Risa Epstein | National Executive Director

My history with Canadian Young Judaea starts many years ago when I was eight years old and my parents put me on the bus to Camp Shalom. It is hard to believe that was over 40 years ago. I am happy to say that I went right through the system and spent five years on staff, 3 at Camp Solelim and 2 as Program Director of Camp Biluim Canada. It was at Biluim Canada in 1986 where I met my husband Amir to whom I have been happily married for close to 30 years.  As history often repeats itself my three daughters Annie, Fay and Ellie have also enjoyed being active members of CYJ. My oldest daughter Annie is a teacher in the TDSB, Fay is studying Musical Theatre at Sheridan College, and Ellie is a Student at Ryerson University and a Solelim Staff Member. I am an honors graduate majoring in English Literature and continued my studies in Holocaust and Genocide studies. For over 20 years I have been National Executive Director of CYJ and I have recently retired as Camp Solelim Director after a wonderful 13 year.  I enjoy every moment I have the opportunity to educate young people on Judaism and Israel.

Chazak V’ematz.



Jennifer Levy | Camps Administrator

I was born and raised in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and there I spent many wonderful years involved in Habonim. After moving to Canada and settling in Thornhill I found Canadian Young Judaea and it became my second family. I have worked at CYJ as the Solelim and Biluim Canada Administrator for over 15 years and joined the Camp Solelim team as Assistant Director in 2003 from which I have recently retired. My children spent many wonderful years at Camp Kinneret-Biluim, Camp Solelim, and Biluim Israel. email:


Fern Kachuck |Program Director

I was born into a house where camp was more than just a way to spend my summers, it was a way of life, and a household rule – you went to camp, no questions asked. When I was 8 years old, we loaded up the car with my duffel bags, and headed to the buses where I was off to spend my first summer at camp. I started out at Camp Shalom as a Junior, and went on to spend my summers at Camp Solelim, Camp Biluim, and finally finished off my years as a camper on Biluim Israel.

I am now going on year number 16 in the system. I have just finished my fifth year as a staff at Camp Solelim. 

Because camp during the summer wasn’t enough for me, I’ve found my camp-sickness cure by working for CYJ. Last year I took on the role of CYJ’s Program Director which means you’ll find me running programs such as JOLT, Mifgash, Kinus and helping out at Shorashim Programs whenever I get the chance! 

In June I graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. I am thrilled to be working full time for CYJ and I look forward to an amazing year!



Agnes Epstein | Israel Program Administrator

I was born and raised in Krakow, Poland and moved to Canada in the 1990’s.

I have been working for Canadian Young Judaea for 12 years as the Biluim Israel Administrator. My two beautiful daughters have attended CYJ since they started their journey at Camp Shalom. My oldest daughter Lailah is a student at Guelph University, while my youngest daughter Rachel has just finished herBiluim Canada Summer and will be going to Biluim Israel this coming summer. Both my daughters have always been extremely involved in Junior Programming, JOLT, Youth Council, and even Alternative Winter Break.