Shabbat candle lighting: 5:58pm

Meet our Directors

We are actively planning for summer in 2021! We learned so much during our 2020 season and our intention is to return to a more typical J Camps line-up of offerings in 2021, while continuing to follow all Maryland Department of Health and CDC guidelines to keep campers and staff safe. 
Below is information on our originally planned 2020 season.  We will be updating with Summer 2021 information soon! 

For information, contact: | 410.559.2390

Senior Director of Camping and Children’s Services & J Day Camp Director

Emily Peisach Stern
Emily's career started at the J in her teen years where she found a passion for working with children and a commitment to the JCC’s mission.  Prior to leading J Day and our Camping Services Team, Emily directed six successful years of Noah’s Ark Camp. As a past JCC camper herself, Emily knows how a great summer experience can create a lasting love and appreciation for camp. “Camp is where children can grow in a fun and enriching environment and there is not another place like it.” Emily has a Masters of Education in School Counseling from Loyola University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Mary Washington. Emily Peisach Stern can be reached at 410.559.3557 |

Emily is busy preparing for camp this summer. Learn more about her day.

Assistant Director of J Camps

Stacy Deems
Stacy is excited to embark on another year as the J Camps Assistant Director. In this capacity, Stacy juggles multiple responsibilities including oversight and implementation of our STEM Plus Programs, our Shlichim program, all-camp special events, J Day field trips, and also acts as the Assistant Director of J Day Camp. Stacy honed her ability to thrive in multiple camp areas well over past summers serving as our J Camps Administrator. We love her passion and positive attitude. Stacy is a graduate of Daniel’s College of Business at the University of Denver. Stacy can be reached at 410.559.3513 |

J Camps Coordinator

Ally Feldman
Ally has been a part of J Camps since she was just five years old and is excited to be working year round at her summer home! As a child she attended multiple J Camps and eventually became a junior counselor, then a senior counselor, and even served as a unit head at Habimah Arts camp. When Ally graduated she knew the JCC was right where she wanted to be. As the J Camps Coordinator her responsibilities range from doing a wide variety of administrative work to handing out stickers and lollipops to campers when they stop by her office. Ally graduated from Salisbury University in May of 2019 and holds a B.A. in Communication Arts. Ally can be reached at 410.559.2391 |

Habimah Arts Camp

Gabriel Lewin, Director
As the founding director of Habimah Arts Camp, Gabriel brings a wealth of experience both as a teacher, director and performer. He has taught theater, English and choir at several local schools including the former Yeshivat Rambam, as well as Ner Israel and Owings Mills High Schools.  He was also the artistic director of the Jewish Theatre Workshop for several shows. An accomplished musician and vocalist, Gabriel has been a guest Chazzan at several area synagogues and he is the music director of Who Knows Five, a male a cappella ensemble that sings synagogue music all over Baltimore. Gabriel is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington with a B.A. in theater and drama & Jewish studies and has a Master’s in Education Administration and Supervision from Loyola University Chicago. Gabriel can be reached at

Jennifer Cameron, Habimah Creative Arts Director 
A veteran of the Jewish camping scene with fond memories of her time at Blue Star Camp in North Carolina, Jennifer is our Habimah Arts Camp Producer. Jennifer is responsible for hiring all of our guest teaching artists and counselors, camp scheduling, field trips and theme planning to ensure an amazing summer for our campers. This will be Jenn’s fourth summer with Habimah.   Like many of our campers, Jennifer loves performing. In fact she has been a professional musical theatre performer for the past 10 years. “Watching campers experience the joy of performing for a live audience is a wonderful feeling.” Jennifer is a graduate of George Washington University, with a degree in Communications and a minor in Public Health. Jennifer can be reached at

Maccabi Sports Camp 

Coming Soon!

