Douglas Lynn is the Executive Director of Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps—Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp in Malibu, California. Doug came to Jewish camping naturally, having “grown up” in the Reform movement’s youth groups and regional movements. He is a graduate of Duke University and an alum of Brandeis University’s Institute for Informal Jewish Education and The Foundation for Jewish Camp’s ELI (Executive Leadership Institute) program. Doug is honored to have worked in the field of informal Jewish education since 1995, first as a regional advisor for the North American Federation of Temple Youth, then for nine years with the Union for Reform Judaism’s Eisner Camp, prior to becoming the director at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in 2004. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jamie, and their daughters, Eden and Talia. Email Doug.
Jen Shankman is thrilled to return home as the Director of Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps. Jen has worked in a wide range of educational settings within the Jewish community for well over 25 years, from early childhood education to youth development, music education to camping. She credits her time at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts for her most formative experiences and her leadership development in the field of Jewish education. She began as a camper, grew into a counselor, specialist, administrator, and eventually, an assistant camp director. She is a graduate of Hamilton College and earned her Masters degree in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Jen also completed a fellowship with JECELI-LA, the Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute. Most recently, Jen was the Director of Early Childhood Education at Aaron Milken Center at Wise, and prior to that, the associate director at our beloved camps. Jen comes back to camp with a passion for the moral and social development of children and a true love for mentoring and training staff. She understands deeply the importance of leading a community through the building of a shared vision. Jen lives in Ventura County with her husband and son--one of her proudest moments has been watching her son fall in love with camp! Email Jen.
Erica Feinman, Senior Associate Director, grew up very involved in the southern California Jewish community—from synagogue to BBYO to 14 summers right here at Gindling Hilltop Camp. During her time at Hilltop she was a camper, a counselor for almost every age group, CIT Director, and Head Counselor. At Cal State Northridge she studied sociology and Jewish studies and then joined the San Diego Hillel team to start her professional career in informal Jewish education. She spent three years working with the Jewish community at San Diego State before heading to New York to earn a master’s degree in organizational behavior from NYU. After grad school she spent a year as an assistant director at Camp Alonim in Simi Valley. During her time at WBTCamps Erica spent 5 years being an Assistant Director, 3 years on our Alumni and Development team creating a way to stay connected to the camp community even after the camper years are over and is now back on the summer director team. She brings to us a wealth of knowledge in the staffing and operations of our camps, and is looking forward to continuing to connect deeply with campers, counselors, and alumni. Email Erica.
Emily Kahn-Perry is so excited to join the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps team as Assistant Director. Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Emily is forever grateful for her five summers on staff at URJ Camp Coleman in Cleveland, Georgia, where she discovered her ability to bring Judaism to life through creative programming as a counselor, a programmer, the CIT counselor, and unit head. The phrase, "Everything I learned, I learned at summer camp" could not be more accurate. After she graduated from Indiana University in 2018, she worked at Vanderbilt Hillel in Nashville, Tennessee as the Coordinator of Jewish Life and Wellness Programming and the Springboard Ezra Fellow between 2018-2021. Emily empowered students to discover what Judaism looks like for them in college in addition to teaching the importance of self-care and its intersection with Judaism through a program called "Ethics with Emily." In May 2023, Emily will graduate from Hebrew Union College Zelikow School and University of Southern California and will receive her Master's in Jewish Non-Profit Management and Social Work. Emily is ready to bring her passion and knowledge of Judaism and wellness to life this summer at camp, and inspire campers and staff to learn that putting themselves first is the first step to becoming the best version of themselves. Email Emily.
Jonah Phillips, Assistant Director, often known as “Jobu” to the camp community, was born in Los Angeles and grew up as a camper at Gindling Hilltop Camp (clap clap). He spent five summers as a camper, graduated the CIT program to become a counselor for three summers, then moved into a supervisory position at Camp Hess Kramer. After graduating college, Jonah worked as an associate teacher for six years and completed a teaching program at HUC’s DeLeT program. Although his passion for education remains steadfast, he could not pass on the opportunity to become an assistant camp director that helped Jonah become the best version of himself. As a director Jonah hopes to continue fostering a safe and supportive community at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps for youth and adults alike. Email Jonah.
Rabbi David Eshel is Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps Rabbi. Rabbi Eshel first joined our camp community in the summer of 2001 when, returning from his first year of rabbinical school in Israel, he served our camps as a unit head. Rabbi Eshel has spent every subsequent summer working with our camps, serving as a Judaic educator and student rabbi. He joined the Temple clergy as a full-time Rabbi in the summer of 2006. David holds a B.A. in History from UCLA, an M.A. in Jewish Education, as well as ordination from The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. David’s wife, Stephanie, works as a Religious School educator for Temple Israel of Hollywood. Email David.
Cheri Lauterbach is the Alumni and Development Director for Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps. She has more than 20 years' experience in alumni programming and fundraising, at both independent schools and as the Director of Development at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cheri and her husband, Bob, have three children living in Chicago, the Bay Area, and New York. A Camp Hess Kramer alum, she is a passionate advocate for residential Jewish camps. Since beginning her tenure with our camps, Cheri has created many new opportunities for alums and camp families to return to camp, experience Shabbat, reconnect with old friends, and support the ongoing programs, growth, and expansion of Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp. She encourages your involvement, ideas, and suggestions, and most importantly, the opportunity to welcome you back to camp, to experience again the ruach that is Hess Kramer and Hilltop. Email Cheri.
Janine Regal, Registrar, is a native of the Chicago suburbs and a graduate of Columbia College. She moved to Los Angeles in 1998 with husband Ian Liebman and their son Daniel (then two months old). Their son, Aaron, who attends Brawerman East Elementary School, is the only native Californian in their clan. They live in Woodland Hills with their three cats, Mimi, Wyatt, and Foster. Both Janine and Ian are musicians, and Janine currently plays in a classics-to-current rock band called The Promises. It was Janine’s own experiences as a camper and as the mother of a camper that drew her to her role as Registrar. She enjoys bringing the joy of camp to other kids, and sharing the experience of being a camp parent with all of the camp families. Feel free to email Janine.