Leadership - Camp Zeke - Sleepaway Summer Camp


Year-round team

Lisa, Isaac and Shadow

Lisa and Isaac Mamaysky
Founders and directors

Having founded Camp Zeke in 2012, Lisa and Isaac Mamaysky pour their hearts and souls into camp. They oversee all aspects of the community together and pride themselves on Camp Zeke’s culture of kindness and warmth. Over the years, they have formed wonderful relationships with campers, families and staff, and they look forward to deepening those friendships for years to come.

Lisa graduated magna cum laude with joint degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She loves connecting with the kids and watching them grow up in Camp Zeke’s warm community. Outside of her time with camp, Lisa has 15 years of experience in investment management marketing. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, hiking, dance, and finding sometimes-elusive recipes for healthy desserts. If you stop by camp, she’s the one walking around with a gallon jug of sunblock ensuring everyone is covered!

Isaac spent his whole life going to overnight camp and always dreamed of running his own camp. Now that his dream has become a reality, Isaac knows every single camper and staff member by name, and he is deeply involved in Camp Zeke’s management. When he has a free moment during the camp day, Isaac loves jumping into a fitness or martial arts class, running in the all-camp 5K, and of course, tasting all the delicious creations that campers make in culinary arts classes. Isaac earned his juris doctor degree cum laude from the Boston University School of Law and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rhode Island Honors Program.

Lisa and Isaac live in Westchester, New York with their daughters, son, and dog.

Rachel Pineles

Rachel Pineles
Associate Director & Director of New Families

Rachel has a degree in communications and business, and a professional background in corporate and non-profit marketing, but her real passion is Jewish camping. She has been a part of the year-round Zeke team since 2015, planning our events, developing our ambassador program, and working with new and returning families. Rachel has worked with children of all ages in a traditional day school environment, but more importantly in several informal education settings–day camps, overnight camps, leadership training seminars, teen tours, theater production, and much more.

Hailing from New Jersey, Rachel now lives in Israel with her husband and four children where she enjoys walks on the beach, volunteering with soldiers and the needy, visiting museums and the theater, hiking in national parks and participating in the Jerusalem marathon. She loves to travel and explore new places (preferably by jeep, parasail, boat or zip line!) Although she can whip up a mean vegetarian chili or tofu stir-fry, Rachel is famous for her themed birthday cakes. In her spare time she loves to escape with a good book and a great iced coffee.

Laurie Epstein

Laurie Epstein
Chief Operating Officer

Laurie began her career in camp on a family camping weekend at the ripe old age of 6 months, and she was hooked! With an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, Laurie began working in camping at the New Jersey “Y” Camps, while still a student. She spent seven summers working her way up from counselor to office manager to division head. After graduation she joined them full time as the director of their senior adult programs.

In 2000, Laurie became the executive director of the Associated Camps, Inc. and Block and Hexter Vacation Center. She led a $1.8 million capital campaign to refurbish program facilities and build a million dollar fitness center. In 2002 Laurie received a certificate in Not-For-Profit Management from the Columbia University Graduate School for Business. More recently, Laurie opened a Glatt Kosher catering company in New Jersey with her sisters.

At Camp Zeke, Laurie manages the Block and Hexter Retreat Center, oversees human resources and year-round hiring, and during the summer, uses her extensive management, catering, and culinary experience to manage the large team that creates amazing gourmet meals for the Camp Zeke community. When camp isn’t in session, Laurie directs weddings, corporate events, and retreats on our beautiful site. Laurie enjoys hiking, tennis, bowling, bicycle riding and theater.

Janet Fliegelman
Chief Financial Officer

As a camper, Janet had the amazing overnight camp experiences of living in a tent for the summer (a bit different than Camp Zeke’s accommodations!), swimming in the lake, canoeing on the Delaware River, and joining the community Shabbat celebration. Years later, Janet’s three children enjoyed their time as overnight campers and then experienced their first jobs as counselors, developing lifelong friendships and leadership skills in the process.

A strong believer in the transformative power of the Jewish camp experience, Janet has been part of Jewish overnight camping for over two decades. At her prior camp, Janet began as a member of the summer office staff, became the year-round Chief Operating Officer, and then served in the capacity of Executive Director for multiple years. 

