Who We Are
Camp Laurelwood counselors are carefully recruited, screened and trained in all areas pertaining to the care of our campers. Many are Laurelwood alumni or referred by friends. Staff must have experience working with children, specialty certifications, a worldly view and a passion for Jewish overnight camping. Training is provided by Camp Laurelwood and includes first aid, diversity awareness, child development, and similar. Camp Laurelwood could be your next dream job! Call the office to find out more summer opportunities or see below for a Staff Employment Application.
Ruth Ann Ornstein has been Executive Director of Camp Laurelwood since 2002, following a 12 year career in Youth, Family and Camp Director positions at the New Haven and Bridgeport Jewish Community Centers. She holds a BS in Human Services, with a minor in Judaic Studies from the University of Hartford and earned her MSW from the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, New York. Ruth Ann is active in the Bethany Connecticut PTO, served on their Board of Education and is co-manager of Amity Girls Travel Team. A mother of two, she was graduated from the Executive Leadership Institute of the Foundation for Jewish Camping.
Denise Ben Haim is our Associate Director. Denise joined the Camp Laurelwood family in 2009 with a long history and rich background in the Jewish Camping industry. As the Recruitment Officer, Denise actively participates in the present and future of Camp Laurelwood. Along with her three daughters, she looks forward to sharing many more exciting summers at camp!
Barnett Goldman is an Assistant Director. As such, he oversees all of the athletic programs, evening programs, daily activities, and special events. Barnett brings over 20 years of camp, athletics, and programming experience to Laurelwood. He is a Special Education teacher and athletic coach at Carmel Academy in Greenwich, CT. He is has a Bachelors of Science in Elementary and Special Education, and a Masters in Special Education from Southern CT State University. Barnett is the former Athletic Director of Ezra Academy in Woodbridge, CT and directed the New Haven JCC Chalutzim Camp. Barnett has really enjoyed integrating his growing family with his Laurelwood family over the past 5 summers!
Riva Schanker is the Girl’s Head Counselor and Biking Specialist and has been a staff-member since 2003. Riva Schanker has earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from Queens College and an additional BA in Psychology with a minor in Child Development from Ashford University. Riva has been a Jewish educator for the past 28 years. Riva is currently the Director of Judaic Hebrew curriculum for Louisville B’eit Sefer Yachad and the family event corridater for Adath Jeshurun. Riva resides in Louisville, KY with her husband and 3 daughters.
Thank you for your interest in a position at Camp Laurelwood. To apply, kindly click on the link below to be directed to our online staff application. Please contact the camp office if you have any questions: