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 - Director of Communications
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.
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.
Lisa Lebowitz - Community Liaison
Lisa is the mother of Shayna and Zac, both of whom consider Summer Hill Road their “home away from home” and have lived 10 months for 2 for the past 13 years!
Her own Laurelwood Experience started in 2016, and she immediately fell in love with Life in The Laurelwood Bubble and Jewish Summer Camping. She’s best known for her support of the Health Center where some of her duties included keeping the gatorade flowing, doing 4,000 loads of laundry, handing out snacks and ice pops, serving meals to anyone “visiting” the health center for an extended time, chauffeuring to doctors appointments, drying tears, holding hands, giving hugs and unnecessary golf cart rides, and crowd control on the Health Center porch.
Between Lisa’s own Laurelwood experience, her experience as the mother of two campers/staff members and her passion for CL there is no better person to introduce you to Camp Laurelwood and ensure the ENTIRE camp community (campers, staff, and parents) is well supported and has the best experience possible. A self-proclaimed Yentanista and “accidental” Camp Professional she is well versed in all things Laurelwood and speaks fluent Jewish Mother. The quintessential Camp Mom to campers and staff alike Lisa can often be overheard saying “I may not be your mother, but I am a mother.” Lisa has never met a piece of dark chocolate she doesn’t like, enjoys playing Jewish Geography & kibbitzing as a sport, and has watched every episode of The Big Bang Theory more than she cares to mention.