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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lindsay Cohen |Program Director
The Jewish community has always been a significant part of my life. Growing up, I went to Jewish day school, volunteered in the community, and belonged to a synagogue. However, although I tried a few different camps, I hadn’t yet found a camp that felt right for me. In 2004, two of my friends somehow convinced my parents to send their 11 year old daughter on a plane to a camp in Nova Scotia for six weeks. Little did they know, I’d end up back at this camp for five years as a camper, and six as staff member. It wasn’t until I worked at Camp Kadimah, a CYJ camp in the Maritimes, that I truly began to realize camp’s impact on Jewish growth and identity. For many campers, this was their only exposure to Jewish life, Israel education, and Jewish community. I began to realize that informal learning experiences can sometimes be more effective than lessons taught in a classroom during the school year. It is because of camp that I’ve become increasingly passionate about informal Jewish education. I graduated from the University of Guelph in 2015 with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting, and decided to pursue informal education. I am extremely excited to make this year an incredibly enjoyable and transformative year for all of our CYJ campers, staff, parents and alumni! CYJ is an amazing organization and I am looking forward to engaging our future community leaders through the wide range of programs we will offer!
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.