Blog  Meet Our Summer 2017 Staff!

Meet Our Summer 2017 Staff!

We have an amazing group of Rashei Eidot (unit heads) this summer!

Sara Splansky – Kallah

Sara is beyond excited to be returning to OSRUI as the Rosh Eidah (unit head) of Kallah this summer! This will be her 13th summer at OSRUI, and her 5th on staff.

Sara spent two years at Bradley University where she majored in Religious Studies. She is now a full time nanny and is in the search of the perfect school to study Elementary Education.

Sara cannot wait for the summer to begin so she can get back to all her favorite Kallah activities. She loves swimming in the pool, celebrating Shabbat, climbing etgar, and forming lifelong friendships. Sara is counting down the days until summer 2017 begins and is looking forward to welcoming all the Kallah campers to OSRUI!

Dylan Singer – Tzofim

Dylan is thrilled to be coming back to OSRUI this summer as the Rosh Eidah of Kibbutz HaTzofim!  Dylan grew up in Deerfield, Illinois and is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.  This May, Dylan will be graduating with degrees in Business and Marketing Education, Jewish Studies, and Hebrew!  Dylan also had the amazing opportunity to study at Hebrew University in Jerusalem as part of the Nachshon Project.  In his free time, he loves to read books, surround himself with teva (nature) and relax with his friends.  This will be Dylan’s 12th summer at OSRUI, and his 7th summer being in Tzofim.  After graduating, Dylan wants to work in the Jewish Community.

Dylan cannot wait to get back downstairs to Tzofim and enjoy the ohelim (tents), picnic tables, refet (farm) and gan (garden)!  Some of his favorite parts about camp are swimming in the breicha (pool), getting the entire camp together for Shabbat, and Oconomostock – the all-camp talent show put on by Tzofim! As the summer keeps getting closer, Dylan is getting excited to sit around the campfires and roast s’mores, share old memories and make new ones, and get to meet all the new faces which will be joining the Tzofim community this summer while reconnecting with familiar faces.  He cannot wait to get this summer started!

Becky Dolinko – Gesher

Becky is so excited to be returning to OSRUI this summer as the Rosh Eidah of Gesher! This will be Becky’s 12th summer at OSRUI, her 7th summer on staff, and her 2nd year as Gesher Rosh Eidah. Becky has been fortunate to be either a camper or staff member in every eidah (unit) at camp, but there is a special place in her heart for Gesher.

Becky graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2016 with a degree in Elementary Education. During the year, Becky is an elementary school teacher in the Chicago suburbs.

Becky loves everything about camp, but she especially enjoys swimming at the breicha, celebrating Shabbat, tiyulim (field trips), and all-camp events, such as the Gesher Carnival! Becky also loves how in Gesher, there are many opportunities to make a difference in the community, and grow as a leader. Becky looks forward to welcoming all the Gesher campers to OSRUI, and to help make summer 2017 one of the best summers yet!

Evan Richter – Tiferet

Evan is beyond thrilled to be making his return as Tiferet Rosh Eidah for the summer of 2017! This will be his 14th summer at camp and 6th year on staff.  Evan keeps making his return to OSRUI because it holds such a special place in his heart and really helped form who he is today.  His father was a Rosh Eidah at OSRUI in 1972 and Evan is honored to fill his shoes 45 years later.

Evan was born and raised in Allentown, PA, and decided to stick around in Allentown to get his undergraduate degree in theater at Muhlenberg College. Evan is a member of the Muhlenberg Circus where he is a clown, juggler, and is an active participant in various school productions.  He also has been tap dancing for the past thirteen years.  After graduation, Evan is hoping to move to Chicago to pursue a career in theater creation! Eventually he is planning to go to graduate school to get a masters degree in Theater Education or Physical Theater.

Evan has high hopes that OSRUI summer 2017 is going to be the best one yet, and cannot wait for opening day and what other wacky antics will occur over the course of the summer!

Lily Booker – Moshavah

Lily’s first trip in Mosh as a camper, back in 2009, was a three-day biking trip. That summer she found her passion for the outdoors, camp, and Judaism. Now, after having been on a total of 18 trips, Lily is ready and excited to embark on the best Mosh trip she could imagine, Rosh of Mosh!

