Blog  Meet Our 2018 Summer Staff

Meet Our 2018 Summer Staff

We are so excited for our incredible OSRUI 2018 Staff!!

Daniel Shore, Leadership and Staff Development Director

Shore will be working closely with Solly and Susan in the overall management of camp, supporting the rashei eidot (unit heads) and madrichim (counselors) in their work.  He is as ready as he’ll ever be to return to camp as the Leadership and Staff Development Director for Summer 2018! Since the last time you saw him wearing a silly hat, putting on face paint on Friday, and talking like Elmo — Summer 2012 (when he completed his fourth summer as Rosh Eidah of Kallah, 9th summer on staff, and 15th summer at camp overall), Shore has been very busy. He’s been professionalizing his camp background and integrating staff-focused research as he works on his PhD in Workplace Psychology at George Mason University. Over the past 5 years, Shore has worked as a researcher with the Foundation for Jewish Camp and used that as a springboard to also start consulting for camps. His consulting work has included workshops, surveys on staff perspectives, and staff focus groups, all with the goal to build and maintain a positive staff culture. His goal this summer is to empower staff to take ownership of their summer experience so they can wake up every morning with enthusiasm for the important work they are doing (and the silly hats he’ll give them to wear!).

Program Director – Deborah Goldberg

Deborah is beyond excited to be returning to camp this summer as the program director!  She grew up in Deerfield, Illinois, and spent her summers as a camper, staff member, and unit head at OSRUI. This will be her seventh summer on staff and her fifteenth summer at camp. Deborah’s favorite things about camp include welcoming campers on their first day, praying together outside, Shabbat dinners with all of camp, playing basketball in the pool, and celebrating havdallah under the stars. Most of all, she loves helping campers and staff create meaningful summer memories that last a lifetime.

Deborah is currently a second-year rabbinical student at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio. During this past year, she served as a student rabbi at Synagogue B’nai Israel in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and as an education fellow at Isaac M. Wise Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to starting rabbinical school, Deborah served as the Teen Programs Coordinator at the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs in Chicago. In this role, she managed all aspects of JCUA’s teens social justice program, Or Tzedek. Before working for JCUA, Deborah was an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington, D.C. In summer 2017, Deborah returned to the RAC to coordinate the Machon Kaplan Summer Internship program for undergrads interested in Judaism and social justice. Deborah graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2013 with majors in history and political science. When she’s not working or studying, Deborah can be found hiking through a national park or reading a good book.

She is counting down the days until summer 2018!

Meet Our Amazing Group of Rashei Eidot (Unit Heads)!

Sara Splansky – Kallah

Sara is so happy to be returning to OSRUI as the Rosh Eidah of Kallah again for the summer! This will be her 15th summer at OSRUI, and her 6th on staff.

Sara lives in Buffalo Grove, IL and works as a full time nanny nearby. In her spare time, she loves to travel to new places, find the greatest restaurants, and read books.

Sara has a hard time choosing which part of the day in Kallah is her favorite because everything is so much fun. Swimming is awesome – the yellow slide at the pool is the best and tubing in the lake is exhilarating! Sara has made it to the top of Etgar 12 times, and she’s going for 13 this summer. She is also an all-star Gaga champion, and is looking forward to taking on anyone who challenges her to a Gaga tournament.

Sara had the most amazing time in Kallah last summer, so you can only imagine how eager she is to get back to Oconomowoc. She can’t wait to meet everyone on opening day of summer 2018!

Brendan Sigale will serve as s’gan (assistant unit head) of Kallah

Raya Seidman – Tzofim

Raya is so beyond excited to be serving as Rosh Eidah of Kibbutz Ha’Tzofim.  Raya is currently a senior at Indiana University where she is studying Youth Development and Jewish Studies and plans to graduate in May.  Raya was a Nachshon fellow in 2017 and spent her spring semester junior year abroad in Israel before bringing her knowledge to camp.

This will be Raya’s 13th summer at OSRUI, 6th on staff, and her 9th summer in Tzofim! She is so excited to meet all of the Tzofim campers and do her best to help them foster life-long friendships, partake in positive experiences, and create amazing memories. She also is looking forward to having meals in Tzofim and celebrating Shabbat with all of camp at Shabbat Shira!

Shira Brandhandler and Noah Segal will serve as s’ganim of Tzofim

Jami Goldberg – Gesher

Jami is so excited to be back at OSRUI this summer as the Rosh Eidah of Gesher! This will be her 12thsummer at camp and 5th on staff. Jami is from Buffalo Grove, Illinois and is a student at Indiana University studying Human Resource Management. This spring, Jami is thrilled to be taking the opportunity to study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is planning on traveling all around South America.