Prior to working full-time in camp, Janet provided technology instruction and support for staff and students at her local Solomon Schechter Day School. Most recently, she served as the interim Executive Director of a not-for-profit organization running technical conferences. 

Janet is excited to return to her overnight camp roots and join the amazing Camp Zeke team, helping to grow the organization into its second decade.

Janet holds an undergraduate business degree from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Having grown up at the Jersey shore in West Deal, she and her husband, Arthur, now live in East Brunswick, NJ. 

Janet is on the Board of Trustees of the AIFS Foundation, supporting cultural exchange and study abroad programs. She enjoys trying out new technology applications, long nature walks, the daily crossword puzzle and Wordle.


Riva Schanker
Director of Camper and Staff Care

Riva has been an integral member of Camp Zeke’s staff since 2016, making a combined two decades in the field of Jewish overnight camp. She has held large multi-faceted roles over the years and brings her experience together to ensure that every camper and staff member in the Zeke family is thriving.

Riva received her first bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Queens College, then returned to school and received an additional bachelor’s degree in psychology and child development. Riva has worked closely with educators on social and emotional learning within the Baltimore public school system. Certified in Mental Health First Aid, she helped the educational staff to navigate challenging behaviors and also loved stepping into the classroom. 

Riva explains her philosophy: “It’s important for me to connect with all campers and staff, which is vital to fostering a long-term impact. I love helping instill a strong Jewish identity in campers by bringing awareness of core Jewish values in a relaxing, approachable way that allows everyone to be confident and the best versions of themselves.”

Riva and her husband Robert reside in New Jersey and have three daughters, who have all been Camp Zeke staff members as well! One of the sweetest members of the Schanker family (and the camper care team) is Luna, who is pictured with Riva. Luna was adopted at 4 months old from a dog rescue right near camp. During the off-season, Riva helps to create memorable experiences for our on-site retreat guests.

Andrew Liebowitz
Assistant Director

Andrew first went to day camp when he was five years old and has spent almost every summer since then involved in camp. He attended both day and sleepaway camp as a child, was a counselor in high school and college, and knew he wanted to enter a career in camping! Andrew earned his Bachelors Degree in Marketing from Suny Albany and his Masters of Education from Hofstra University. He then went on to work full-time in camper and staff recruitment, planning, and directing for a day camp on Long Island, and an international teen summer travel program.

Some of Andrew’s best friends to this day are from his childhood camp experience. He understands firsthand the influence camp can have on the confidence and self-esteem of children.

As our Assistant Director, Andrew is heavily involved in our marketing, staffing, and parent communication. He also works with Laurie to provide our retreat guests with a magical experience. He enjoys playing basketball, tennis, biking, and rooting for his hometown Knicks, Mets, and Jets (he might eventually see them win a championship!). Andrew grew up on Long Island and still lives there today when he is not up at camp.

Katie Thurson
Assistant Director

Katie is a PhD student at Clemson University studying Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a focus on summer camps and youth programs. She is actively involved in the American Camp Association, Y-US, and the Clemson community, but is most happy when she’s away at camp! Katie is also a professor who teaches classes about camp management.

Katie is a multi-year returning staff member at Camp Zeke, who began her time with us as a unit head and has become involved in all aspects of camp management. Katie assists with camper and staff needs throughout the summer, and she is involved in all aspects of camp management.

Barbara Lichter
Registrar & HR Specialist

Barbara, born in Brooklyn, NY, now comes to us from Delray Beach, FL. Barbara has worked at our wonderful facility for the last 30+ years. She has held multiple  significant roles at Camp Zeke ranging from managing complex human resources  matters to overseeing the creation of our daily schedule. As the camp’s registrar, Barbara is one of the first contacts for our new and returning families and helps them with all aspects of joining the Camp Zeke family each summer. As an HR Specialist, Barbara is also one of the first contacts for new and returning staff during their onboarding process.

Prior to Camp Zeke, starting in 1989, Barbara worked as a counselor, administrator, and Special Events Coordinator for the Block & Hexter Vacation Center (now the Block & Hexter Retreat Center, which we operate in the non-summer months), where she provided programming, scheduling, and office support services.

However, even before that, Barbara had an affinity for camp. “Since the age of three I have spent practically every Summer at camp as either a camper or employee. I truly love the mountains, the activities and the friendships that I have made over the years and look forward to expanding these experiences year after year.”

