Meet our Professional Staff


Rachel Felber, MSSA

Camp Director

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Rachel assumed the role of Camp Director in August 2016 but is certainly not new to Camp Wise, she’s been an Assistant Director at CW since the spring of 2012. Before that, Rachel (or Felber as she’s known around camp) spent 5 years at the Austin, TX JCC where she helped reenergize their youth and teen programming, as well as their day camp. She was the Assistant Director of the Youth & Teen Department and the BBYO City Director. Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Clark University. She also holds a Master’s degree from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University during which time she was a participant in the JCC Association Graduate Scholarship program. Rachel also completed the JCC Association Merrin Teen Professional Fellowship – a two year professional development program. She’s been going to CW longer than most of our campers have been alive!

Rebecca Copeland

Assistant Director

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Rebecca Copeland joins the Camp Wise staff after five years at Case Western Reserve University Department of Physical Education and Athletics as the Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Operations. Her wide range of responsibilities included the scheduling and oversight of the departments many athletic facilities, day to day operations along with event operations for over 200 varsity competitions and university events annually. Copeland initially served as Facility Manager for the CWRU Athletics Department from November 2004 through July 2007, before leaving for Johns Hopkins to become the Assistant Athletics Director for Game Operations. Following her time at Hopkins, she served as the Director of Events and Guest Services at the Pearlstone Retreat Center in Reisterstown, MD. Over her career, Copeland has also worked as the Coordinator of Team Operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Gund Arena, and as the Manager of Operations and Programs for the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. She spent 4 years at Camp Wise (1985-88) as a camper and 3 years as a member of staff (1990-91 and 1994).  The highlight of her time at the Home of Happiness was her final year on staff as head counselor in Noar. Her responsibilities at camp will include staff recruitment, day to day summer programming, alumni engagement and fundraising. Outside of camp, Rebecca enjoys sports (watching them!), music (is currently missing live music), hiking and spending time with friends. Copeland received her Bachelor’s Degree in Actuarial Science with a minor in Business Administration from Ohio University, and her Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University.

Bess Brown

Assistant Director

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Bess is so excited to be back at the Home of Happiness! Bess spent 13 summers at camp, growing up there as a camper and then going on to serve on staff as a counselor, Cornerstone fellow, Judaics specialist, Art Shack supervisor, and now as one of the Assistant Directors. Bess has spent the past three years working for the St. Paul JCC as the Youth Coordinator and Assistant Camp Director for Camp Butwin. In this role, she wore many different hats supervising after school programing, specialists during the summer, and overseeing various operations across the Youth and Family department. Bess graduated from the University of Cincinnati where she received a degree in Psychology and a certificate in Art Therapy. She has always had a passion for camper care and is so excited to continue helping campers grow to their full potential at Camp Wise. Last September, Bess was selected to be a part of Merrin Teen Professional Fellowship. She is excited to continue her work with the fellowship; networking with other professionals and working to engage teens and young adults with the JCC. Bess believes that going to camp provides children the space to develop self-confidence, explore new interests, and take pride in being one’s self, all while fostering a love for the outdoors. Bess is excited to be back tie-dying at the Art Shack and enjoying some delicious camp hot dogs!



Hannah Mendelsohn

Office Administrator

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Hannah is excited to join the Camp Wise team! She spent many summers at Jewish overnight camp, both as a camper and a staff member, and is thrilled to be a part of the experience again. Hannah is a native Clevelander, and participated in many Mandel JCC programs growing up! Most recently, she worked for the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland promoting Jewish overnight camp and camper incentive grants. Hannah graduated from Hawken School, received a Bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Michigan. She is the proud mom of two current Camp Wise campers and has been a regular participant at our Camp Wise Women’s Weekend—for the past 13 years! Hannah is looking forward to working with our camp families and spending her summer out at The Home of Happiness.


Beth Young

Special Projects Associate

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Beth Young’s very first summer at the “Home of Happiness” was in 1980 as an Ohalim camper. She returned in  1985 for her first summer on staff – as the director’s babysitter – and has been hooked ever since! A graduate of Cleveland Heights High School, Beth has her B.S. in Education from the University of Cincinnati and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Ursuline College. Beth works part-time for camp coordinating our newsletters, reaching out to alumni, helping in the office, and she is our lead ACA accreditation administrator. Beth is currently training to become an ACA Accreditation Site Visitor and is an American Red Cross Certified Instructor and trains all of our staff in CPR and First Aid each summer.

Rabbi Shana

Rabbi Shana Nyer

Judaic Educator & Rabbi

Rabbi Shana Nyer’s career at The Home of Happiness began as a camper in the late 1980s.  During the 1990s and early 2000s, Rabbi Shana returned in a variety of roles such as Arts & Crafts Specialist, Judaic Specialist and Program Director. After some time away, she returned to CW as our Jewish Educator in 2016 and has been with us since then.  When Rabbi Shana is not on camp, she serves as the Director of Lifelong Learning at Suburban Temple – Kol Ami in Beachwood. Rabbi Shana earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland, and then studied at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, where in addition to achieving her rabbinic ordination in 2003, she earned her Masters of Arts in Hebrew Literature in 2002, and her Masters of Arts in Religious Education in 2016. Rabbi Shana has published multiple articles on inclusion in Jewish Education. She is a gifted story teller who loves to teach Jewish values through this medium and also gets excited when her lessons combine her knowledge of and passion for Judaism, and her interest in all things pop culture.

dave pic

Dave Fuhrmann

Facilities Manager

Dave has been with Camp Wise since the Summer of 2014. Dave has been in the facilities maintenance and management field for over 25 years and is responsible for the grounds looking better than they have in years! Before coming to Camp Wise Dave spent many years working for the Buffalo JCC ending his time there as the superintendent of buildings and grounds. We are so excited to have Dave on our team!


Zach Rheaume

Maintenance Associate

Zach joined the Camp Wise team in January of 2012. Before that he spent several summers working maintenance at the Scout camps he attended as child. Zach also spent time in California working and living among the redwoods repairing and maintaining buildings built in the 1930’s and 40’s by the CCC. He has a BS in Forestry with a concentration in Recreation Resource Management, an AAS in Forest Recreation, as well as a certificate in GIS all from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. He has spent his time at Camp Wise designing and building almost anything the staff can dream up as well as helping supervise the SIT projects each summer. He can’t wait to see what he will get to build next.


Ron Cole

Maintenance Associate

Ron has been with Camp Wise since the spring of 2009. Originally from Conneaut Ohio, Run holds both a BA and MA from Allegheny College. You can find Ron on camp most afternoons during the off-season and all summer long. When Ron is not on camp he teaches teaching 20th Century US History and AP United States History at Chardon High School. Ron is married and the father of 6 children.

Summer Staff

At the heart of Camp Wise is a compassionate and energetic team of 150 staff members. Our staff is comprised of dedicated leaders working together to create a vibrant and comfortable Jewish community for our campers. Selected for their experience, skills, and dedication to kids, our counselors and specialists understand that they are the key to a successful camp experience for each child. Their caring and sensitivity create the foundation for a warm, welcoming home away from home. Our low staff-to-camper ratio ensures that each camper receives attention and guidance.

Work at Wise

Working at summer camp is demanding, with long hours, little privacy, and high intensity. The rewards are great – the joy of helping a child, the beauty of living in nature, and the excitement and fun of working as part of a hilarious, energetic team. Working at Camp Wise is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

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