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.
Camp Shalom Director
Palm Beach Gardens
Rachel Fox has been working for the Mandel JCC since March of 2008 as the Program and Camp Shalom Director for West Palm Beach and then Palm Beach Gardens. In 2011 Fox became the Program and Camp Shalom Director for the agency and in 2013 Fox was the Assistant Executive Director in Palm Beach Gardens and now is the Program and Camp Shalom Director in Palm Beach Gardens. In 2010 Fox was named Staff Member of the Year. She attended the JCC Association’s TAG: (Torah, Avodah, Gemilut Chasadim) Jewish Values through JCC Camping in years 2008 and 2009.
From 2001-2008 Fox served as the Children’s Program Specialist and then the Children, Youth and Camping Director at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus. As the Children, Youth and Camping Director Fox supervised 700 campers each summer in 6 different day camps. Throughout her tenure at the Columbus JCC, Fox was part of the Association of Jewish Center Professionals (AJCP), and received the Central Region Creative Programmer Award in 2006 and the Rabbi Nathan and Sylvia Gaynor Jewish Cultural Award in 2007. In 2007 Fox received the JCC Association Keeping it Cool, Keeping it Kosher TAG grant and attended the TAG trainings in the years 2005, 2006 and 2007.
In 2005 Fox was selected as one of 18 JCC Day Camp Directors to participate in the first (and only) cohort of the Lekhu Lakhem Program facilitated by the Mandel Center for Jewish Education at the JCC Association. This 2.5 year program taught Fox how to strengthen the day camp programming and how to put a broader Jewish lens on all aspects of camp.
Fox earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies at Indiana University. She spent a semester studying Jewish Education at Tel Aviv University and was selected as a Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) intern in 2000.
Emily and Ethan, Rachel’s twins, are campers in Yeladim this summer. Rachel loves watching them get so excited about camp — just like every other Camp Shalom camper.
Early Childhood Director
Palm Beach Gardens
Veronica has been the Mandel JCC Early Childhood Director since January 2007. She was Religious School Assistant Director at Temple Beth Torah in Wellington, where she also taught in the preschool. Veronica was the 2006 recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for Excellence in Jewish Education. In her native Argentina, Veronica had extensive experience in physical education and sports organization and also taught Judaica and Hebrew education. Veronica has done postgraduate studies in Physical Education Department Management and Psycho-motor Skills. Her Bachelor’s Degrees are in Physical Education and Kinesiology. In the summer of 2008 Veronica completed the Project Zero Summer Institute at Harvard University, School of Education. Veronica is a graduate of the JECEI-Covenant Fellowship for Excellence in Jewish Early Childhood Education and of the Covenant Foundation Fellowship in Leadership in Jewish Early Childhood Education. In April 2012 Veronica was chosen as one of seven JCC’s Early Childhood Directors to be a part of a task force charged with the mission of defining and implementing excellence in JCC’s Early Childhood Education across North America and Canada. Today, the Early Childhood Learning Center directed by Veronica has been named “A School of Excellence” by the JCC Association along with six other schools in the United States and Canada. Veronica is up to date with best practices in Early Childhood Education and is committed to go beyond its definitions. Veronica emigrated from Argentina with her husband and her two children in 2002. Spanish is her first language and she is also fluent in English and Hebrew.
Assistant Camp Director & Sports Director
Palm Beach Gardens
Michael Rudnet is excited to be full time at the Mandel JCC as the Sports Camp Director and Assistant Camp Director. He attended the University of Massachusetts to play collegial football. He graduated with a degree in Finance with a minor in Economics. He later earned two Master degrees in Education
He has been a teacher, coach and athletic director at the high school middle school for over 12 years. He has successfully coached multiple sports including football, basketball and track. Many of his former athletes have gone on to earn athletic scholarships.
For the past 13 years he has been working day camp, travel camp and built a successful sports camp at Wellington Landings Middle School. He is passionate about sports and teaching children how to play them.
He currently lives in Wellington with his wife Andrea and his son Maxwell. Michael can’t wait for camp and build the existing sports program!
Camp Administrative Assistant
Palm Beach Gardens
Neysha has been working at the Mandel JCC since October 2011 as the Children, Camp, and Adult Program Administrative Assistant. She has fallen in love with the JCC and its programs! Prior to working at the JCC Neysha lived in Puerto Rico and was a Building Manager for Emergency Services. This is Neysha’s 5th summer working with Camp Shalom and she can not wait for the fun to begin! Neysha has two boys who are a part of the Camp Shalom family and they are counting down the days until Camp Shalom begins!
Special Needs Director
Boynton Beach & Palm Beach Gardens
Mindi Markovitz is the newest member of the Camp Shalom team. She and her family moved from New Jersey about two years ago and she began working at the Mandel JCC in October 2016. Receiving both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Elementary and Special education, she taught for 13 years, both in the classroom and out. She also ran and developed a variety of afterschool programs and tutored individual students. Most recently, Mindi taught in Boca Raton, Florida. This is her fifteenth year as a professional in the Special Needs community and she is as excited today as she was in her first year.
Her ultimate goal for an effective camp for those with special needs is for participants to have a sense of belonging. Mindi hopes that she and the JCC family are able to provide meaningful connections and opportunities for those with special needs, their families, and the community as a whole.