Camp Leadership

Camp Director – Elyssa Gaffin

elyssaMeet Camp Director, Elyssa Gaffin! Elyssa has over 15 years experience as a non-profit professional, is a graduate of Cornell University and holds a Master of Public Administration in Non-profit Management from Baruch College. Elyssa has a deep connection with Jewish camping, dating back to her childhood and teen years, where she spent 6 years as a Jewish summer camper (including a magical summer in Israel) and then 2 years as a counselor at Jewish summer camp. As a Program Manager at the Foundation for Jewish Camp for 5 years, she managed fellowship programs for camp staff, hired and managed faculty, supervised curriculum development and organized and directed camp staff leadership training conferences. Additionally in her career, Elyssa has taught English to young children in the Canary Islands, and has worked for the noble causes of landmine removal, improved public health in NYC, and AIDS vaccine research. Currently, Elyssa and her husband, Bryan, live in Manhattan with their children, Zavier, 10 and Lilia, 7, two very happy day campers.


Assistant Director – Rachel Evans

Meet Assistant Director, Rachel Evans! Rachel hails from New York and has a BA from Tufts University, and an MA in Applied Theatre from CUNY. She has been working for over ten years as a theatre teaching artist, working with many different ages and populations, from little ones to 90 year olds. She loves using the power of theatre and storytelling to connect people and build community and understanding. She has also been lucky enough to work as a Jewish educator for Kolot Chayeinu, Lab/Shul, and PJ Library. Rachel was a camper at Camp Young Judaea Sprout Lake and Camp Tel Yehudah so she is a long-time member of the Young Judaea family. She lives in Brooklyn, where she runs, writes, and plays the ukulele.


Operations Director – Lior Shtivi

liorMeet Operations Director, Lior Shtivi! Lior was born and raised in Ramat-Gan, Israel. After completing his military service, he moved to the U.S. and is currently studying electrical engineering at York College. Lior has been teaching Hebrew and Judaic Studies for the past four years, both in Minneapolis and New York City. He currently works at Kane Street Synagogue, Kolot Chayeinu and the Society for the Advancement of Judaism. Previously, Lior served as the Outdoor Adventure Specialist at the Jewish Community Center of Saint Paul’s summer camp where he worked with campers on team-building exercises and outdoor exploration. Lior and his wife Anna live in Brooklyn.