camp hero

Meet our Staff

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.

 

Seth Toybes, Director, was born and raised in St. Louis. Seth's passion for Judaism and informal education was ignited during high school, where he participated heavily in NFTY's Missouri Valley region, both locally and regionally. Seth graduated with honors from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a bachelor's in history. Upon graduating college, Seth moved to Colorado to be a Youth Director, serving the region in which he grew up. Throughout college and into his years in Colorado, Seth fell in love with Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps, working with us each summer as a counselor, and eventually a senior staff member. After working as a Jewish professional in Colorado, Seth could no longer ignore his passion, and joined our Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps team full time. As our Director, Seth now lives in Los Angeles where he enjoys preparing, programming, planning, and working to build our wonderful summer camping experiences. Email Seth.

 

Gaby Ostrove, Assistant Director, grew up right here in Los Angeles. Her love of Jewish life was sparked at Temple Israel of Hollywood where she was involved in TIOH’s youth group and in regional NFTY events. Gaby has spent 9 summers as a camper, CIT, and counselor at Hess Kramer and served as the Assistant Program Director for both camps in the summer of 2019. During her time at UC Berkeley, Gaby fell further in love with Jewish learning through her involvement with Berkeley Hillel. She graduated with a degree in Theater and Performance Studies and a minor in Jewish Studies. Gaby is so excited to be working full-time to provide the camp experience to more generations of campers and staff! In addition to any questions and ideas you have about camp, Gaby would love to chat about musical theater, British TV shows, and your favorite macaroni and cheese recipe! Email Gaby.

 

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.

 

Erica Feinman, Associate Director Alumni and Development, 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. After 5 years of being an Assistant Director, Erica is now working with camp Alumni and creating a way to stay connected to the camp community even after the camper years are over. Email Erica.

 

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.