Our Leadership

Our Leadership

Camp Judaea Board Leadership

Our Board of Directors is an integral part of Camp Judaea’s success. It is a visionary Board that provides essential leadership and resources for the programs and organization, as well as being ambassadors for Camp Judaea and its mission.

Executive Board:

Sam Levy Board Chair (Dunwoody, GA)
Ari Kurtz Secretary (Atlanta, GA)
Daniel Malino Treasurer (Atlanta, GA)
Civia Gerber (Decatur, GA)
Danny Tuchman (Plantation, FL)

Michele Burger Past Chair (Miami Beach, FL)
Kathy Hess (Montgomery, AL)
Janna Zwerner (Atlanta, GA)
Marlene Pinsky Klein Governance Chair (Pembroke Pines, FL)
Tracy Cohn Finance Chair (Birmingham, AL)

Linda Goldstein (Aventura, FL)
Dorrie Kahn (Davie, FL)
Robin Mendelson (Davie, FL)
Toby Parker-White (Stone Mountain, GA)
Alex Solomiany (Miami, FL)

Camp Judaea Property Board

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.

Daniel Karchem President (Chevy Chase, MD)
Robert Steinberg (Charleston, SC)
Diane Taub (Aventura, FL)
Farlen Halikman CPA Treasurer (Casselberry, FL)
Lisa Synalovski (Plantation, FL)
Rachel Wein (Tampa, FL)

Key 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.

Sydney Baranovitz

, Assistant Director
Sydney is excited to return home and once again spend her summers at CJ. Camp Judaea has always felt like home, as her mom, aunts, uncles, and cousins all attended CJ. Following in her family’s footsteps, Sydney joined the CJ family in 2000 as a Sayarim camper and spent every summer thereafter at CJ, then Tel Yehudah, then in Israel with Young Judaea’s Machon. Sydney’s staff roles included two summers as a madricha, two summers as a merakezet, and most recently, Rosh Merakzim in 2011. Sydney is an Atlanta native. She received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a major in child and family development and a certificate in disability studies from The University of Georgia. She holds a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy and has experience working with both adults and children with disabilities in various settings. Sydney is eager to bring her professional background and experience to Camp Judaea, as she considers working with children and young adults to be her personal passion. We are very excited Sydney has joined our year-round staff. If you’d like to send Sydney a quick message to welcome her, her email is: sydney@campjudaea.org.

Elana Pollack

, Director of Communications and Alumni Engagement
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.

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. Graduating in May 2015 with a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media and a minor in Hospitality Management with concentration in Event Planning, Elana is excited to now be based in Atlanta with the Camp Judaea family.

Elana along with her friendly companion dog, Shirley, looks forward to seeing you at camp in one of her favorite places….the front gate on Opening Day!

Gayle Kaplan

, Office Administrator (ext 100)
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 Acworth, 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.

Ron Means

, Caretaker
Ron Means has been taking care of Camp Judaea since the summer of 2011. Ron has worked most of his life in maintenance and enjoys the variety of work at camp and the challenge of making things better than he found them.

Ron is originally from Michigan but now lives on camp year-round. He enjoys the scenery from his front porch and being up close and personal with the wildlife that occupies camp in the off-season. Ron and his late wife, Carole, have 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren.

, Assistant Caretaker
Robert Durmire is a native of Hendersonville NC. He and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters, Holly and Cassie, and two grandchildren, Jax Paul and Brynnline Alyssa.

, Bookkeeper

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