Our team

JCC Rockland Camps - Leadership Team

Meet our camp staff

My Chai (life)

There have been various mystical numerological speculations about the fact that, according to the system of gematria, the letters of chai add up to 18. For this reason, 18 is a spiritual number in Judaism.
So why not share 18 facts about ourselves as camp is a living and spiritual place.

Carrie Sakin

Carrie Sakin

JCC Rockland Camps Director

  1. I have two spectacular children who I adore more than anything in the world; they are my life.
  2. I can get by with just eating nothing but cookies and cake.
  3. I worked for Howard Stern on his radio show when he worked for Infinity Broadcasting and K-Rock. I was on-air many times with him and Robin Quivers.
  4. I am huge football fan and secretly know a lot about how the game is played.
  5. I just learned last year that Ross and Rachel (FRIENDS) ended up together in the series finale!
  6. Teaching nursery school was the best job that I ever had.
  7. I am a positive and optimistic person. I believe that the glass is always half full; even in the most trying times.
  8. I hate ketchup.
  9. I am afraid of heights and will absolutely never hang glide, hot air balloon or sky dive.
  10. I never leave home without my lip gloss and hairspray. A staple in my purse.
  11. I am absolutely certain that I can win The Amazing Race.
  12. Summer is my favorite season. I love the hot weather, flip flops and the beach. I would never swim in a public pool. Ewww…..
  13. I hate reptiles and spiders and any animals that drool.
  14. My dream is to retire to a Caribbean Island to sell hamburgers and drinks from a little beach shack.
  15. I love Reggae music.
  16. I hate to be late; I’m always on time or early. People who are consistently late are annoying.
  17. I love reality TV – Big Brother, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor and The Voice are top on my viewing list.
  18. I have never been on a date with Bon Jovi.

Lisa Murphy

Lisa Murphy

JCC Rockland Camps Office Manager and Registrar

  1. I was born and raised in “Da Bronx”.
  2. My favorite color is blue.
  3. I have 3 children.
  4. I love the beach.
  5. I love watching my son play baseball. (he is on 3 teams).
  6. I have 2 Labrador Retrievers, Dakota (is yellow) and Sophie (is black).
  7. Sea Loins are my favorite animal.
  8. I love to go Jet Skiing.
  9. Diet Coke wakes me up in the morning.
  10. Spring is my favorite time of year.
  11. I have never gone to camp.
  12. I have one sister.
  13. My favorite show is Shark Tank.
  14. My family and I love to go on vacation.
  15. I love ice cream.
  16. My favorite restaurant is Mt. Fuji.
  17. I am very organized.
  18. My weakness is pretzels.

Jason Cannici

All Star Program Director

  1. My family is everything to me: My wife Suzi (is my rock, my love, my best friend in the world) my three children Noah, Ben, and Ava (my treasures in life)
  2. Put me on a fishing boat and I’m happy
  3. I hate snakes
  4. I love eating seafood
  5. I love coaching sports especially Baseball
  6. Teaching children was my call in life. I’m a high school Special Education Teacher in which I teach Algebra, Geometry, Advanced Algebra/Trig
  7. I named my dog “Jasper” after the Manhattan College Jaspers where I attended school
  8. When I win the New York Lottery for millions of dollars, I will donate a large portion to Autism Research
  9. Long lines at stores, sitting in traffic annoys me
  10. I’m very superstitious
  11. I tore my Achilles tendon during a celebration after winning a state sectional state title in baseball #embarassing #longrecovery
  12. My mother and father are absolutely my heroes in life
  13. Midnight Run, Goodfellas, and Rounders are my top three favorite movies of all time
  14. I want to go to Oregon to hunt the mythical legendary beast by the name of Sasquatch
  15. My favorite teams are: NY Yankees, NY Rangers, NY Knicks, SF 49ers
  16. Dairy Queen blizzards are my weakness
  17. I always wanted to be John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
  18. When I retire, I want a shore house by the water

