Meet the Camp Staff
The staff at Camp Shalom is the best around! There's no question that there is a direct correlation between the quality of our staff and the quality of the experience for the campers. Each staff member is highly screened by the Camp Director and must pass a background check prior to being hired. All staff members go through a week long intensive staff orientation, weekly staff meetings and staff evaluations throughout the summer. All senior counselors, unit heads, and specialists are professionals who have the experience and maturity to make camp fun while keeping Camp Shalom both emotionally and physically safe.
Summer has been with the Palm Beach Gardens JCC since October of 2018; working with camp, afterschool, and the family programs. Before heading to PBG, she was a camper, CIT, counselor, and unit head for the Boynton Beach JCC. She is now proud to call herself the Camp Director in Palm Beach Gardens. Summer attended Florida Atlantic University and earned degrees in Criminal Justice and Sociology. Everything about camp excites Summer, but her favorite part of camp is the amazing friends that come back year after year!
Assistant Director of the Barbara & Jack Kay Early Childhood Learning Center. Jessica has spent her career in Jewish education, beginning at a JCC in Northern NJ, where she started as a classroom room teacher, moving into a leadership role and then becoming the early childhood director of a temple nursery school. Jessica moved from NJ with her family and knew she wanted to root herself back at a JCC, meeting the needs of the diverse community and partnering with likeminded people.
Jessica has an absolute passion for early childhood education. She believes strongly in cultivating collaborative relationships with teachers and families, building trust and partnerships, both imperative to maintaining a successful school. Her philosophy of early childhood education is built on the belief that by nurturing high quality educational experiences for young children, validated on best practices in emerging curricula, we foster lifelong learners and innovative thinkers. She believes that children learn best through hand on experiences and when they are invested in their work. Jessica studied Early Childhood Education as an undergraduate and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Ramapo College. She holds a National Director Credential from the McCormick Center for Early Childhood Education.
John Kabot is the Director of Special Needs for the Mandel JCC. Before joining the JCC family, he oversaw the Broward County Public Schools Preschool department. John also served is the Director of Education for The Victory Center which provided services to children from 3-22 years old. He started his career at the Baudhuin Preschool of Nova Southeastern University where he served as a teacher, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and administrator. John has a forty year-old brother on the autism spectrum which is his driving passion in the field.
Isaiah is the new sports director at the JCC. Before joining the team Isaiah played Division 1 football at Eastern Illinois University and earned a degree in Sports Management. After finishing his career at EIU Isaiah had short professional football stints with the Arena Football League as well as the Spring League. After finishing his playing career Isaiah began serving as the wide receivers coach at the Benjamin school here in Palm Beach Gardens. A long with coaching Isaiah started his own personal training program catered specifically for young athletes. Isaiah is extremely excited to be working with Camp Shalom and looks forward to the opportunity to use sports as way to impact the kids lives in a positive way!
Jamie is the Teen Engagement Manager at the JCC her in Palm Beach Gardens. She was formerly a middle school teacher for 4 years and has a lot of experience working with young teens. Jamie is excited to join the camp team and have fun this summer outside of the classroom!
Dan is our Aftercare and Family Program Coordinator. He is originally from Rhode Island but grew up in the area of Jupiter. He graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Criminal Justice and has worked in many different fields. For the past 5 years he has been primarily working with high-risk youth then transitioned into working with children at The Els Center of Excellence. He is excited to join the camp team and see what the summer has in store!
Meryl is an adventurous mother of 3 from Boston, MA. She enjoys her family, exercise & movement, everything outdoors, music, and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a minor in Interior Design. She's been both the front face and the behind-the-scenes Administrator in a diverse array of businesses and brings her positivity, customer service experience, organizational skills, flexibility, and her ability to wear many hats to think outside the box to Camp Shalom. Meryl has a passion and honest appreciation for the vibrant, free nature of our youth and is honored to be part of the Youth & Family Team.