SJCC Summer Camps Staff

Meet the SJCC Summer Camps Staff Team! 

➤  Day Camp

➤  Sports & Specialty Camps

Head Staff

Gail Lieff has spent most of her summers at SJCC Summer Camps. She started as a camper and is now the Director of Specialty/Sports Camp and the CIT Program. When she’s not at camp, Gail is the SJCC Youth & Teen Program Manager.

“I am looking forward to seeing our returning campers and meeting all the new ones. We have lots of exciting new programs coming to Sports Camp, some of my favorite Specialty Camps are back and we have a fantastic and enthusiastic team of counsellors.”

Reesa Shinder is the Director of the SJCC Ganon Preschool and the Co-Director of the SJCC Day Camp. As a kid, Reesa spent summers at CBB and as a teenager she was an Arts & Crafts Specialist at JCC Day Camps.

“I love working with children of all ages. Summer is a time to be out in the sun, laughing and running around. I enjoy playing, planning fun activities, and watching the children enjoy camp the way I did as a child. It’s going to be a great summer!”

Aaron Polowin was with us as staff for six summers before taking a break. He couldn’t say away and returned a few summers ago to be our Sports Camp Co-Director. When he’s not at camp, Aaron (aka Mr. P) teaches French and Phys-Ed at the Ottawa Jewish Community School (OJCS). He also works at NCSY Ottawa teaching a weekly high school class.

“I am excited about going on field trips with Sports Camp; Mont Cascade, Altitude Gym, it will be a blast! It will also be great to welcome a variety of sports instructors this summer; football, soccer, taekwondo, basketball. I can’t wait for the Maccabiah games and weekly sports challenges.”

Aaron Kaiman has been part of the SJCC Summer Camps team for the past six summers. Aaron began his camp journey as a Junior Counsellor at Travelling Sports Camp and moved up the ranks, singing and cheering his way into the position of Co-Director of SJCC Summer Camps. When not at camp, Aaron is a teacher within the OCDSB working with children from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

“I am looking forward to making magical memories and experiences that will be cherished for many years to come! Can’t wait to break out my magic tricks and guitar to bring some joy to each of the groups.”

Day Camp


Juschelle: 2-Year-Olds (Aleph)

“I’m looking forward to meeting the children and to know more about them

Also, I am looking forward to the fun activities and learning experiences that we are going to do this summer.”

Jeanne: 4-Year-Olds (Gimel)

“Can’t wait for the warm weather, blue skies and sunsets.

This is my first time as a counsellor and I am very excited to be at camp.

I look forward to fun things to come and making new memories with the children this summer camp!”

Amanda: 4-Year-Olds (Gimel)

“I have been working at summer camps since 2016; originally in BC before moving to Ottawa just under 2 years ago. I’m most looking forward to spending time outside and swimming in the pool!”

Jordana: 5 Year Olds (Dalet)

“I worked as a counsellor at a summer camp for the past 2 summers with kids aged 3-5.

I can’t wait to meet new people and have fun with the campers!”

Maxine: 5 Year Olds (Dalet) 

“I’ve been a camper at the SJCC summer camps in previous years and I was a CIT with the last summer. I am looking forward to my first year being a counsellor!”

Emma: 5 Year Olds (Dalet) 

“I attended lots of super fun summer camps as a kid, but in terms of work experience, I volunteered in March of 2022 with Carleton sports camps where I learned the ropes of being a camp counsellor. I spent last summer at the JCC where I was with an amazing group of five-year-olds! I am excited to meet all the campers, I can’t wait to see what fun this summer holds!” 

Evelyn: 5 Year Olds (Dalet) 

“I was a camp counsellor at the JCC last summer and I can’t wait to have fun this summer!”

Tara: 5 Year Olds (Hey) 

“I did my placement at the SJCC Ganon preschool and I have lots of experience with children. I can’t wait to meet all the campers and even see some of the children from my placement at the summer camp!”


Lena: 5 Year Olds (Hey) 

“I have 8+ years going to day camps, 6+ years of sleep away camp, as well as the SJCC CIT program. I’m looking forward to meeting tons of new people and spending time outdoors!”

Molly: 5 Year Olds (Hey)

“I worked at the JCC last summer and I had the best summer ever!

I’m looking forward to meeting all the new campers and doing fun activities with them.

I’m mainly excited to play games in the water.”

Chassy: 5 Year Olds (Hey)

“I have been going to summer camps ever since I was 3 or 4. I am definitely looking forward to gaining some experience with working with kids, and just enjoying the summer while still taking on some responsibilities.”

Isabella: 6 Year Olds (Vav) 

“Last summer I worked as a camp counsellor at the JCC. My favourite things were going swimming, doing arts and crafts and having fun! Seeing the kids smiling every day and creating wonderful memories was the part I remembered the most from an exciting summer! I am looking forward to seeing happy and excited kids running at me in the mornings, asking what exciting plans we have for the day!”

Rio: 6 Year Olds (Vav)

“I have been doing summer camps every year growing up, including many at JCC, my favourite was Travelling Sports Camp! I’m looking forward to building leadership and problem solving skills and everything else that come with being a camp counsellor.”

Eli M.: 6 Year Olds (Vav)

“I worked at a March Break Camp and I babysat and trained kids in my taekwon-do class.

I can’t wait to socialise with the kids and in general just have a great time!!”

Anneke: 6 Year Olds (Zayin) 

“This is my third summer working as a day camp counsellor at the SJCC! What I am looking forward to most about this summer is seeing all the kids! I cannot wait to see my old campers, and meet the new ones! We’re going to have the best summer together!”