Lily was a camper at OSRUI for five years and this will be her fifth year on staff. Every summer, Lily looks forward to getting to know the wonderful chanichim (campers) and helping them fully immerse themselves in the teva (nature) through hiking, biking, canoeing, and rock climbing trips. The past two summers as Medic for Moshavah, Lily has built incredible relationships with her campers who hold a special place in her heart and are what she looks forward to when coming back to camp summer after summer. She remembers the amazing memories and bonds she created as a chanicha with her own madrichim (counselors) and loves to continue that growth while on staff with her own campers. Lily also thoroughly enjoys her time at the pool, climbing Etgar, the book club chug (elective), the gan and most of all, Shabbat!

Throughout the school year, Lily is a student at Boston University where she studies International Relations with a focus on the Middle East and the security dilemma. This spring, Lily is so excited to be taking the opportunity to study abroad in London, England. She plans to travel all over Europe and take in as much of the new culture as she can. She is extremely excited to visit her other friends abroad and learn about all these new places while immersing herself in a brand new environment!

With the help of her wonderful and well-trained staff, Lily is confident that the campers are going to have the best summer in Mosh and enjoy the trips as much as she did when she younger. She is eager to see these campers grow into the young, mature adults they are. Lily is very excited and enthusiastic about this upcoming summer and cannot wait to welcome the chanichim to Mosh!

Rafi Ellenson – Chalutzim

Rafi is thrilled for the opportunity to be the Chalutzim Rosh Eidah for summer 2017! Having spent most of his life in New York, he has had the immense privilege of spending a lot of time in Israel to sharpen his Hebrew skills and expand his love for the language. But OSRUI is Rafi’s real home — this is his 12th summer at camp! It’s his 5th on staff, and 4th on Chalutzim staff having been a madrich, songleader, and, most recently, a music specialist.

Rafi is currently a student at Goddard College studying Jewish Studies and Music. He also spends his time playing guitar and percussion, reading every book about the Beatles he can get his hands on, and working as a teacher and curriculum coordinator at different Hebrew and Religious Schools around New York City. He someday hopes to pursue education professionally.

Rafi loves everything about Chalutzim from learning about Israel through the help of our fantastic mishlachat (Israeli staff) to spending time swimming at the breicha and agam (lake)! But Rafi’s favorite part of Chalutzim is the confidence the chanichim gain when they learn so much Hebrew and immerse themselves fully into the life-changing summer Chalutzim is. Rafi can’t wait to welcome the chanichim and for them to have an amazing time!

Jesse Illian – Tour La’Agam

Jesse is away from his desk right now working and riding the runs at Heavenly Mountain Resort in beautiful South Lake Tahoe, CA. Come spring he will be going back to his job taking school groups out into the backcountry teaching about ecology, natural history, team building, and having fun.

Jesse loves living life out on the open road and empty gorgeous countryside, whether exploring it by snowshoe, backpack, bike, or canoe. He’s putting his degrees in Recreation & Tourism and Business Administration from Winona State University in MN to good use. He follows the seasons playing outside, but has always had a summer home in Oconomowoc, WI  at OSRUI since he was nine.

Jesse’s super stoked to be the Rosh of Tour La’Agam this summer after two years as a camper on it and two more staffing the trip. This will be Jesse’s fifth year on staff after eight as a camper, so you could say he’s been around the block a few times, but he’s excited to add his own outdoor education and recreation style to the one of a kind OSRUI summer experience.

Micah Brandhandler – Avodah

Was there any doubt that Micah would once again clip on his walkie talkie and head up to Oconomowoc this summer?  Micah is thrilled to be coming back to camp this summer as the rosh eidah of Avodah! This will be his 15th summer at camp and his 10th on staff. Micah has spent six summers working as a madrich, s’gan (asst. unit head), and rosh eidah of Chalutzim and is looking forward to his 4th time driving the tractor around camp. Avodah was his first job at camp and he has loved being rosh of Avodah the past two summers.

In addition to being rosh of Avodah, Micah will be in charge of the song leaders at camp.  Working with the song leaders last year was a great experience to be a part of and he is sure that the song leading at camp will continue to be full of ruach (spirit) and music.  If you ever get the chance to be a part of how amazing Shabbat Shira is, you would all surely agree.

Micah is currently the general music teacher and choir director in a school district in Lemont, IL.  In his free time, Micah likes to play ultimate frisbee, soccer, learn new instruments, and sing.  Micah can’t wait for summer to arrive, when he will get to teach the very special art of plunging to a whole new group of Avodahniks!

Albert Marks – Machon

OSRUI’s amazing Senior Assistant Director, Albert Marks will again head our Machon counselor-in-training program, and he cannot wait to help shape the next generation of OSRUI tzevet (staff)!

Keep checking back for more staff announcements!