Since 2006, camp has always been a place Jami feels lucky enough to call home. Jami loves everything about camp, but is especially excited to be back in the horseshoe this summer. She can’t wait to be tubing at the lake, to go on Gesher’s awesome tiyulim (field trips), and celebrate Shabbat with all of camp! One of Jami’s favorite parts of Gesher is the focus on developing leadership throughout the session, while also forming lifelong friendships!

Jami knows that summer 2018 is going to be awesome, and is eagerly awaiting opening day to welcome all Gesher campers and have the best summer ever!

Sophie Budwig will serve as S’ganit of Gesher

Leah Sherin– Tiferet

Leah is so excited to be returning to OSRUI this summer as Rosh Eidah of Tiferet! This will be her 11th summer at OSRUI and 5thsummer on staff. Leah grew up in Wilmette, Illinois and is currently a student at Brandeis University studying Sociology and Near Eastern Judaic Studies. This spring, Leah will be studying abroad at Hebrew University in Jerusalem as a fellow on The Nachshon Project.

Leah is especially thrilled to spend this summer in Tiferet! Tiferet is a very special place in camp with chanichim (campers), madrichim (counselors), and moomchim (specialists) who all bring a great deal of creativity and love for camp, art, and Judaism! Each year, Tiferet finds new, creative ways to nurture individual artists while building a strong kehilah (community), and Leah cannot wait to build a unique kehilah with all of the fun and talented chanichim coming this summer!

Elisha Serotta 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 23 trips, Lily is ready and excited to embark again on the best Mosh trip she could imagine, Rosh of Mosh for a second straight year!

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. She will be graduating in May

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!

Liora London will serve as s’ganit of Mosh.

Jake Beckert – Chalutzim

This will be Jake’s 14th summer at camp, and second summer as Rosh Eidah of Chalutzim. Jake could not be more excited to be returning to OSRUI and speaking Rak Ivrit (only Hebrew) after a three year hiatus from camp.

Jake’s favorite part about camp is the great ruach (spirit) that all the chanichim (campers) have, and all the wonderful camp traditions. Jake is especially excited to be returning for a fifth summer to Chalutzim which is of course his favorite Eidah (unit).

When he is not at OSRUI Jake is a graduate student at Indiana University where he studies modern Israeli history, and enjoys cooking and playing racquetball.

Micah Brandhandler- Avodah

We all end up clean, it’s just a question of how and why.  Everyone cleans, but not everyone really gets to CLEAN.  I am MicahBrandhandler!  And I see a whole army of my Avodahniks, here in defiance of Shmutz.  You’ve come to clean as Avodahniks… and Avodahniks you are.  What will you do with that responsibility?  Will you clean?

Micah is thrilled to be coming back to camp this summer as the rosh eidah of Avodah! This will be his 16th summer at camp and his 11th on staff. Micah has spent seven summers working as a madrich, s’gan (asst. unit head), and rosh eidah of Chalutzim and is looking forward to his 5th time driving the tractor around camp. Avodah was his first job at camp and he has loved being rosh of Avodah the past three 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.

And when you Avodahniks are resting in your tzrifim, many months from now, would you be willing to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our chanichim that they may take our free time, but they’ll never take… OUR PLUNGERS!

Jesse Illian-Tour L’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 return as 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 sixth 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.

Itai Shabtai – Rosh Mishlachat

Itai is really excited to be back at OSRUI as Rosh Mishlachat this summer after being away and can’t wait for his fourth summer on staff. Itai is a senior in Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, where he studies Political Science, European Studies and Conflict Management.

This summer, he will lead our wonderful mishlachat (Israeli Delegation), which include great 27 madrichim (counselors) and moomchim (specialist) that will work in the different eidot (units) and that are coming all the way from Israel! Itai’s first summer in camp was 2012 and he admits he was hooked instantly on the camp experience.

The one thing he loves the most about camp is the special feeling of Kehila (community) and how it is implemented it in every aspect of camp: from Tefilot in the morning – all the way to Maccabiah in the evening! Itai misses camp already and can’t wait for all the Madrichim and Chanichim to meet the Mishlachat and to get to know them!

