Meet Our Day Camp Staff
Gil Rubanenko has been Vice President of Operations of the Mandel JCC since 2010 and is currently serving as Acting Director, J-Day Camps & Children's services. Gil, has been actively involved with planning and development of our J-Day Camps programs over the past eight years. Gil works closely with our experienced camp leadership team which includes: Abbey Phillips, J-Day Camps Assistant Director; Jamie Ross, Anisfield Program Director; Rachel Zake, Director, Performing Arts Camps; Scott Peterson, Director, Travel and Adventure Camp; Iris Granot, Director, Anisfield B’Ivrit Camp; Laurie Gross-Kammer, Companion Camp Coordinator; Rachel Hildebrandt, Registrar, and our J-Day Camps Committee Chair, Matt Rosner.
Gil brings many years of experience in the hospitality and service industry to this position. Most recently, Gil had been an owner of My Gym, a children’s recreation center in Solon. He has also served as VP of Marketing for the national franchise My Gym Enterprises. Earlier in his career Gil worked for the Hyatt Hotel chain. Gil holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management from Johnson and Wales University and serves on the board of B’nai Jeshurun. Gil and his wife, Kelly, have three children and live in Pepper Pike.
Rachel joined the Mandel JCC family in December of 2016 and in that time has raised the level of customer service, improved the operations experience for both staff and members and has played a key role in supporting our families in navigating the complexities of Day Camp, Kids Club and enrichment program registration. Rachel has built trust and wonderful relationships with her coworkers as well as with parents and children.
Prior to coming to work at the JCC Rachel spent 6 years of camp programming experience where she served several roles including Wilderness coordinator and as a naturalist. Her previous work also includes four years in an administrative role for a property management company.
As a former camper and counselor for Pilloff Performing Arts Camp, Rachel is excited to return in a new role. Rachel is a SAG-AFTRA actor and currently performs in local theatre, in addition to her position as Director of Playmakers. She is looking forward to a fun summer getting to know all of your campers!
Abbey is counting down the seconds till J-Day Camps kicks off this summer! Previously, Abbey worked as an assistant day camp director at three other day camps including JCC of Southern Nevada and Siegel JCC in Wilmington, Delaware and Park Synagogue here in Cleveland. She has a Bachelor in Science of Education from Kent State.
Liza has been in the field of Early Care and Education for more than seven years. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor degree in Human Development and Family Science. She obtained her Master’s degree in Jewish Education from Siegal College of Judaic Studies. Liza also completed JECELI (Jewish Early Childhood Education Leadership Institute,) a two-year postgraduate program specifically designed to prepare talented teachers for Early Childhood leadership roles.
Iris returns for her second summer overseeing the Hebrew Immersion program. She has been in the field of early childhood education since 2007, teaching at Gross Schechter Day School. She grew up in Israel, and loves being able to instill a bond and love for Israel and the Hebrew language in her students. Iris is married with four children, and enjoys baking, cooking, participating in sports and spending quality time with her family.
Scott is excited is excited for summer with J-Day Camps! Scott has taught for twenty years in Twinsburg City Schools. Prior to Twinsburg, Scott taught at St. Peter Chanel High School in Bedford and David Anderson High School in Lisbon, Ohio. Scott teaches eighth grade Language Arts at RB Chamberlin Middle School in Twinsburg, and is the supervisor for the Reading and Writing Festival. In the past, he has been the advisor for Power of the Pen and has coached football, track, and cross-country.
Scott graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.A. in English. He then earned an M.Ed. from John Carroll University. Scott lives in Solon, with his wife Allison, and their children, Josh and Kyla.