Jordan Sakin

CIT and Special Events Director

  1. I graduated SUNY Oneonta with a degree in History and will now be pursuing a Master’s degree in Elementary Special Education.
  2. I am a two time ”Wobble” champion on Norwegian Cruise Lines!
  3. I’ve been to Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift concerts.
  4. I would like to think I created the beverage Arnold Palmer.
  5. I am a HUGE New York Mets, New York Jets and Brooklyn Nets fan- although none of them have ever won championships in my lifetime.
  6. I love eating fruit, although I’m allergic to a majority of them.
  7. My favorite places in the world are Disney World and Citi Field.
  8. If I could wear basketball shorts 24/7, 365, I would.
  9. I can never say no to any form of Ice Cream.
  10. Jersey Shore and Survivor are two of my favorite reality TV shows.
  11. I had a solo in my 6th grade chorus concert- that’s the extent of my musical career!
  12. I played football my whole life, including all 4 years of High School.
  13. My favorite meal that my mom makes is her chicken cutlets that she bakes in the oven.
  14. I’m a big WWE fan and make all my friends watch with me.
  15. One day when I’m older I want to install a Soda fountain in my house.
  16. If I could drive any car in the world it would be a Jeep Wrangler.
  17. I’ve been known to be the best selfie taker in the Hudson Valley.
  18. I have been at camp for 19 summers as a camper or staff.

Kelli Kersh

Program Director

  1. I’ve been married to my best friend for 20 years and we have two amazing daughters, Alexandra (18) and Amanda (15). Few things make me happier than chilling with them and my dogs.
  2. We have three dogs (2 golden retrievers and a black mix) that we are BEYOND obsessed with.
  3. My favorite color is blue.
  4. I’m not a fan of yellow, orange, or purple.
  5. I could eat sushi every day of the week.
  6. I have never seen the movie “the sound of music” which most people can’t believe.
  7. When I was younger I could recite the movie Grease, verbatim. And I was in love with Danny zuko.
  8. Winter is my favorite season. My motto is the colder the better! Oh, and I LOVE snow. I do like summer too, but towards the end, I’m always ready for the cooler weather.
  9. I love doing jigsaw puzzles, and frequently make my younger daughter do them with me. She’s reluctant at first, but then enjoys it.
  10. I’ve always wanted a big salad bar in my kitchen. One that I wouldn’t be in charge of maintaining of course.
  11. I’m a VERY fast drinker and will gladly challenge anyone to a water drinking contest. I don’t think anyone has ever been faster than me.
  12. Connect four and Tetris are two of my favorite games.
  13. Watching tv (so many shows) is my relaxation.
  14. I love being a teacher. I feel lucky that I look forward to getting to work and seeing my kids every morning on the way to work.
  15. Laughing is one of my favorite things in life. I love the kind of laugh where I can barely breathe.
  16. I took a one credit bowling class in college and was a REALIY good bowler for like five minutes. I once bowled a double turkey. Never again.
  17. I have my CDL and can drive a school bus.
  18. I feel blessed to have many wonderful people in my life, friends and family alike.

Rachel Kurland

Rachel Kurland

JLand Program Director

  1. I have 3 boys: Alex (16) Danny (14) Cooper (9) and my husband’s name is Adam.
  2. I was going to be a pediatrician and I have a Master’s Degree in Medical Sciences and a Master’s Degree in teaching.
  3. I taught first grade for 5 years.
  4. I love to ski.
  5. I love music but have no musical ability, although I do love to sing all day long.
  6. I lived in Belgium for two years when I was 10 and was fluent in French. (I may be able to converse with you-it just would take a looooong time).
  7. I have two older brothers who tortured me.
  8. I have gone paragliding: you run off the side of a mountain with a parachute.
  9. I love rock climbing.
  10. I wish I could travel to every single country and learn every language.
  11. I love to laugh, cook, eat and garden.
  12. One of my favorite school plays I was in as a child was Free to Be You and Me.
  13. I used to go horseback riding.
  14. I have no cavities, never had stitches, or ever broken a bone.
  15. When I was little I took gymnastics and ballet but still could never do a cartwheel.
  16. I wish I could be in school forever.
  17. I ride my bike for 30 miles around NYC to raise money for MS.
  18. I think was meant to work at DKECC and JLand.

Eric Goldstein

Eric Goldstein

Summer STEM Program Director

  1. Favorite saying “it’s all about the timing”.
  2. Favorite movie quote “Aloha Mr. Hand” and “No shoes no shirt no dice!” Both from the same movie.
  3. My favorite color is blue.
  4. I love to cook …and eat…that usually works out well.
  5. The Giants are my favorite football team.
  6. I am a big fan of 90’s Seattle music.
  7. A Late 60’s convertible Mustang is my favorite car.
  8. July is the best month of the year (no school, and my birth month).
  9. I am a dog lover…I have 2 labs Emmy and Tony.
  10. I used to say gym was my favorite subject at school, but now that I am a science teacher…Its science.
  11. I would love to go on vacation anywhere in Italy (I think I was Italian in a past life).
  12. I like when it’s quiet… As a middle school teacher for 25 years, I enjoy quiet time these days.
  13. I enjoy working out (What a great gym at the JCC).
  14. My favorite TV show used to be Seinfeld, now its Big Bang Theory.
  15. I graduated from University of Maryland.
  16. I think Jimmy Fallon is the best late night TV host, but I am usually asleep before he comes on.
  17. I enjoy movies about time travel or anything Marvel.
  18. I love being home with my wife and 3 children.