Evan: 6 Year Olds (Zayin) 

“I attended camps for many years as a child, and then attended the CIT program with the SJCC. I can’t wait to gain experience and look forward to the fun I will have!”

Ethan: 7 Year Olds (Chet)

“I was a Camp Gesher sleep away camper, an SJCC summer camp camper and counsellor.

I’m looking forward to the warm weather and outdoor activities.”


Lilly: 7 Year Olds (Chet)

“I was a CIT last year at the SJCC. I look forward to growing my skills as a camp counsellor and making sure all the kids have a fun summer!”


Lauren: 7 Year Olds (Chet)

“I worked at the SJCC Day Camps last summer.I can’t wait to meet new counsellors and campers and make summer memories doing what I love!”


Danielle: 8-10 Year Olds (Tet)

“I have spent every summer at the  JCC and can’t wait to give the same amazing experience to all my campers! I’m looking forward to meeting all the amazing campers, water balloon fights, and pool games!“


Ava: 8-10 Year Olds (Tet)




Ariel: 8-10 Year Olds (Tet)

“I worked at the SJCC Day Camp in Summer of 2022.

Can’t wait to swim in the pool and have fun with my campers.”


Gabi: 8-10 Year Olds (Tet)

“This will be my third official year with the JCC summer camp and before that, I worked as a CIT and a volunteer. I’m most looking forward to returning to camp after a bit of a sabbatical and making connections with campers and fellow staff. “


Eli B. – Floater


Alex – Support Specialist

“I worked at Camp Huronda for several years, then organised a bicycle camp for children that ran for 8 years, Autism Ontario summer camp for 3 years, and SJCC camp the past 4 years! I can’t wait to make camp fun and exciting for every camper!“


Josh – Sports Specialist

“I’ve worked 4 summers at the JCC. I can’t wait for Water Sport Days!”


Dani – Dance & Drama Specialist

“I have been working at JCC day camps for the past 7 or so years.

I’m looking forward to my new role as dance and drama specialist and getting to meet all the campers!”



Sports & Specialty Camps 

Aidan: Junior Sports Camp   

“I’ve been going to the JCC camps for as long as I can remember, and I’ve had an amazing time each and every year. I’ve been a staff here for two summers and I’m really looking forward to my third! The thing that I’m looking forward to the most is providing the campers with memories that they can cherish for a lifetime!”

Tyler: Junior Sports Camp Counselor 

“I spent many years at JCC day camps and sports camp from the ages of 4 to 10.  Last year was my first summer as staff and it was amazing! Can’t wait to see my campers from last year and meet all the new ones.  We had so much fun last year, and I know there will be more surprises coming this summer.”

Melania: Junior Sports Camp / Basketball Camp   

“My favourite memory as a camper is going tubing with my friends and water skiing!  I love JCC camp and have been here since I was young.  My favourite memory as a staff is singing with the kids on the long bus rides. I’m looking forward to working on sports skills with the kids and making their camp days the most exciting and fun it can be!  Can’t wait to be back! “

Brandon: Senior Sports Camp  

“I’ve been going to JCC camps for as long as I can remember: the community is great, and the people are too. I really enjoy working with new people and seeing all the campers have a great summer. I’ve made a lot of memories as a camper and am still making more as staff. The people who work here are awesome and it’s always a great time. I’m looking forwards to seeing all the staff and campers as well, the travelling aspect of Sports Camp.”

Jeiana: Senior Sports Camp Counselor 

“I attended my high school’s Leadership Camp and I am an E.C.E. student and have just finished my first year.  I am looking forward to all the fun activities planned for this summer and all the different places we will go. Most importantly, I am excited to meet new people and make new friends and ensure that all the children has great experience this summer.“

Elijah: Senior Sports Camp / Basketball Camp  

“My summer camp experience began as a camper at a very young age. Coming back every year inspired me to work hard in sports and to teach sports to other kids as I grew older.

This summer I’m looking forward to impacting a lot of kids lives by helping them learn more about sports while having fun doing it.”

Rheanna: Senior Sports / Specialty Camps – LEGO, Spy Camp, Great Adventure 

“As a kid, summer camps were always the highlight of my summer. I made so many friends and bonded with my counsellors. I’m excited to be a part of the JCC team. I plan to make camp a fun and memorable experience just like I had. I’m super excited for field trips and swimming. If you are looking for me, I’m a brunette with a big smile!”

Alanah: Specialty Camps / Horseback Riding

I attended a variety of camps in the city and really enjoyed art campsI have worked Science Camps at the Science and Tech Museum, Holiday Break Camps and After School Program at the SJCCI really enjoy connecting with each and everyone including those I already know and those that I have yet to meet. I am looking forward to getting to know all my campers, help them learn and experience new things along with being silly and having fun together 

Morgan: Specialty Camps – Boot & Cartooning, If We Could Talk to the Animals, Magic Camp, LEGO®,  Pop Art, Spy Camp, Great Adventure 

“I have been a camp kid as long as I can remember, participating in both JCC day camps and CBB overnight camp! I am returning to be a staff for my third summer at the SJCC. I am looking forward to spending lots of time outside and meeting new campers!”

Taylor: Specialty Camps – Boot & Cartooning, Animal, Magic, Pop Art, Horseback Riding, Great Adventure 

“This is my 4th summer as a specialty camp counsellor. I didn’t go to summer camp growing up so I’m glad I get to experience it with your children. My favourite part of specialty camp is the field trips, being in the sun, swimming, and getting to see familiar faces! Can’t wait to see returning campers and meet new faces. Here’s to a great summer!”