Monthly Archives:March 2016

Staff Spotlight: Brent

Posted by March 30, 2016 • Share:



Brent Osborne is excited to be joining us this summer as the camp Program Manager. Brent comes to JCC Maccabi Sports Camp from the East Coast where he worked as the Youth Engagement Coordinator and Teen Travel Camp Director at JCC Rockland in New York. Brent is extremely passionate about the JCC Maccabi Experience, serving as Rockland County Delegation Head for the JCC Maccabi Games and the Games Director for Mini Maccabi.

He is eager to transition his background into the environment here at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp. Brent believes camp provides kids with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century. In his role, he aims to make the magic of camp come alive and ensure that all of our campers and staff never take themselves too seriously. After all, it’s about having fun!

In his free time, you can typically find Brent at the local Starbucks drinking an Iced Chai Tea Latte. He loves to write and is an avid reader. Brent has four dogs: a chocolate lab, a miniature pinscher and two dachshunds, who will all be staying with family while he is here at camp. As an active volunteer for The American Camp Association and SCOPE: Summer Camp Opportunities to Promote Education, Brent is a true summer camp enthusiast.

In his role at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, he feels truly blessed to be able to combine both his passion for Jewish life with his never-ending love for summer camp.

Fun Facts & Advice From Our Staff

Posted by March 30, 2016 • Share:

Brent Osborne, Program Manager


Brent is our new Program Manager and we can’t wait for him to bring his expertise and enthusiasm to camp this summer! We asked Brent a few questions about camp but it’s clear that he has many, many more camp stories and nuggets of wisdom to share with everyone at camp this summer.

What is your favorite summer camp memory?

My favorite summer camp memory is going on the bumper boats! At my old camp, we had a beautiful lake with bumper boats—they were electric boats very similar to bumper cars! It was my favorite!

Favorite camp activity, game, or program?

My all time favorite camp activity is Spikeball— I am always up for a challenge! I also LOVE tie-dye. I consider myself a tie-dye professional!

What are you most excited for about JCC Maccabi Sports Camp?

Truth is, I am a much better spectator than I am a player when it comes to sports. In fact, most of the time I don’t understand what is going on! This summer, I am most excited to expand on my athletic skills and maybe learn a thing or two!

What advice would you give kids coming to camp for the first time this summer?

Camp is such a wonderful place! Camp provides you with an opportunity to explore and try new things that you wouldn’t typically get to do in school or at home. Don’t be afraid to give new things a shot!


Emma Whitwell, Counselor and Assistant Coach

Whitwell, Emma_Photo

Emma will be joining us for her second year as a counselor and assistant soccer coach this summer. You can view her staff bio here, but we asked her a few fun questions to get to know her a little better.  Emma can’t wait to meet the campers this summer and watch their skills improve.

Favorite professional sports team(s): US women’s national soccer team, Bayern Munich, Barcelona FC. I can’t choose.

Favorite coaching moment: At a clinic I volunteered at, I was working with some u-10 kids on defense and tackling. It was great watching my youngest and smallest player completely disposes one of my oldest and strongest players with a perfect tackle just two drills later.

Best advice you’ve gotten from a coach: You are the only one who can decide if you will succeed. Never let anybody tell you you can’t. You decide. ~ Coach Marty

Favorite meal at camp: Breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day!

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?  Shapeshifting!


Daniel Kolpak, Counselor and Assistant Coach


Daniel will also be joining us for his second year as a counselor and assistant basketball coach this summer. Daniel is travelling all the way from his hometown, Nahariya, Israel!  You can view his staff bio here. Daniel is excited to return to camp this summer to inspire campers with his awesome coaching skills and to eat more pizza.

Favorite teams : Chicago Bulls & Golden State Warriors.

Favorite coaching moment : Watching the team grow and learning what it really means to be part of a team

Best advice I got from a coach : Never give up and keep working hard. In my first year as an adult player i didn’t get much playing time during the first half of the season. I began to feel really frustrated. Although my coach did not let me play a lot, he made sure to let me know that he saw the effort I put into practice. He always told me to “never give up and keep working hard. If you do that you’ll get your chance”.

Not long after we had a decisive away game. My teammates got into foul trouble and I got called in. I knew that this could be the turning point for me and I would have to prove myself. I took the chance and was able to change the game for us by shutting down the other team’s best player. We ended up winning the game and from that point on I was the sixth man off the bench and starting shooting guard for the whole second half of the season.

Favorite meal at camp: Pizza or Shabbat Dinner

Super powers : Flying or breathing under water

Check out more staff bios on our blog!


Staff Spotlight: Adam

Posted by March 16, 2016 • Share:

Adam Feinberg was born and raised in San Mateo, CA and will be graduating this spring from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA.  At UPS, Adam played on the Men’s basketball team, and was elected captain his senior year.

AdamOff the court, Adam was an active member at Peninsula Temple Sholom in Burlingame, CA, where he became a Bar Mitzvah in January of 2006. He spent his childhood summers at Camp Newman in Santa Rosa, CA where he embraced Judaism while taking part in sports and activities of all kinds.

This will be Adam’s second summer at JCC Maccabi Sports Camp, as he was part of our inaugural staff team in Summer 2014. Adam can’t wait to meet the campers this year to help improve their game on the court while applying Jewish morals and values to everyday life.


Staff Spotlight: Justin

Posted by March 15, 2016 • Share:

Justin Yamzon is passionate about playing basketball and teaching kids the fundamentals of the game. Both of his parents were collegiate basketball players (San Francisco State) and basketball is something that has been in his life since before he could remember.

JustinJustin is currently a student athlete playing collegiate basketball for Brigham Young University Hawaii, where he helped his team win the conference championship in 2015. Through basketball Justin has been able to travel and participate by playing and helping teach camps overseas in Guatemala, China, and Korea. In high school he led the State of Nevada in scoring his junior and senior seasons averaging 30.3 points per game and was awarded Player of the Year in his conference.

In the future Justin would like to be a basketball coach so he is excited about the experience, knowledge, and friendships he will gain at camp.

Staff Spotlight: Meredith

Posted by March 15, 2016 • Share:

Meredith McCleary is excited to join camp for her first summer as a counselor and our camp photographer and videographer. Growing up in the Bay Area, Meredith spent most summers at local Jewish day and overnight camps. She’s looking forward to spending this summer outside, helping campers have a fantastic time playing, swimming, and making friends.

meredithIn the fall, Meredith will return to Boston for her sophomore year at Northeastern University. She spent her Freshman year divided between London and Boston and loved starting her college years abroad. While in London, she had lots of opportunity to take photos and create videos and immerse herself in travel, art, and music. Meredith’s interest in photography developed while hiking and traveling with her family. She feels so lucky to have had the opportunity to take photos and video in Eastern Europe while on a historical study tour, the Galapagos Islands, and last summer in Africa.

Jewish camp, retreats, and community were very important parts of her childhood, and Meredith is looking forward to helping campers have a fabulous, fun time at camp this summer!