Lori Tunis

Lori Tunis

Aquatics Program Director

  1. I LOVE the beach!
  2. I am a kindergarten teacher.
  3. I have a nephew and a niece that are Army kids.
  4. I hate peanut butter!!!!
  5. I love to bake for all occasions.
  6. I’m a Jersey Girl.
  7. I have a black cat.
  8. I love flips! (Actually all shoes….)
  9. I like to go for walks.
  10. My favorite color is purple.
  11. I have a younger sister.
  12. My favorite food is pizza.
  13. I was on the gymnastics team in high school.
  14. I played the flute & piccolo.
  15. I love country music.
  16. I love ice cream.
  17. I’ve been to Kansas.
  18. I love the Yankees.

Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Aquatics Director

  1. I met my husband working at a day camp when I was 18
  2. I have two daughters , one of them is engaged
  3. I love going to the beach
  4. I love to go into NYC and walk around
  5. I really enjoy listening to 50’s music
  6. I would love to live in an apartment in a cute little town
  7. I’ve worked as a nursery school for 22 years and still love it
  8. I have been a lifeguard at camps for 21 years
  9. I enjoy cooking
  10. I love being with my family and friends
  11. I can watch the Hallmark movie channel 24/7
  12. My favorite show growing up was Gidget
  13. My favorite wine is Moscato
  14. I love Starbucks
  15. My favorite color is black
  16. General Hospital is my favorite soap opera
  17. My favorite movie is The Way We Were
  18. Accepting the job at DKECC at the JCC was one of my best decisions I’ve made

Jacob Schneider

CIT Director/Camp Photographer

  1. I graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a degree in journalism, I love writing about sports.
  2. My favorite sports teams are the Mets, Jets, and Knicks.
  3. My favorite TV shows of all time are the Sopranos and Friday Night Lights.
  4. I love to read too, my favorite books are the Harry Potter series but my favorite author is Neil Gaiman.
  5. I love to travel, I’ve been to six different countries and counting.
  6. I could eat chicken and potatoes for lunch and dinner every day.
  7. I have an older brother and two younger sisters.
  8. Toy Story is my favorite movie.
  9. I can’t get through the day without my large cup of coffee in the morning.
  10. If I’m sitting at my desk I always have sports talk radio on.
  11. I’m also the Children’s Programs Coordinator at the JCC.
  12. Mint Chocolate Chip is my favorite ice cream flavor.
  13. I’m also the camp photographer and taking pictures is a passion of mine that I don’t get to do enough.
  14. Summer into fall is my favorite time of the year.
  15. My music taste is all over the place, from rap to rock to country.
  16. I’ve spent most of my summers at camp and my worst summers were the ones I was away from camp.
  17. I love everything superheroes, the comic books, the movies, the TV shows, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero.
  18. I’ve been working at the JCC since I was 16 and have had 7 different jobs here.

Samara Krieg

Samara Krieg

JLand Assistant Program Director

  1. I met my husband Warren on JDate.
  2. I love roller coasters.
  3. I have a 2 year old son named Ryder and this will be his second summer attending JLand.
  4. I once met and talked to Jerry Seinfeld and Matthew Broderick on a street corner in NYC when they were taking a break from bike riding together.
  5. I worked in advertising sales for 6 years before coming to the J.
  6. I unfortunately enjoy reality TV.
  7. I have always been obsessed with Broadway musicals and have seen too many to count.
  8. I love standup comedy and have seen some of my favorites multiple times.
  9. I have a younger brother named Ethan.
  10. I attended day camp for 17 summers. Spent 10 years as a camper and 7 as a counselor and this will be my 3rd summer at JLand!
  11. I have always loved to paint landscapes and have some of my paintings hanging in my home.
  12. I won my Mexican honeymoon in a raffle.
  13. I grew up in New City and attended Clarkstown North but currently reside in Mahwah, New Jersey with my family.
  14. I went to SUNY Oneonta where I received a Bachelors in Communication Studies and a minor in English.
  15. My favorite movie is E.T.
  16. I have a 4 year old black lab mix named Daisy.
  17. I spent 3 years living in NYC and 4 years living in Hoboken NJ before moving back to the suburbs.
  18. I once broke my foot while walking down a step!

