Camp Staff

Our dynamic team of camp staff work hard to make every day…the best day.  Many of our staff are former campers and bring with them the spirit, passion and love for Camp Ruach that their counselors instilled in them. 

Each summer, we find the best of the best for their position.  Whether it be a Unit head, Counselor, Specialist or Swim instructor, they go through a process that includes a thorough interview and background check along with references.  Once they are hired, they continue the process through staff trainings before camp begins and continued staff trainings throughout the summer.

JCC Camp Ruach’s Staff Team works all year long to create a camp that fits everyone’s needs.  Whether a child is into sports, adventure or the arts, our staff develops the right program for your child.  

Our Senior Staff Team is made up of our Directors, Unit Heads and Program Coordinators.  Each of them come with a background of being an educator, JCC Department Head, or Social Worker and are longtime fans of camp themselves.  This team returns year after year to provide your child with a greatest summer of their lives.  Combined, the senior staff team have been at JCC Camp Ruach for over 150 summers.

Camp Ruach’s Unit Heads are dynamic level administrators assigned to each unit and therefore to each one of you.  They are responsible for supervising and mentoring the counselors in their units and working with each one of your children.  In addition, they are in constant communication with you, our camp families.

Camp Ruach’s Specialists are adults who develop activities throughout the day for their specialty areas.  They are each trained in their specialty area from culinary arts, to musical theater to athletic coaches.  Our Camp Specialists work on curriculum and programs to ensure your child has new experiences in a safe, fun environment.


alanna-steinberg-photoAlanna Steinberg - Camp Director  908-443-9026

I am so excited to come home to Camp Ruach and the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC.  Raised in Bridgewater, NJ, I spent my summers here as a camper (before it was a JCC!) and then as a counselor for many summers.  My experiences at Camp Ruach were a major influencing factor in deciding to become a JCC Camp Director, sparking my true love of camp!

I have spent the last five years working for the Edith & Carl Marks Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst as the Program Director of Camping & Leadership Development.  I ran the day camp comprised of 500+ campers, oversaw special needs programming and led family programs throughout the year. Prior to this role, I served as the Director of Teen Services & Special Needs, operating year-round programs for nearly 300 teens, and as the Director of Camp B’Yachad, a 12-day overnight camp for Russian-speaking Jewish teens exploring their Jewish identity.

Before my tenure at the Marks JCC, I partook in the Jewish Professional Leadership program receiving a Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and a Masters in Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. My decision to pursue a graduate degree in Jewish professional work was rooted in my leadership experiences in both Jewish life and community service activities at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, where I studied Psychology and Jewish Studies.

I cannot wait to meet all of you -- our fantastic campers and families -- and return to the campgrounds alongside them. 

Think Camp! Alanna


lauren-paniccia-photoLauren Paniccia - Camp Operations Director 908-443-9027

I started working at Camp Ruach as the Transportation Coordinator. I quickly realized I wanted to get more involved. I spend my year planning a summer that will make your children go WOW! My children, like I, love camp and can't imagine spending our summers anywhere but Camp Ruach! It is our "home for the summer".









carol-sacca-photoCarol Sacca — Registrar; 908-443-9012









 Senior Staff

  • Sandi Arnold — Programs and Special Events
  • "Mitzvah" Matt Bergman
  • Jason Filep — Gadol Unit Head
  • Eli Goldstein — Tzahov Unit Head
  • Stephanie Johnson — Aquatics Director
  • Rachel Koenig — Road Rulz Unit Head
  • Jamie Kupperman — Sports Director
  • Michelle Roth — Camp Secretary
  • Hillary Stein  — Sababba Unit Head
  • Dawn VanNess — K'ton Unit Head
  • Ellie Willoughby — Special Needs Director

Shimon and Sara Birnbaum JCC
775 Talamini Rd., Bridgewater, NJ 08807
Phone 908-725-6994, Fax 908-725-9753