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!

Jessie Siegel will serve as s’ganit (assistant unit head) of Kallah

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 an alum of the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities.  This May, Dylan graduated 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!

Raya Seidman will serve as s’ganit of Tzofim.

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!

Jami Goldberg will serve as s’ganit of Gesher.

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!

Leah Sherin will serve as s’ganit of Tiferet.

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!

Jacob Letwat will serve as s’gan of Moshavah

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!

Lee Naftali will serve as s’ganit of Chalutzim.

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!

Ella Steiner- Rosh Mishlachat

Ella is thrilled to come back to camp for the summer of 2017 as Rosh Mishlachat (the head of the Israeli delegation). Last summer, Ella was a madricha (counselor) in Chalutzim and she had a fantastic time with the both the wonderful staff and the terrific campers. Ella comes all the way from the northern border in Israel and this will be her second summer at OSRUI.

Ella was both an active member and a group leader in a youth movement in her Moshav (community) and during her two years of army duty, she served on an educational base as a logistics officer. As part of her military service, Ella was a madricha to many groups of teens who came for a basic training experience called gadna, a program attended by both Israelis and American teens, including many from NFTY.

After the army, like every soldier, it was time for Ella to decide what she wanted to do during her time off before starting her university studies. At one time, she had been a soldier accompanying a Birthright trip,  and she knew about the importance of making the connection between North American Jews and Israelis, and she wanted to continue to play a role in promoting these connections.

At OSRUI, Ella was especially moved by the way that the camp approached tfilot. Ella learned new melodies, new songs, and gained a new found interest in prayer.  It also happened to be a fun thing to do – a fun way to open and close the day. Ella realized that there was a whole way of being Jewish that was new to her.

Ella feels that it is a huge honor to be in a position where she can connect between the Israeli and American members of the staff.

The atmosphere at OSRUI is so welcoming, positive, and nurturing and Ella can’t wait to start another incredible summer!

The rashei eidot (unit heads) team works hard and plays hard!


Kallah: Hannah Budwig, Marissa Bachrach, Sophie Berne, Amir Gershoni, Ben Gertz, Jordan Imana, Sari Lindner, Kyle O’Day, Brendan Sigale, Yves Zibi

Tzofim: Shira Brandhandler, Jaylyn Fahey, Tom Froydental, Ashley Jones, Zeke Parsons, Will Rivlin, Leron Samra, Ross Schneider, Noah Segal, Elisha Serotta

Gesher: Hadley Adelman, Josh Borin, Sophie Budwig, Molly Fortnow, Andrew Gertz, Ari Goldstein, Mitchell Israel, Eliana Kohn, Yonatan Levin, Emily Nistad, Eli Strauss

Tiferet: Cameron Bernstein, Emily Dana, Alex Kopulsky,  Dor Lev, Rena Newman

Moshavah: Rebecca Bloom, Omer Bohbot, Dani Brockstein, Max Gendler, Joe Gutstadt, Corinne Greenblatt, Lexi Hilton, Naama Leshem, Jake Liu, Liora London, Rebecca Lubar, Eve Zikmund-Fisher

Chalutzim:  Matan Bar Haim, Adam Cicelsky, Liyam Dicapua, Amit Dahan, Ido Dor, Avital Genkin, Inbar Kahana, Rotem Metiv, Ran Shemesh, Nofar Zilberman

Tour L’Agam: Josh Altshuler, Sarah Coffey, Michelle Margolies


Aquatics Director:  Andrew Niemic
Aquatics:  Nick Visser, pool supervisor; Jack Watermolen, lake supervisor.  Staff:   Sadie Bishop, Pauline Brown, Jeremy Frewen, Nick Fuller, Alex Gerencir, Annie, Geschke, Grayson Glazer, Peyton Harper, Marnina Hornstein, Grant Johnson, Kaitlin Kapitan, Brandon Niemiec, Carson Niemiec, Claire Perrault, Oscar Prince, Camden Rockwell, Maggie Ross, Sean Ryan, Spencer Schmidt, Frank Seipel, Sara Shepard, Matthew St. Thomas, Charlee Vrtjack, Britt Zimmer

Art Specialist:  Ohad Sha’altiel
Rosh Chaverim:
 Cassie Muffler
Canteen:  Catie Middleton
Cooking: Hila Hollingsworth
Dance Specialist:  
Margalit Sha’altiel
Morgan Cohen
Drama Specialist:  Michael Goldberg
Drama Assistant:  Lidar Sadan
Drivers: Tom Frankiewicz, Gary Garrison
Etgar: Zach Frischer, Roy Lash, Sarah Stuckey, Ben Yusen
Health Center Administrator: Laurie Muffler
Horseback Riding:  Ari Schlossberg, Pneil Schneider, Roy Schwartzbalt, Noam Shapiro
Inclusion Staff: Annie Azriel, Ben Goldberg, Debbie Locketz
Media:  Amit Elyasi
Merkaz Ivrit: Etty Dolgin, Rachel Garber
Music Specialist:  Sarah Altshuler, Aviv Kammay
Head Nurse: Paula Kaye
Office Administrator:
Joey Barr
Photographer:  Stephanie Eisenberg
Security:  JoAnn Graewin, Brian Klink, Patrick Middleton, Janet Sandvold, Mike Teofilo
Sports Specialist:  Jeff Gates
Sports Staff:  Anat Frank Baumi, Dori Shalit-Gluck, Nikita Soumrov, Roy Talmor
Rosh Teva:  
Tome Sha’altiel
Brian Baren, Matty Powell, Lily Simon
Videographer: Mitch Cohen

MachonJacob Bender, Jaime Berman, Sam Cohen, Greta Cutts, Joey Cutts, Daniel Dodinval, Lexi Friedman, Sarah Gamoran, Maya Goldbaum, Ethan Goldberg, Josh Goodman, Blair Haberman, Elizabeth Hogan, Audrey Honig, Abby Hunt, Tamar Jacobsohn, Leah Kuperman, Spencer Lavin, Adam Levy, Jake Lewis, Alex Loundy, Abby Mishory, Emilio Moreno, Dani Oberman, Daphne Oettinger, Hannah Prass, Samantha Savage, Andrea Seiler, Julian Stone, Sydney Weisman, Zoe Wilhelmsen

Avodah Aleph:  Miriam Berkson, Miriam Berne, Ethan Bernstein, Lily Block, Henry Block, Max Cohn, Danielle DeCesaris, Sammy Fogel, Mackenzie Haith, Ben Kopnick, Hannah Kramer, Noa Lamaskin, Natalie Lefkowitz, Noah Letwat, Ari Machtinger, Isaac Margulies, Morgan Millunchick, Parker Parrinello, Jacob Rosenberg, Julia Schneider, Nathan Severyns, Danielle Shaykin, Mia Sherin, Emma Smith, Uri Uzriel, Morgan Weinberg, Allison Wexler, Michael Winner, Danielle Wolff, Sam Wolff

Avodah Bet: Matthew Bloom, Zach Brown, Aleia Budwig, Anna Caffarelli, Asher Clissold, Ellie Dallet, Drew Donohue, Leo Dunn, Evan Friedman, Sophia Goodman, Avi Horwitz, Marni Israel, Jake Hershenhouse, Jordyn Levay, Johnathan Meyer, Sophie Richardson, Samara Khn, Naomi Sha’altiel, Matthew Shabelman, Sarah Shaw, Aviva Silverman, Jacob Spangler, Sloan Sprau, Alli Torf, Ezra Weber, Sam Weber, Anna Weinstein, Devin Wolf, Peri Yarosh

As soon as we receive your contract, your name will go up!  

Check back often for more staffing updates!