Besides Barbara’s camp experience, she has taught Arts & Crafts, Theater- Comedy Improv, computers, and writing. “I’m a real geek. I’m always on the lookout for the latest technological gadget and love fooling around with the newest apps.” Barbara’s other interests include musical theater, traveling, and reading.

Amy Horowitz
New Family Ambassador

Amy has spent much of her life attending and working at sleepaway camp. She first attended camp when she was 7 years old, then became a CIT, and later a counselor. With Amy, it runs in the family! Her mother was a camper and a counselor, and her grandmother was the girls’ side director in the 1960s at a sleepaway camp that is not far from Camp Zeke. At camp, Amy feels like she’s back home, and is privileged to help other kids have the wonderful and life-changing experience of camp that she had as a child.

Amy has a degree in environmental and business economics. Outside of camp, she has worked in multiple facets of real estate and was a real estate appraiser for 20 years. She is thrilled to return to work in an environment that she has loved since she was a child.

George portrait

George Zablocky
Director of Facilities

Our director of facilities, George, is a highly-regarded and essential member of the Camp Zeke family. George oversees the meticulous care of camp, manages our facilities team, plans and implements floor-to-ceiling building renovations, and serves as the liaison and first point of contact for architects, the local township, building inspectors, contractors, permitting agents, and countless others.

George’s longstanding connection to camp began when his father built many of the buildings that our campers now enjoy. Following in those footsteps, George recently completed the construction of our fitness complex, one of the most beautiful and impressive buildings at camp. Under George’s direction, our facilities team renovated almost the entire site before our inaugural summer and continues to update and create new bunks as our enrollment continue to grow.

Beyond the many skills that George brings to his craft, he is a kind and caring person who is universally admired by those who have the pleasure to work with him. Affectionately called “Mr. Fix It” by his team, George’s impeccable work ethic, care, and dedication are reflected in every inch of camp.

Board of Directors

Dr Sara Stave portrait

Dr Sara Stave
Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board

Sara Stave, Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board, has a BA in Psychology & Elementary Education from Connecticut College and a PsyD in School/ Clinical Child Psychology from Yeshiva University’s Ferkauf School. She lives in Westchester, New York with her husband and Co-Chair, Channing, and their two children.

She works as a School Psychologist in Westchester. In addition, she conducts pre-school and elementary school evaluations to help children with special needs access services.

Her son, Stratton, who is fifteen years old, will be happy to share with you that he was the very first camper signed up for Camp Zeke, and will attend this year for his (and the camp’s) sixth summer. Her daughter, Sabrina, who is six years old, is anxiously counting down the days until she can attend Zeke as a camper.

She loves doing hundreds of activities – often simultaneously – including skiing, cooking, photography, fostering abandoned kittens, and arts and crafts projects.

Dr Channing Stave portrait

Dr Channing Stave
Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board

Channing Stave, Co-Chair of the Camp Zeke Board, has a BA in Psychology from Columbia University and a PhD in Organizational Psychology from New York University. He lives in Westchester, New York with his wife and Co-Chair, Sara, and their two children.

He is a founder and Chief Operating Officer of Disuptyx, LLC, a marketing and market research firm that specializes in heuristics based messaging in Scarsdale, New York. Previously, he led Market Research and Analytics functions at IBM, Pfizer, and Medco. He is also Secretary for the Board of Solving Kids Cancer.

His son, Stratton, who is fifteen years old, will be happy to share with you that he was the very first camper signed up for Camp Zeke, and will attend this year for his (and the camp’s) sixth summer. His daughter, Sabrina, who is six years old, is anxiously counting down the days until she can attend Zeke as a camper.

He spends his winters skiing and his springs coaching Stratton and Sabrina’s baseball teams. He also enjoys traveling and cooking.

Nora Wolf
Board of Directors

Nora Wolf is the founder of Wolf PR, a public relations company with a focus on design based in New York City. Their clients include interior, product, startup, and manufacturing —as well as retailers, artists, designers, and creators. Nora works across all types of design including multi-national, public companies and small one-person shops, luxury collectable design and affordable and accessible gifts, furniture and lighting, textiles, flooring, contract and residential, retail and custom made, materials and industrial design. Nora works with New York City startups including WorkOf, Still House, and promoted new collections from independent designers Gabriel Scott, David Weeks, and collectable designers Claste and Huy Bui. She also works with global brands like Kikkerland and Eastman and international brands like ZigZagZurich on their strategy and ongoing press efforts. Nora is one of the hosts for the New York Creative Social Concern, connecting designers to each other, and to new bars.

