Monthly Archives:March 2014

Coach Spotlight: Joel Swedlove

Posted by March 27, 2014 • Share:

Joel Swedlove will be our Basketball Head Coach for Session 2! (He’ll also be at camp during Sessions 1 and 3 helping us with photo, video, song leading and being a generally helpful extra set of hands!)

Joel’s love of Jewish camping began at a young age, first as a camper at Camp Swig in Saratoga, CA then Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA where he went on to become a counselor and songleader. Joel continued inspiring Jewish youth as the head songleader at Camp Alonim and Camp Hess Kramer, both in southern California.

Joel SwedloveWhile in high school ML King High School (Riverside, CA) a lucky job opening jump-started Joel’s love of basketball and coaching. After graduation, Joel continued to work with the team as an assistant coach. Never failing to reach the playoffs while on the staff at King, his coaching career reached a new high with a CIF Southern Section Championship in 2009. During his years at King, Joel was honored to coach 4 players who went on to play professional basketball; Eric Wise (Soleuvre, Luxembourg), Carlon Brown (Hapoel, Tel Aviv), Tony Snell (Chicago Bulls), and Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs).

Professionally, Joel has worked at the Adelson School in Las Vegas since 2010. In addition to being the Judaic Music Teacher, Joel is an assistant coach for both the Men’s Varsity Basketball and Varsity Baseball teams. This season the Basketball team went undefeated in league and won the Division IV Southern League title and advanced all the way to the Nevada Semi-Finals. In 2013, Joel coached the Las Vegas basketball team participating in the JCC Maccabi Games.

As Joel eagerly looks forward to his 10 year CIT reunion at Camp Newman this summer, he is thankful for the lasting impact Jewish camping has left on his life and looks forward to sharing his love of camp, basketball, and music with the campers at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp.

Joel lives in Las Vegas with his wife, Stephanie, and two dogs, Bobbi and Charlie. In his spare time, you will find Joel rooting for the best team in baseball, the San Francisco Giants!

Coach Spotlight: Zachary Elfenbein

Posted by March 27, 2014 • Share:

Zak Elfenbein will be our Basketball Head Coach for Session 3. 

Zachary (Zak) Elfenbein is entering his second year as a Graduate Assistant for the University of Florida Men’s basketball team. His primary responsibilities include opponent scouting, film breakdown, and player development.

Zak ElfenbeinZak started as an intern for the Florida basketball team in 2012-2013 as an undergraduate student at the University of Florida, where he was a part of a team that won the regular season SEC championship and reached the Elite 8 in the NCAA tournament.

Additionally, Zak is a decorated JCC Maccabi Games athlete, winning 3 Gold medals as a player and a Silver medal as a coach. In 2006, Zak had his first Maccabi experience playing for the Dave and Mary Alper JCC in Miami, being named team captain during the competition. In the summer of 2007, Team Miami won a Gold medal in Orange County, CA.  Zak’s performance in Orange County led to him to being selected to play for team USA in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the Pan-American Maccabiah games.  Zak’s passion for the JCC Maccabi Games drove him to try out for the U-18 Maccabiah Boys’ basketball team, being selected for team USA that competed in the 18th Maccabiah games in Israel during the summer of 2009.

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 3.57.53 PMFollowing Zak’s playing career in the Maccabi games, he was elected to the Maccabiah USA junior board of Directors, continuing his involvement with Maccabi USA. In the summer of 2011, Zak was appointed Head Coach for Team Miami’s 16-under boys’ basketball team.

Zak hopes to bring a unique perspective to camp from his experience playing in the Maccabi games as well as using the tools he has learned from Coach Billy Donovan at the University of Florida. Zak’s goals for players is to help them develop their fundamentals further while trying to improve their talent with methods used at the highest level of college basketball. Additionally, through his experience Zak hopes to show campers the value of teamwork, sportsmanship, and growth as a young Jewish athlete.