Tennis Camp Director

Adam Stein
Adam is a USNTA certified tennis professional who has been teaching tennis to children and adults at the JCC for over two decades. He has been running our Tennis Camp for over 16 years.  His JCC past also includes roles as a lifeguard, pool supervisor, league director, camp counselor and personal trainer.  Silly much of the time, but serious when he needs to be, Adam is a kid magnet who believes that camp is vacation time for kids. “I want them to have fun and learn skills that will last a lifetime. I also want parents to feel that their children are enjoying their camp experience in a nurturing environment.” Adam has a BS in Physical Education from Towson University and is also an AAAI/ISMA Certified Fitness Expert. Adam can be reached at 410.559.3538 |

Preschool Camp Directors

Arielle Bodner, Camp Ami - Park Heights
Arielle’s journey at the JCC began when she started here as a preschooler at the age of three. After graduating from Kent State University with a B.S. in Human Development and Family studies, Arielle decided to come full circle working as an assistant teacher in the three-year-old classroom. Arielle’s passion for the J has grown as she now serves as the Program Manager in the Park Heights Early Learning Center. She loves coming in everyday and seeing the smiling faces of the children. She can’t wait to work as the camp director this summer! Arielle can be reached at 410.500.5937 |

Kim Davidson, Noah's Ark - Owings Mills
Kimberly Davidson is the Assistant Director of the Owings Mills Early Childhood Education Center. In 2001, following the birth of her first child, Kim joined the J family and taught Mommy and Me classes. Once her children began preschool here, Kim became a teacher in our 2’s class, where she helped to make our famous Pajama Party and End of the Year Picnic huge successes. Dani can be reached at 410.559.3555 |

CSA Karate Camp Director

Jennifer Lake
Ms. Jen has been Director of Comprehensive Survival Arts (CSA) Karate Camp since its inception 25 years ago and CSA has been a proud partner of the J for over 28 years.  As president and head instructor of CSA, Jen has played a vital role in the growth of the Martial Arts program at the J. In addition to offering a wide variety of classes for all ages and abilities she is also an ACE-certified personal trainer. Jen is actively involved in each camp day so that she and her team can give campers the best summer experience. She prides herself on getting to know the personalities of each camper. Jen can be reached at 410.559.3553 |

TNT Director

Jeff Snyder
Jeff is the Middle School Coordinator at the JCC and the director of TNT. He loves getting to watch the teens interact with younger campers throughout the various J Camps and watch the teens become leaders in the JCC community. Prior to coming to the J, Jeff worked with people with disabilities in various roles. Jeff holds a B.A. in Criminology from the University of Maryland and an MSW from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Jeff can be reached at 410.500.5453 |

CIT Director

Cody Gelvar
Cody is excited for his third summer at J Camps! He is looking forward to guiding the CITs as they develop leadership skills and grow as young adults. As a product of Baltimore’s Jewish community, Cody understands the importance of an impactful summer experience for teens and campers. During the year, Cody is the Teen Service Coordinator for 4Front, Baltimore’s hub for Jewish teen programming. He also is the program coordinator for STAC, 4Front’s advocacy program. Cody holds a B.A. from West Virginia University. Cody can be reached at 410.843.7480 |

Camp Koolanu Directors

Mrs. Shira Heideman
As the Park Heights Program Director, Shira oversees all programming year-round and is back for her second summer supervising Camp Koolanu. She has been involved in Jewish youth and teen programming for nearly a decade. Shira has a Bachelors in Psychology and will be pursuing a Masters in Jewish Professional Studies. Shira can be reached at 410.500.5907 |

Jewish Life

Rabbi Dena Shaffer, Executive Director of 4Front Baltimore
Rabbi Dena Shaffer (or Rabbs, as the kids say!) serves as the Executive Director of 4Front Baltimore, a community-wide Jewish teen initiative housed at our Owings Mills JCC. In the summer months, Rabbs provides visionary and strategic leadership for the integration of Jewish life and learning throughout JCamps, which includes leading our weekly Shabbat celebration. A product of over 30 years of Jewish camping in a variety of settings, Rabbs knows that camp is a magical place where children of all backgrounds can explore their identity, feel loved and accepted, ground their choices in our universal values, and discover their ability to make our world a better place!  Rabbs holds rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (’10) and can usually be found hanging out with her pup, Darby!  Rabbs can be reached at 410.500.5983 |


Shawnise Crawford, Assistant Aquatics Director
Shawnise’s summers are spent poolside at the Owings Mills JCC managing the J Camps Instructional Swim program, where her goal is for every camper to have a fun-filled, safe and enriching swim experience. Throughout the rest of the year, Shawnise oversees the J’s Swim School, including lessons for our ECEC students, and manages the pool at the Park Heights JCC. She has worked in the J’s Aquatics department for over 15 years teaching, coaching, and helping swimmers and lifeguards cultivate their skills. She graduated with a BS in Psychology from Villa Julie College. Shawnise can be reached at 410.500.5931 |

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