Erik Lazerus

Jr Sports Program Director

  1. I am married to my wife Gail and have two kids Faith and Cole.
  2. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
  3. I love the warm weather, especially when it is at the beach.
  4. I was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a shortstop.
  5. I teach Physical Education and Health at a high school in the Bronx.
  6. I love to watch all sports on TV and in person.
  7. My favorite sports teams are the Dodgers, Lakers, Yankees, NY Giants, Jets, Kings and NY Rangers.
  8. I eat popcorn almost every night due to my wife’s popcorn addiction.
  9. I am a baseball instructor at RBI Sports and coach several teams, such as the Clarkstown Stars and both my kids little league teams.
  10. I love to watch 30 for 30 documentaries on ESPN.
  11. I love ice cream and my favorite flavors would include chocolate, vanilla with chocolate syrup, caramel delight with of course chocolate syrup and many more that you can put chocolate syrup on it.
  12. My passion is baseball and love to teach it to young kids.
  13. My dream vacation spot would be Australia.
  14. My favorite type of music is almost everything except country. (sorry country fans)
  15. I love BBQ’s and any food that can be cooked on the grill.
  16. I have an obsession with the number 3, which was my uniform number.
  17. If I had my choice I would wear shorts and a t shirt everyday.
  18. I love animals, especially my pitbull Labrador mix.

Jenna Grossman

Jenna Grossman

Assistant Program Director of Discover

  1. My favorite animal is dogs.
  2. My favorite food is Mac and cheese.
  3. I like to collect cute coffee mugs.
  4. My favorite color is turquoise.
  5. I enjoy crafting and baking.
  6. My favorite thing in the world is candles.
  7. If I could, I would eat dessert for every meal.
  8. My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast.
  9. I am a certified special education teacher.
  10. If I could have any other job besides being a teacher, I would be an interior designer.
  11. Halloween is my favorite holiday.
  12. I am an only child.
  13. I love country music.
  14. I’ve been spending my summers at day camp since I was 5 years old.
  15. Chocolate is a staple in my diet.
  16. I love the beach.
  17. My favorite season is fall because of the pretty colors and I get to break out my sweaters.
  18. My favorite sport is hockey! (Ice and field hockey).

Morgan Bransky

J-Trippers Director

  1. I love to travel! I have traveled to 21 countries and 16 states!
  2. I competed at JCC Rockland in their 2012 JCC Maccabi Games, as well as, the 2013 games in Orange County, CA as a swimmer.
  3. I am a recent graduate of SUNY Geneseo. I majored in Psychology and minored in Human Development and Sociology.
  4. I thoroughly dislike seafood, I love aquariums and fish too much to eat them!
  5. I rowed crew for four years in college. I will do anything where water is involved.
  6. The concept of outer space freaks me out, it gives me a headache just thinking about it!
  7. I can recite the entire movie of She’s The Man.
  8. I love baseball and hockey. My favorite sports teams are the Mets and the Buffalo Beauts, an NWHL Hockey Team.
  9. In the past, I have worked for the NWHL (National Women’s Hockey League) and assisted them with their social media accounts, as well as, JCC Maccabi in their national office.
  10. I grew up at my local JCC, JCC of Central New Jersey. I went to preschool there, join their swim team when I was 5, began working as a lifeguard when I was 15, and then worked at their camp until I was about 20 years old.
  11. I don’t love cheese. I like pizza and mac and cheese and mozzarella sticks but not much else that contains it. It smells weird and is super off-putting to me.
  12. My favorite animal is the beluga whale! There is a super cute video on youtube where a beluga is dancing to Mariachi music, highly recommend checking it out!
  13. I also love what I call “underdog animals,” these are animals that many people think are super weird. I love Blob-fish and water bears and other weird stuff like deep-sea fish species.
  14. I will always be down for Chinese food or bagels!
  15. My life does indeed run on Dunkin. Medium vanilla iced coffee with cream and sugar is my go to order.
  16. I swam competitively starting when I was 5 all the way through high school. We even won the NJ States and I have the ring to prove it!
  17. I have one brother Adam, who is a swim team coach at the JCC of Central New Jersey.
  18. And last but not least, I am so excited to spend my first summer with the JCC of Rockland Family!