Meet Our Team
Louis Lasko - Camp Director
Louis brings ten years of summer camp experience to this position. Prior to Laurelwood, Louis served three years as the Director of Day Camp at the Jewish Community Center in Springfield, MA. He also served as the Assistant Director of Camp O-la-mi and the Director of the Kids Place after school program at the Stamford JCC in Stamford CT. Louis holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Elmira College.
Louis was selected as a Merrin Teen Professional Fellow in 2012. He collaborated with members of the Jewish community to develop leadership opportunities for teens. Louis has built his career around creating fun, engaging, and diverse programs for children, which he will continue to implement in his new role at Laurelwood. He will also be responsible for training and supervising camp staff.
As someone who grew up at overnight camp, Louis understands how meaningful and life-changing a great camp experience can be! He can't wait for summer to begin at Camp Laurelwood!
Tess Bettman - Office Manager/Registrar
Tess has been involved in Jewish camping as long as she can remember. When her beloved summer camp in upstate NY closed its doors (Eddie, Eddie, Eddie!), she began her journey at Camp Laurelwood. What can we say? The rest was history...
Tess has held various positions at CL since her start in 2009, including: general counselor, division head, girls side head counselor, and Bonim staff member. She was SUPER excited to return to CL in 2019 in this new role and believes wholeheartedly in the “magical and transformative experience that is Jewish summer camp!”
Tess currently lives in Westchester, NY with her husband, Amir (who she met and got engaged to at camp!), their son (and future Bunk 1 camper), Coop, and their French Bulldog, Chili.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Clark University and a Masters Degree in Social Work from Fordham University.
Emily Aron - Development and Administrative Manager
Emily brings a wide range of customer service experience from restaurants, retail, and most recently being the membership director at the Springfield Jewish Community Center. Emily holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Bay Path University. Outside of work, Emily loves being with her family and friends, sports, photography, good food, and traveling.
Emily has lived in quite a few places - Maryland, New Jersey, New Orleans, Montreal, and for the past 5+ years Western Massachusetts. Growing up she played basketball and was able to participate in the Macabbi games for 3 years. She was also fortunate to travel to Portland, Oregon to attend Jewish sleepaway camp.
Emily can't wait to use her past experience and to grow in this new role to make a positive impact on Camp Laurelwood!
Elizabeth Kaplan - Community Care Director
Elizabeth discovered her love of Jewish summer camp as a young adult when she found herself at URJ Camp Kalsman, outside of Seattle, WA. She worked there for several summers as the Teva/Trips Supervisor, and she found a professional home for her Jewish experiences. She spent 3 years as a Program Director at JCC Greater Boston developing and implementing an innovative afterschool program called Discovery Club - infusing everyday activities with Jewish values and content. Elizabeth has extensive experience in JOFEE (Jewish Outdoor Food, Farming, and Environmental Education) Programs and participated in the Urban Adamah fellowship in Berkeley, CA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Brown University and an MS-Nutrition/MPH from Tufts University.
She is thrilled to be part of the Laurelwood team and can't wait to bring Family Camp to life. Elizabeth grew up in Madison, and she currently lives in New Haven with her husband David (who she met, got engaged to, and married at Kalsman) and their future camper (in a few years), Solly. She loves crafts of all kinds, riding her bicycle, and exploring the outdoors.
Ned Linnehan - Facilities Manager
Ned was born and raised in Madison and started camp as our full time Caretaker and Facilities Manager over 24 years ago. Prior to Camp Laurelwood he worked as an electrician, carpenter, plumber and machine mechanic.
Ned spends his winter refurbishing the camp grounds and makes sure camp is open and ready to go before the first campers and staff arrive for the summer. During the summer he can be seen aound camp lending a helping hand to all campers and staff, whether they have a broken light in the bunk, a broken pair of glasses, or help on their Big O costumes and plaques.
In his free time, Ned enjoys playing the guitar and piano.
Jonathan Leff - Operations Director and Executive Chef
Jonathan has been cooking professionally for over 25 years; starting in New York City where he was raised and attended culinary school.
He has worked for some of the best caterers and restaurateurs in Manhattan for over 17 years. Whether in a three star Italian restaurant, one of the city’s premier steakhouses or for one of New York’s finest caterers.
Jonathan moved to Connecticut in 2007 and continued his cooking career with Jordan Caterers as Executive Chef. In 2009 Jonathan opened Cuvee in West Hartford and in so doing, he helped to bring the Manhattan lounge style of wine bar to Connecticut for the first time. After Cuvee Jonathan joined the team at Spice Catering Group where he helped to grow and enrich the company. Jonathan then went to Riverhouse Catering, working alongside many of Connecticut’s best local farmers he and his team strive to bring the freshest and best to weddings, galas, corporate and social events.
Since 2021 Jonathan has been assisting and consulting with Camp Laurelwood on the operations of its kitchen, he’s proud and honored to have been invited to a full time position and looking forward to working with the entire Laurelwood family.