Camp Shemesh features a superb team of leadership staff, counselors, and counselors-in-training, with an average staff-to-camper ratio of 1:5. Many staff members are former Shemesh campers. Staff members are selected for their experience working with children, their leadership capabilities, their unique talents, and their enthusiasm for providing a fun and meaningful Jewish summer camp experience.
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Meet The Camp Shemesh Leadership Staff
Ariel Adelstein, Camp Director
Hello! I am excited beyond words to be taking over as director of Camp Shemesh! I was raised in a multicultural household, in which many of the very best values of the Jewish faith were taught to me and practiced: how to live in harmony with nature, how to seek justice for all, and how to care for the world around us. I graduated from the University of Vermont in 2012 with degrees in English and Political Science, and was a teacher in northern Vermont until 2014, when I graduated from Marlboro College in Brattleboro with a master’s in Teaching for Social Justice. I have been teaching middle school in Springfield for the last few years, focusing on bringing in curriculum that focuses on social justice, environmental justice, and the humanities. I am an avid gardener, runner, and painter, and in my spare time you might find me at a yoga class or learning (slowly) how to cook! I really look forward to getting to work with the campers and their families at Camp Shemesh this summer!
Sonia Wilk, Program Coordinator (Grades K-3)
Hello! I am so excited to spend my second summer at the JCA’s Camp Shemesh. I spent this past school year facilitating youth based education for five local Jewish institutions. At the JCA, I have taken a lead role in the programming for our youngest demographic and have been loving getting to know the families of the Jewish community of the Pioneer Valley. After growing up in Florida, I relocated to Denver, CO to pursue a higher education in Geography, Sociology and Judaic Studies. Since then, I have traveled the world, spent four years working as an Education Coordinator for a Jewish, nature based program in the Berkshires (Teva) and earned a Masters level certificate from Yeshiva University in Experiential Jewish Education. When not teaching, you can find me frolicking in the forest, teaching my pet parrot a new trick or learning a new chord on the Ukulele. I am excited to be spending my summer laughing, playing, nurturing and growing with the incredible kids and staff of Camp Shemesh.
Kimberly Pfeifer, Program Coordinator (Grades 4-10)
Hello! I am so excited to be a part of the Camp Shemesh team. I wanted to tell you a bit about my story, and I look forward to hearing yours soon. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. At eighteen I decided to leave perfect weather in exchange for Midwestern winters. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a secondary teaching credential in English Language Arts. I have since worked as a behavioral therapist for children and teens with Autism, moved to South Korea to teach English as a foreign language, and made Aliyah to Tel Aviv. I spent the past four years teaching and studying in Israel which was a transformative, eye-opening, and beautiful experience, unlike any other. I moved to Amherst in September to pursue my doctoral degree in Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies at UMass Amherst. I am so thankful to become a part of the Jewish Community of Amherst; I can't imagine a better way to spend my summer than helping children and adolescents connect with their Judaism through art, song, celebration, and community.