Meet the Camp Directors

The staff at Camp Shalom is the best around! There's no question that there is a direct correlation between the quality of our staff and the quality of the experience for the campers. Each staff member is highly screened by the Camp Director and must pass a background check prior to being hired. All staff members go through a week long intensive staff orientation, weekly staff meetings and staff evaluations throughout the summer. All senior counselors, unit heads, and specialists are professionals who have the experience and maturity to make camp fun while keeping Camp Shalom both emotionally and physically safe.

 

Rachel Fox
Camp Shalom Director
Palm Beach Gardens

Rachel Fox has been working for the Mandel JCC since March of 2008 as the Program and Camp Shalom Director for West Palm Beach and then Palm Beach Gardens. In 2011 Fox became the Program and Camp Shalom Director for the agency and in 2013 Fox was the Assistant Executive Director in Palm Beach Gardens and now is the Program and Camp Shalom Director in Palm Beach Gardens. In 2010 Fox was named Staff Member of the Year. She attended the JCC Association’s TAG: (Torah, Avodah, Gemilut Chasadim) Jewish Values through JCC Camping in years 2008 and 2009. Fox was also selected as one of 12 camp directors to participate in Israel Up Close through the JCC Association in 2018.

From 2001-2008 Fox served as the Children’s Program Specialist and then the Children, Youth and Camping Director at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus. As the Children, Youth and Camping Director Fox supervised 700 campers each summer in 6 different day camps. Throughout her tenure at the Columbus JCC, Fox was part of the Association of Jewish Center Professionals (AJCP), and received the Central Region Creative Programmer Award in 2006 and the Rabbi Nathan and Sylvia Gaynor Jewish Cultural Award in 2007. In 2007 Fox received the JCC Association Keeping it Cool, Keeping it Kosher TAG grant and attended the TAG trainings in the years 2005, 2006 and 2007.

In 2005 Fox was selected as one of 18 JCC Day Camp Directors to participate in the first (and only) cohort of the Lekhu Lakhem Program facilitated by the Mandel Center for Jewish Education at the JCC Association. This 2.5 year program taught Fox how to strengthen the day camp programming and how to put a broader Jewish lens on all aspects of camp.

Fox earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies at Indiana University. She spent a semester studying Jewish Education at Tel Aviv University and was selected as a Jewish Education Service of North America (JESNA) intern in 2000.

Emily and Ethan, Rachel’s twins, will be campers in Upper Camp this summer. Rachel loves watching them get so excited about camp — just like every other Camp Shalom camper.

 

Miryam Buchler
Early Childhood Director
Palm Beach Gardens

Director of the Barbara & Jack Kay Early Childhood Learning Center, Miryam Buchler has dedicated her career to early childhood learning and special needs education. She began her career at the JCC as an early childhood educator. In this role, she made sure that the needs of children with various developmental abilities were met, including collaboration with parents, therapists, teachers and facilitators to develop appropriate learning opportunities. Eventually, she went on to become Assistant Director, and then Director.

Buchler recently completed the prestigious Jewish Community Center Association of North America’s Sheva Center Leadership Institute for Early Childhood Professionals. This national leadership development institute is a three-year program that enhances the skills of exceptional early childhood staff interested in increased responsibilities and leadership roles in early care and education. The Mandel JCC is one of five programs in the country part of the JCCA’s Sheva Center Lab communities - which is a school that models excellence in early childhood education for other JCCs.

Buchler is a Palm Beach Gardens resident who is an active member of Kol Isha, the young women’s division of women’s philanthropy at Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, where she currently serves as the chair of the group’s Social Action and Education sub-committee. She is married with two children Emma and Abigail, who have both attended the Barbara & Jack Kay Early Childhood Learning Center.

 

 

Rachel Karpeles
Special Needs Director
Palm Beach Gardens

Rachel is excited to spend her second summer at Camp Shalom as Special Needs Director. Rachel's professional career in education spans over a decade, including both classroom instruction and administration. As an Exceptional Student Educator, Rachel utilized her passion for theatre and the arts to develop diversified lessons specifically suited for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Prior to joining the Mandel JCC full time in June 2018, Rachel was instructing exceptional students in middle and high school Social Studies at American Heritage School of Boca/Delray.

Previous administrative experience includes Director of Education for Sylvan Learning Center in Boca Raton. At Sylvan, Rachel was responsible for training and managing the instructional staff, developing and updating customized lesson plans according to Individual Education Plans, and maintaining ongoing communication between families and schools. In the summer, Rachel stayed busy as Assistant Director of the Musical Theatre Camp at American Heritage.

Her education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Science Education from the University of Central Florida, and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel is FDOE certified in Social Sciences, Exceptional Student Education, and Drama. She resides in Boca Raton with her husband, six year old daughter, and two year old son.

 

 

 

Michael Rudnet
Sports Camp Director
Palm Beach Gardens

Michael Rudnet is excited to be the Sports Camp Director. He attended the University of Massachusetts to play college football. He graduated with a degree in Finance with a minor in Economics. He later earned two Master degrees in Education.

He has been a teacher, coach and athletic director at the high school middle school for over 12 years. He has successfully coached multiple sports including football, basketball and track. Many of his former athletes have gone on to earn athletic scholarships.

For the past 13 years he has been working day camp, travel camp and built a successful sports camp at Wellington Landings Middle School. He is passionate about sports and teaching children how to play them.

He currently lives in Wellington with his wife Andrea and his son Maxwell and his daughter Mila. Michael can’t wait for camp and build the existing sports program!

 

 

Neysha Figueroa
Camp Administrative Assistant
Palm Beach Gardens

Neysha has been working at the Mandel JCC since October 2011 as the Children, Camp, and Adult Program Administrative Assistant. She has fallen in love with the JCC and its programs! Prior to working at the JCC Neysha lived in Puerto Rico and was a Building Manager for Emergency Services. This is Neysha’s 8th summer working with Camp Shalom and she can not wait for the fun to begin! Neysha has two boys who are a part of the Camp Shalom family and they are counting down the days until Camp Shalom begins!