Machon will be headed by our amazing Associate Director, Susan Alexander


Kallah: Abby Gore, Kyle O’Day, Lexi Floom, Marissa Bachrach, Rachel Front, Sophie Berne

Tzofim: Ashley Jones, Audrey Honig, Blair Haberman, Daniel Dodinval, Ethan Goldberg, Jake Lewis, Jaylyn Fahey, Noah Gerber, Samantha Savage, Sarah Gamoran

Gesher: Andrew Gertz,  Ari Goldstein, Benji Sagarin, Eliana Kohn, Hadley Adelman, Josh Borin, Marnina Hornstein

TiferetAbigail Fine, Hannah Prass, Joshua Goodman, Maya Goldbaum, Nicole Zador, Spencer Lavin

Moshavah: Brian Baren, Emilio Moreno, Greta Cutts, Jacob Liu, Joey Cutts, Leah Kuperman, Lexi Friedman, Rebecca Bloom, Sam Cohen

Chalutzim: Sydney Weisman, Tamar Jacobsohn

Tour L’Agam: Sarah Coffey, Zoe Wilhelmsen


Aquatics Director:  Andrew Niemic
Aquatics Specialists:  Saige Steiner, pool supervisor; Brandon Niemiec, lake supervisor.  Staff: Alex Gerencir, Brittney Zimmer, Carson Niemiec, Gabby Gerner, Grant Johnson, Dani Shaykin, Devin Wolf, Haley St. Thomas, Jacob Rams, Julie Gunkel, Kaitlin Kapitan, Kendon Schutt, Leo Seipel, Maddie Ajack, Matthew Docer, Matthew St. Thomas, Peyton Harper, Sara Shepherd, Sean Ryan
Art Specialists:  Matan Oren, Ohad Sha’altiel
Camper Care Director: Debbie Locketz
Camper Care Specialists: Aryn Froum, Darin Argentaur, Naomi Gamoran
Chaverim Specialist: Cassie Muffler
Communications Manager: Libby Fisher
Cooking Specialist: Hila Hollingsworth
Drama Specialists:  Michael Goldberg, Evan Richter
Driver: Gary Garrison
Etgar Specialists: Will Rivlin, Danielle Oberman, Ben Yusen
Gear/Packing Specialists: Avi Horwitz, Dan Scal, Max Gendler
Health Center Director: Amy Dolgin
Health Center Nurses:  Eileen Sage, Gina Alvarez, Laura Straus, Lauren Schmick, Lizzie Gussis, Lori Larson, Maggie Carson, Marcy Gonzalez, Randi Singer
Horseback Riding Specialists:  Allison Wexler, Ari Schlossberg,
Media Content Specialist: Parker Parrinello
Merkaz Ivrit Specialist: Etty Dolgin
Music Specialist:  Aviv Kammay
Security:  Mike Teofilo
Sports Director:  Jeff Gates
Sports Specialists:  Ben Kopnick, Einat Frank Baumi, Grant Boyer, Jordan Garrison, 
Teva Director:  
Tome Sha’altiel
Teva Specialists: 
Matty Powell, Sarah Shaw

Machon: Aleia Budwig, Alli Torf, Anna Caffarelli, Anna Weinstein, Ari Machtinger, Aviva Silverman, Danielle DeCesaris, Drew Donohue, Emma Smith, Ethan Bernstein, Ezra Weber, Hannah Parrinello, Henry Block, Jacob Spangler, Jolie Davidson, Jonathan Meyer, Jordyn Levay, Julia Schneider, Leo Dunn, Lily Block, Mackenzie Haith, Matthew Bloom, Matthew Shabelman, Maxwell Cohn, Mia Sherin, Michael Winner, Miriam Lebowitz, Naomi Shaaltiel, Noa Lamaskin, Noah Letwat, Samara Kohn, Sammy Fogel, Tyler Burnett, Uri Uziel, Zachary Brown, Zev Goldberg

Avodah Aleph:  Aaron Norton,  Abigail Crane, Alana Coffman, Alyssa Guttman, Amanya Meir, Ashlinn Thomas, Clio Straus, Daniel Brot, Elan Loundy, Ellie Rosenberg, Emma Steinberger, Ethan Soloveychik, Hannah Seigal, Hannah Severyns, Isaac Soloveychik, Josie Epstein, Leo Norton, Madelyn Flagg, Marissa Manley, Megan Berger, Megan Gendelman, Michael Tulsky, Molly Friedman, Paili Bachrach, Rachel Severyns, Riley Kay, Samantha White, Sarah Cohen, Sarah Gruettner, Zackary Slater, ZariaRomero

Avodah Bet:  Cal Schaeffer, Abigail Seiler, Aedyn Gorenberg, Anna Shabelman, Benjamin Ginsberg, Benjamin Levy, Devra Lewin, Elana Adler, Gabrielle Morrison, Giaden Halfman, Jacob Adler, Jacob Friedmann, Jacob Weiss, Josh Kamen, Madison Kaiz, Matthew Koss, Maxwell Levitt, Michael Backman, Samantha Uditsky, Sarah Halperin, Sarah Meadows, Sawyer Goldsmith, Scott Winner, Seth Kossoff, Shira Schadick, Talia Eligator, ZacharyTriumph

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

Check back often for more staffing updates!