Meet Our Staff

Leadership

Ben Portnoy, Director

Ben’s goal is to ensure that Tevya feels like a home for you as much as it does for him. Devoted to Camp Tevya since first attending as a camper in 1997 with his two older siblings, Ben joined the year-round Tevya team in 2012. Under the mentorship of former Director Mindee Greenberg, he has held multiple roles in key leadership positions including Assistant Program Director, Registrar, Program Coordinator, Head Counselor, Assistant Director, and Associate Director. Ben leads by example with a hands-on, camper-first approach that creates an environment where everyone feels supported to expand their comfort zones and be the person they want to be. By teaching and cultivating 21st century skills in an immersive environment, Ben believes that Jewish summer camp truly has the power to change lives.

In addition to his experience at Tevya, Ben has completed the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s selective Yitro Leadership Program for Assistant Directors. He earned his BA from the University of Vermont, holds a certificate in nonprofit management from Northeastern University, and is pursuing his MBA at Bentley University. Ben met his wife, Margo, at Tevya, and they both look forward to spending their summers on the shores of Lake Potanipo, shaping the next generation of Jewish leaders.
E-mail Ben – View On LinkedIn

Lauren Fishman, Assistant Director

Just like the campers, Lauren lives 10 months for 2. She strives to create a summer home where everyone can be their best selves, become more independent, stretch outside their comfort zone, have friends who are like family, and develop their Jewish identities. Lauren looks forward to getting to know each camper and family to support each young person’s amazing experience at camp.

Prior to her current role, Lauren served as Tevya’s Tsofot Head Counselor for five summers. Lauren’s love of camp grew as a camper at Camp Pembroke, another Cohen Camp, for several summers. She was also a camper and counselor at JCC Camp Simchah on the Northshore. Professionally, Lauren served as a Director at SCORE! Education Center and has taught in elementary schools in Chelsea and Newton. She holds a MA in Elementary Education from Lesley University and BA in Sociology from Union College. Her husband, Dave, is a Tevya alum; their three children are all Tevya campers. She maintains that camp is the best gift they ever could have given their kids.
E-mail Lauren

Michelle Wilen, Registrar

Michelle joined the Tevya team as our summer Office Manager in 2019 and is excited to stay on throughout the year as Registrar, focusing on camper enrollment. To this role, Michelle brings her warmth, experience as a Tevya parent, continuity as summer Office Manager, and a passion for community planning. Originally from CT, Michelle lives in Ashland, MA with her husband, Adam, and two daughters. In her career before children, she was an environmental planner. Post-kids she has enjoyed the role of community volunteer, and spectator at her girl’s figure skating competitions and soccer games. Michelle looks forward to becoming familiar with our families throughout the registration process and establishing relationships that will build each year. Tevya is a special place for Michelle and her family, and she is glad to be a part of the team that works to bring joy to so many campers.
E-mail Michelle 

Summer Staff

The team of Tevya staff takes its responsibility to nurture and care for our campers very seriously. Each team member works hard to serve as a role model and to make a positive impact each day. 

Tevya administrative and supervisory personnel are camping professionals and educators with many years of experience working with children. Many Tevya counselors were Tevya campers themselves, and each of those came through our Dor L’Dor capstone program which combines an Israel experience with community service. Some of our counselors come from abroad, including a delegation from Israel, greatly enhancing the camp experience.

We select our staff for their experience, maturity, creativity, and sense of responsibility. Our summer staff attends a week-long Staff Orientation, in addition to individual specialty training to improve teaching skills. Ongoing training continues throughout the summer with seminars and mentoring.

Camp Tevya’s Leadership Team are essential to creating incredible summer experiences for staff and campers alike. Below are the leadership positions for Summer 2020.

Assistant Director of Operations / Jewish Life: Dan Wulf
Program Director: Debbie Dylan
Staff Leadership Development: Gayle Seletz

Office Manager: Michelle Wilen
Head Nurse: Chandra Miller
Head Chef: Khadian Sharpe
Head of Maintenance: Steve Simard
Head of Housekeeping: Deb Simard

Olim Head Counselor (3rd-6th Grade Boys): Miri Sharon
Olot Head Counselor (3rd-6th Grade Girls): Margo Portnoy
Tsofim Head Counselor (7th-8th Grade Boys): Geno Rodriguez
Tsofot Head Counselor (7th-8th Grade Girls): Gail Epstein
Bogrim Head Counselor (9th-10th Grade Boys) & Camper Care Coordinator: Ben Aronson
Bogrot Head Counselor (9th-10th Grade Girls): Jamie Marcus

Head of Arts and Crafts: Kimberly Aaronson
Head of Israel Delegation (Rosh Mishlachat): Ortal Kovesh, Shahar Sherf
Head of Land Sports: Jon Fass
Head of Performing Arts: Daniil Krimer
Heads of Photography/Media: 
Head of Nature: 
Head of Tennis: May Mark
Head of Waterfront: Arielle Welch

“We feel so fortunate that we found a place like Camp Tevya for our children. The smiles and hearing, ‘I had the best summer ever!’ are more than enough for us! I’m so grateful to the staff for bringing the best out of my kids and accepting them for who they truly are as individuals!”
~Tevya Parent

“They had a blast while building leadership skills and confidence, which is the best of both worlds.”
~Tevya Parent

Year-round Staff

Ben is supported by the staff of The Cohen Camps, the family of three Jewish overnight camps which also includes Camps Tel Noar and Pembroke. The three camps share a year-round office and collaborate on a shared vision, pooling ideas and refining best practices to all of our campers’ great benefit.