David Samdperil portrait

David Samdperil
Board of Directors, Emeritus

David Samdperil joined the Camp Zeke family back when the camp was just an idea and the logo was a sketch on a napkin. He comes to us from Atlanta, Georgia by way of Rhode Island, where his love and understanding of the power of summer camp started at Camp JORI back in the mid ’80s.

Today, David is the founder and owner of Track Seven Events, LLC an award-winning event design firm based in Atlanta. The company produces world class galas up and down the east coast by transforming empty venues into amazing event experiences.

His client list includes fortune 500 companies, national sporting events, numerous weddings and mitzvahs, and celebrity events (we keep telling him to put the picture with Shaq as his Facebook profile). Track Seven also has strong partnerships with non-profit organizations like Susan G. Komen, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, FIDF, and of course, Camp Zeke. David and his team donate both planning expertise and assets to help make charity events spectacular and more profitable.

When he is not working at Track Seven and building Camp Zeke, you can find David playing golf, skiing in Vermont, boating, beaching and cooking after a long day of outdoor adventures.

Rabbi Joshua Dorsch
Board of Directors

Rabbi Joshua Dorsch is the Rabbi of Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Diego County, California. He was previously a Rabbi at Beth El Synagogue Center in New Rochelle, New York. Rabbi Dorsch earned a Master of Arts degree in Jewish Education and a MA degree in Midrash and Scriptural Interpretation from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Talmud and Rabbinics from JTS. While at the Seminary, Rabbi Dorsch was selected to participate in the esteemed Schusterman Rabbinic Fellowship and participated in the Legacy Heritage Rabbinic Fellowship Program, through which he served as the rabbinic presence at Temple Emanu-El, in Reno, Nevada. He also had the privilege of participating on a Rabbinical Student delegation to Senegal with the American Jewish World Service. After completing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education, Rabbi Dorsch worked as a Chaplain at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NYC.

Prior to his position at Beth El, Rabbi Dorsch spent two years working as the student rabbi at the Emanuel Synagogue in West Hartford, Connecticut, and as the rabbinic advisor to the Hillel at the University of Hartford. During his year of rabbinical school in Israel, he served as a rabbinic intern for a Masorti (Conservative) congregation, Tiferet Shalom, in Tel Aviv. After his year in Israel, he remained for the summer where he worked as a group leader and tour guide for Ramah Seminar in Israel.

Originally from Philadelphia, Rabbi Dorsch grew up attending, and then staffing, Jewish overnight camps, where he served as a unit head and prayer coordinator. He still enjoys spending time at camp over the summer. He was (and still is) very active in USY. He is a retired competitive Table Tennis player, having played in tournaments at the highest level, including the Maccabi Games.

Rabbi Dorsch is socially minded, creative, and enthusiastic. He focuses on community building, youth engagement, and lifelong learning. His goal is to help people find meaning and connection through their relationship with the Jewish community, traditions and Israel

Dr Arlene Spark portrait

Dr Arlene Spark
Adviser, Emeritus

Dr. Spark is the Chair of the City University of New York’s Nutrition Program for the Doctorate in Public Health degree. For the past 35 years, she has taught on all levels from pre-school through graduate medical education, and has worked in clinical pediatric nutrition and food policy. Dr. Spark is a registered dietitian (RD) who was in the first cohort of RDs to become board certified as a specialist in pediatric nutrition. Always a pioneer, Dr. Spark was the first adviser to Camp Zeke!

Dr. Spark and her team of students have worked with Camp Zeke and our chefs year-round to bring the freshest and healthiest ingredients into our kitchen, and the most scrumptious meals into our campers’ bellies. They also advised on the full renovation of our teaching kitchen, where campers will learn to prepare dishes, as well as our production kitchen, where our team of chefs cook for Camp Zeke.

Dr. Spark is the author of Nutrition in Public Health: Principles, Policies, and Practice.

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