Meet Our Head Counselors

  • I remember when I  sent my oldest child to overnight camp for the first time.   I remember asking myself who will say, “good night, sleep tight” to him every night?  Who will make sure he puts on sunscreen?  Who will let me know if he is homesick?  I realized I was trusting an organization to help me teach my child important skills and values, yet I had never met the actual people who would be my partners in raising a Jewish child. Now, 13 years later, I am on the other side as I ask parents to do the same thing.

    At Tevya, our bunk staff are carefully selected to be amazing role models for children, and they quickly become loved as big brothers and big sisters at camp.  Each age group is supervised by a Head Counselor, an adult who mentors our bunk counselors and is the main contact for parents of campers.  I am happy to introduce our 6 Head Counselors, your partners this summer.


    Beth Mintz: Olot (3rd-6th Grade Girls)

    beth mintzHi, my name is Beth.  I am so excited to be returning for my 3rd year at Camp Tevya as the Olot Head Counselor.  I love working with children and with our amazing Tevya team!  I have a teaching degree from Lesley University and a certificate in Jewish Early Childhood Education from Hebrew College.  For the past four years I have been a Preschool teacher at Temple Beth Sholom in Framingham.  My husband, David, and I live in Holliston, MA.  We have 2 children, Ashley who is 14 and Amanda who is 10.  Both girls go to Tevya and cannot wait to be back (I’m not sure who is more excited out of the three of us!).  As a head counselor your child’s happiness at camp is my number one priority.  I look forward to seeing our returning campers and welcoming all of our new ones!


    Ellen (Martin) Ades: Olim (3rd-6th Grade Boys)

    1016719_10201745893595346_348773856_nHi, I’m Ellen (Martin) Ades.  This will be my 7th summer as the Olim Head Counselor and my 15th summer overall.  I grew up at Tevya as a camper, CIT, counselor, and Mom of four campers who later became counselors (and my oldest daughter even met her husband here too!).  As you can imagine, Camp Tevya is my family’s second home.  I love being the ”mom” in the Boys Area.  The boys keep me on my toes and make me smile every day!  During the off-season, I am also Camp Tevya’s Alumni Coordinator.  I love sharing my passion for Tevya to help people connect with camp and that’s exactly what I get to do as both Head Counselor and Alumni Coordinator.  In my downtime, I enjoy being with my family and staying active by walking, running (or attempting to), and taking pure barre classes.  This summer can’t get here fast enough!


    Lauren Fishman: Tsofot (7th-8th Grade Girls)

    1966716_10152262877144452_584659595_nWhat could be better than being a kid at overnight camp?  Being an adult at overnight camp, of course!  My name is Lauren Fishman and I feel so fortunate that I am getting to experience camp life as an adult.  As a child I went to a Jewish day camp and then to Camp Pembroke for a few summers, followed by working at a local Jewish camp.  Going to camp both as a camper and a counselor truly helped shape the adult I am today.  I am looking forward to sharing the camp experience with my three children, Molly (8), Sam (5), and Ethan (3), who are eagerly counting down the days ’til camp.  My husband, Dave, grew up coming to Tevya and is excited to return.  Though I am now a full-time stay at home mom, I was in the field of education since graduating college, with my most recent job as a 5th grade teacher in Newton.  I am excited to work in a professional leadership capacity again, where I am able to act as a mentor to the counselors, and a role model and teacher to the campers.  I am looking forward to all of the fun we will have together and the amazing memories we will create!


    Ben Portnoy: Tsofim (7th-8th Grade Boys)

    ben portnoyHi, I’m Ben and this will be my 13th summer at Tevya.  I was a camper from ‘97-‘03, a CIT in ‘04, and a counselor in ‘05.  I returned in 2012 as the Assistant Program Director and have been at camp since.  I now work year-round in the Cohen Camps office as Tevya’s Assistant Director.  Last summer, I had the awesome opportunity to be the Tsofim Head Counselor and am beyond excited to assume this role again.  Being a Head Counselor brought me closer to our campers and staff and greatly increased my understanding of the overall camp operation.  Tevya is a very special place to me and it’s a major part of who I am – my mom went here, my brother and sister went here, and I’ve made my best friends here.  I fully recognize the impact that a positive Tevya experience can have on the lives of our campers and staff, and I love that I get to work every day to make that experience possible.  When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, and biking with my dad to help him train for the PMC.  I am also pursuing a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management at Northeastern University.  I can’t wait for this summer to start!


    Jess (Barlas) Henderson: Bogrot (9th-10th Grade Girls)

    jess camp picture 2Hi!  My name is Jess.  I started at Camp Tevya back in 1986, in Dalia, and was a member of Birya ’92.  I returned to Camp Tevya last summer as the Bogrot Head Counselor and received my ten year mug!  I was lucky enough to bring my three children, Zach (7th grade), Mikayla (5th grade) and Kira (2nd grade) to camp for their first experience of the Tevya Community and the “Tevya Spirit”.  They had an amazing summer making new friendships and new memories, as did I.  My favorite part of camp is watching the campers and counselors build new families within their bunks and activities, the building of friendships, and taking part in the traditional activities, especially Havdalah!  During the school year, I work as a Speech and Language Pathologist in the Framingham School System at one of the middle schools and have been doing so for the past 14 years.  I currently live in Natick, MA with my husband, Pete, and my three children.  Throughout the school year, my children enjoy and take part on many different teams of soccer, swimming, gymnastics, and basketball, but we all definitely enjoy the break from the busy schedule when we return home to Camp Tevya.


    Ben Aronson: Bogrim (9th-10th Grade Boys)

    AronsonHi, I’m Ben and this will be my 17th summer on the shores of Lake Potanipo! I’m excited to return in my fourth year as the Bogrim Head Counselor. In my years at camp I’ve been a camper, CIT, JC, Head of Waterskiing, Assistant Waterfront Director, and Program Coordinator. During the school year I am the Assistant Program Manager at a residential treatment center for boys with aggressive behaviors with significant trauma histories. I am also currently pursing my master’s degree in Expressive Arts Therapy focusing on trauma and resiliency at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. Helping adolescents achieve their maximum potential is a passion of mine, and I believe there is no better place to do that than at Camp Tevya. My hobbies include water-skiing, spending time outdoors, hockey, and everything camp! I am counting down the days until I return to our summer home!



    The Tevya staff team is extensive, each member of our team bringing different skills and ideas to camp, together making Tevya the best camp it can be.  Be on the lookout for future posts introducing other members of our team.

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