainer, and that is why I am returning to CJ: to help motivate the campers to achieve their goals.”

Tzevet in the Spotlight: Amos Pomp

Meet Returning Counselor: Amos Chaim Pomp12631327_10208696627443529_7214585771368733595_n

Amos is no stranger to Camp Judaea. In addition to the two previous summers he spent working as a counselor, Amos attended CJ every summer from Offarim to Chalutzim! His mother and uncles spent their childhood summers at Camp Judaea, also.

“Young Judaea has been a big part of my teenage life, providing fantabulous fun times  and life-long friends. Working on staff was the natural progression for me. I wanted to provide experiences that I had [as a camper] for current campers, and, if possible, make them better.”

Amos joins us from Chapel Hill, NC where his hobbies include playing Ultimate Frisbee and the trombone (though not at the same time), taking long walks, kayaking and canoeing, and creating interesting and unique works of art. He has many interests such as: people, cultures, travel, and sustainability, and is excited to begin college at Northwestern University to see where these interests take him!

Since camp ended last August, Amos has been traveling the world. In the fall, he completed a three-month Outward Bound program in Costa Rica and hiked from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific. This year, he visited Hong Kong, Vietnam, Germany, Scotland, and Spain, where he worked on an organic farm for two months. Though his year has been awesome, he is looking forward to being home for Pesach and returning to camp!

“Each awesome summer at CJ has me stomping out other summer plans and promising to return the next year. The daily joy and laughter of such a strong community is hard to resist. Amazing activities and trips and the idea of another beautiful summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains has drawn me back once again.”

Amos can be seen going “shigaon” during our Shabbat shira sessions in the chadar ochel. CJ Balagan!

Tzevet in the Spotlight: Remi Beek

Meet Returning Counselor: Remi Beekremi

Remi is a graduate of Camp Judaea’s Madrichim in Training (MIT) program and will be joining us from Miami, FL for her second year as a full-time counselor. She is currently a freshman at Tulane University majoring in Gender and Sexuality Studies and minoring in Jewish Studies. Her hobbies include art and traveling.

Before joining the CJ Staff, Remi was a camper. She began spending her summers with us when she was in Tsofim and returned in the following years—with each summer getting better! She was excited to hear that CJ started the MIT program and was eager to once again be a part of the CJ family.

“I think CJ was an excellent source to expand my Zionism and Jewish values as well as have a fun time at summer camp with friends that will last a lifetime. The community of campers and eager staff members compelled me to come back to work at CJ. I want the next generation of CJ campers to have the same positive experiences that I did.”

Remi is happy to be another summer in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and can’t wait to be your counselor!

“I want to come back for as long as I can. I always try to fit CJ into my schedule.”

Tzevet in the Spotlight: Sarah Noyovitz

Chizuk Fellow: Sarah NoyovitzSarah Noyo pro headshot face (1)

The Chizuk position is new at CJ this year! Camp Judaea is one of a handful of camps who have received multi-year funding from the Avi Chai Foundation for a Summer Jewish Programming Director.

Sarah’s job is to facilitate enhancements to our camper-led t’fillah program by working with campers to help prepare them to lead t’filah and by offering a new rotational activity in which campers will learn Jewish values and prayers through music and experiential education. Sarah will also serve as a resource, guide, and mentor to our staff and our larger camp community within the area of Jewish education and Judaism.

Sarah Noyovitz is studying at the Hebrew College Rabbinical School in Newton, MA, where she is training to become a “singing rabbi.” Her three big passions in life are music, Judaism, and people.

Her other kippot include Zumba Fitness instructor, singer-songwriter, and goofball.
If Sarah could have any superpower, it would be to remove pain. But also flying would be really cool. Or to master any instrument instantly. Or maybe just to make decisions easily.

Sarah, a 15-year camper alum of five different Jewish summer camps across the country, is really excited to be “on the other side of the curtain” at camp. She can’t wait to meet everyone, and to create a tremendous fun time for every person at Camp Judaea!

Tzevet in the Spotlight: Meet Aryeh Pollack

Rosh Sports: Aryeh Joseph Pollack

Aryeh grew up in Vero Beach, FL and now studies advertising at the University of Florida, where he is the Membership Vice President of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, and a Captain for UF’s famously successful Dance Marathon.


This will be Aryeh’s second summer as a CJ Staff member. For him, one summer was not enough; he loved every minute of being an in bunk madrich, and knew he had to come back. He looks forward to expanding his CJ horizon and doing something that will give him the chance to spend time with campers from every age group while also utilizing his leadership skills to provide the best summer for the campers. As a camper, the sports activities were some of his favorite times at CJ, so he plans on helping to develop the program and to continue to make camp even more awesome!

“I do not remember a time where CJ wasn’t a part of my life. As a double legacy (shout out Mom and Dad), going to camp could not come soon enough for me. I attended CJ from Nitzanim(Taste of CJ/Rishonim equivalent) through Bogrim and was finally able to return as a staff member last summer (shout out to Kesher 2015). Summers at CJ have shaped my life in ways that I could not even explain. Working for a place that gave me so much is the most rewarding thing. I’d like to thank my counselors when I was a camper for being the best role models and showing me how to love camp.”

As a child, Aryeh played soccer, basketball, tennis and baseball, but once he reached middle school and discovered lacrosse, he was hooked. He played throughout high school, earning three varsity letters and was named the All-District and All-Area Goalie of the Year as a Junior. He has worked as a defensive/goalie coach at various lacrosse camps. Currently he keeps up his love of competition through playing basketball intramural.

“I am a huge Fantasy Football junkie and have also recently gotten into Fantasy Basketball, so if you need help setting your line-up next season, you know who to call. As a life-long Gator fan and a current UF student, if you see me not wearing some form of orange and blue, take me straight to the HCC! My first words as baby were “Go Gators”, “Fins Up” and “Let’s Go Heat!”

An avid sports fan and athlete, Aryeh has always been frustrated when people claimed that Jews could not be athletes. Noting that Israel has produced some of the best athletes in the world, he plans on incorporating more Jewish and Israeli sports facts, statistics, and stories into peulot to encourage campers to follow their dreams and to not let this common stereotype keep them from their athletic goals.

Among his other athletic abilities, Aryeh can wiggle his nose and make other strange facial expressions. He promises to impress you with these skills this summer!

How Jewish Overnight Camp Teaches Leadership!

To be truthful, there are no courses at camp on how to be a leader. There is swimming and tennis and Color War. Some of the camps have water skiing and others have intensive science and technology. There are two Jewish Camps that have intensive sports programs. So how do the camps make leaders?

READ MORE of this article posted by
Thanks Foundation for Jewish Camp for sharing!