Our exceptional staff will care for and nurture your child’s development, ensuring a summer of laughter, fulfillment, and memories to last a lifetime. Among our staff are specialists and professional educators, hand-picked to bring expertise that will catapult personal growth.
All groups have a mix of junior and senior counselors. Senior counselors are college students or older and junior counselors are high school upperclassmen. All 3 and 4-year-old, as well as kindergarten groups, have head counselors who are certified educators and/or have comparable classroom experience. Our Hebrew tracks are led by native/fluent Hebrew speaking counselors. Many of our staff members "grew up" at the J themselves! They are personally invested in your child’s experience.
"Meet" Our Year-Round Staff
Aaron Atlas, Youth and Camping Engagement Director
Aaron began at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in January 2017, where he oversees all aspects of Neil Klatskin Summer Camps, year-round after school engagement programs, and family opportunities at the JCC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University and a Master of Social Work from Indiana University. Before joining the JCC, Aaron worked at the Indianapolis JCC from 1994-2016 where he oversaw traditional day and specialty camps, a large after-school care program, family programming, children’s overnight and enrichment classes, toddler playgroups, parent and staff training programs, and agency-wide events. In addition, he served three years as Associate Director of Early Childhood Education. Aaron lives in Cliffside Park with his wife, young son, Leo, and senior dog, Koufax.
Leron Arev, Camp Program Manager
Leron, born and raised in Tenafly, NJ is a proud alum and staff of The Neil Klatskin Summer Camps. Leron studied psychology at both Bar Ilan University and NYU. Before taking on a position at NKDC in 2017, Leron was working as a behaviorist, implementing therapeutic services to children on the spectrum in both school and home settings. Leron started as a seasonal staff member in Summer 2017 as a Unit Head for Kadima and knew right away that The J and NKDC was where she wanted to be all year long. Since then, Leron stayed on board as a fulltime staff person and has worked as the Director of the Children's Dept, Program Director of Kadima and now holds the title of Camp Program Manager. Leron’s duties include year-round family and staff engagement, staff hiring and managing both year-round programs and NKDC.
Simeon Pearlstein, Afterschool Programs & Camp Logistics Manager
Simeon is thrilled to be a part of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades team since 2013. As Afterschool Programs and Camp Logistics Manager, Simeon oversees the school age afterschool programs as well as organizes the logistics of the JCC camps. He comes with over 20 years of experience in the Jewish youth and camping world having worked for organizations such as BBYO Inc., JCC Rockland and Suffolk Y JCC where he held roles in programming, youth and camping. With BBYO, one of his many roles was leadership staff for multiple summer programs in North Carolina and Wisconsin for Jewish teens across the country. At JCC Rockland and Suffolk Y JCC, Simeon held senior staff roles in camping and youth departments developing their summer programs, teen leadership initiatives and afterschool programs. Simeon attended The State University at Albany earning a BA in political science and lives in Mahwah with his wife and two sons who love going to camp with their dad!
Melissa Peters, Operations Director, Family & Youth Engagement
Melissa has been a member of the Neil Klatskin Day Camp team since 1998. She began her service as the Transportation Coordinator, then as the Assistant Director. Melissa has been a part of the JCC family in many other capacities as well. She served as the Assistant Children’s Services Director, Children’s Services Director, Assistant Games Director for the 2003 JCC Maccabi Games and the 2004 Delegation Head for the Kaplen Team Palisades.
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