Meet Our Team
James Greene - Executive Director
Rabbi James Greene brings 20 years of experience to Camp Laurelwood. Before coming to Camp in 2020, Rabbi James served as the Assistant Executive Director at the Springfield Jewish Community Center in Western MA. He is a member of the Board of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and is a regular contributor to EJewishPhilanthropy and Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations. Rabbi James is also a graduate of the Mandel Foundation’s Executive Leadership Fellowship.
Rabbi James grew up in a military family and has lived all over the world. He studied at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music as a saxophonist for three years, and completed his undergraduate work in the Jewish Studies program at Florida Atlantic University before moving to Philadelphia to attend the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. Since his ordination in 2008, Rabbi James has spent most of his time working in Jewish Community Centers. He served as the Program Director at the Addison-Penzak JCC in Los Gatos, CA for several years before moving back to the East Coast in 2015 to join the staff at the Springfield JCC.
Outside of his work, Rabbi James is an avid backpacker, cross country skier, and a volunteer instructor with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program. He and his family live in Stafford, Connecticut. They own a small homestead and raise chickens and turkeys in addition to their large garden. He and Jen have two daughters, Talyah (11) and Kol (9).
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!
Craig Barrows - Director of Teen Programs and Retreat Center Director
Craig started going to Camp Laurelwood 20 years ago as a camper on Boys’ Side. He has held numerous staff positions at camp; including waiter, maintenance staff, counselor, CIT director and Plex Division Head. He took several summers off to go to college at Southern Connecticut State University and to serve in the United States Army - where he learned the valuable leadership skills that he brings to camp.
Currently, Craig leads the Bonim Travel Camp, runs the Camp Laurelwood Retreat Center, and oversees the Staff-in-Training program. In 2014, he was selected to the very first Birthright Fellows cohort to be an informal educator on Birthright programs to Israel.
He can’t wait to lead the 2020 trip to Costa Rica and to watch his "old" campers transition from camper to staff in the SIT program.
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, she began her journey at Camp Laurelwood. 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 is excited for her return to CL 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!) 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 - Family Camp Coordinator
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.