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Jason Goldstein, Executive Director

In 2014 Jason along with other camp alumni founded Jewish Camps USA. Jason is the executive director and has spent 8 summers at camp. Jason spends his year making sure that camp life continues and then supplies opportunities for staff around the world to go on a Jewish journey. JCUSA’s mission is to bring the diaspora to camp and give campers the chance to meet Jewish people from around the world. JCUSA’s programme focuses on each individual and Jason makes sure that he knows every person that goes to camp. Jason spends his summers visiting the camps we work with so our understanding of the each camps programme, culture and traditions will be right for each staff member.

Jason makes camp away from camp, the JCUSA family, a home for so many and supports our staff through the whole process. Jason says at camp you are the best version of yourself and it brings the best people in the world together. 

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Elana Goldstein, Director

Elana first went to camp in summer 2012 on the West Coast to Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu. She was part of the original English delegation that helped found Jewish Camps USA. Elana graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA(Hons) in Marketing in 2014. During the pre-camp experience, Elana supports all the JCUSA staff from around the globe personally guiding them through the JCUSA program. Elana works closely with our partners at the JCCA facilitating all of the J1 visas.

“From the outside looking in you can’t understand it, from the inside looking out you can’t explain it.”

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Amy Sharer, Programme Director

Amy has spent four summers at Perlman Camp, where she found her love of camp and the opportunities, experiences and skills it gives to counsellors. Amy joined the JCUSA team with a passion for helping other young Jewish adults have the same experiences that she has had. During the year Amy oversees our Unit Heads, helps our participants through the JCUSA process, develops our training programmes and partnerships with other organisations and camps. During the summer Amy visits a number of our camps to check in with our counsellors and get to know the environments they spend their summers in.

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Hannah Wise and Sophie Cohen, Unit Heads for Birmingham

Hannah and Sophie are both in their final year studying at the University of Birmingham. Sophie studies English Literature, and spent a summer at Emma Kaufmann Camp in West Virginia whilst Hannah studies Geography and spent the last two summers at Tamarack Camps in Michigan.

Going to camp has given them life long memories, friendships and experiences that have stayed with them beyond their summers spent in the US. Sophie and Hannah are committed to helping new applicants experience the crazy, life-changing journey that camp has to offer, and are excited to work together as the Birmingham Unit Heads this year!

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Hannah Freund, Unit Head for Bristol

Hannah is the unit head for Bristol and is in her third year at Bristol University studying Criminology. For the past 2 years she has spent her summers at Emma Kaufmann Camp in West Virginia being a counsellor for girls aged 10-12. Going to camp has given Hannah new friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Her highlight of camp is being able to change the lives of her campers and build bonds with her co-counsellors. Hannah is so excited to be the Bristol Unit Head and help new applicants experience the same incredible summers that she has!

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Thomas Lee, Unit Head for Bristol

Tom is the Bristol Unit Head. He is in his second year at the University of Bristol where he is studying Economics and Politics. Summer 2018 was his first summer at camp where he was a general counselor at Tamarack Camps which is based in Michigan. He worked with 11-year-old boys who were just moving from the junior side of camp into mid-side. Tom’s favourite experience from last summer was being a colour war captain, having the opportunity to have an impact on kids across the whole of camp was such a great moment and something that he will never forget. Tom felt that Camp was such an amazing experience because it allowed him to encounter a family environment and go somewhere which is now a home away from home, where he has created so many strong friendships and made so many great memories.

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James Lee, Unit Head for Leeds

James is the Unit Head for Leeds, he worked at Camp Mountain Chai the last two summers and has had the most incredible time in the heart of the San Bernardino national forest. James was a Sports Specialist running all the sporting activities for camp and was then promoted to an assistant Unit Leader where he oversaw the evening programmes for the youngest age group (2nd -4th graders) during his second year he was assistant unit leader for the oldest campers (9th and 10th grade). The thing James loved most about camp was the 4-day trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona where they went hiking down the Bright Angels trail of the Grand Canyon and to Devils Bridge in Sedona with 9thand 10th grade campers. James is currently a third year student at the University of Leeds studying Automotive Engineering and he loves all things sports, from football and Tottenham to Cricket and Formula 1.

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Summer Goodkind & Talia Newmark, Unit Heads for Nottingham

Summer and Talia are so excited to be the Nottingham Unit Heads! They both study at the University of Nottingham, with Summer studying English Literature, and Talia studying History and Politics. This past summer they went to Camp JCA Shalom in California, and loved their experiences.

Summer’s favourite aspect of camp was the amazing community that was integral to the camp and the people. She was a general counsellor to 11-12 year old girls which she found extremely rewarding and inspiring. Talia was a counsellor for 9-11 year old girls and loved the close relationship she was able to build with them. She particularly enjoyed the opportunity to create lifelong friendships with people from all around the world. They can’t wait to continue this journey with JCUSA and help other people have the same life-changing experiences!

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