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About The Trip

Summer 2016 Professional Staff

Sari Kahn (Camp Director) Sari Kahn is the director of Camp Maor and in elementary school developed a passion for the performing arts. As a mother of three young daughters and a son, she created a program where her own daughters’ creative talents will be allowed to flourish in a warm, collaborative, and frum environment. Ms. Kahn has taught drama to elementary school age children at Moshava, served as a division head in Morasha and was also the Executive Director of One Voice: Jewish Women for Israel, a coalition of 12 national Jewish women’s organizations. She is currently directing an original production for Shulamith Middle School in the Five Towns.

Each member of our faculty has achieved an advanced degree in an area of the performing arts and is currently working or teaching as a performing arts professional. They will inspire you to gain confidence and skills in your performance and you will see your passion mirrored in their own.
The master teachers for the majors, theater director, musical director, and head choreographer will be consistent throughout each session. While the elective instructors will vary throughout each session so that the campers can be exposed to varied instruction and art forms.

Your fun, dynamic, and responsible advisors, many of whom will be assisting you as part of the performing arts program, will also be there for all your activities and adventures and can serve as role models that each young woman can aspire to become.


Jacqueline Novikov is a voice teacher and home-concert artist in Boston. Jacqueline has been teaching private voice lessons for 10 years as a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. She creates and performs concerts for small audiences. Her themed, family oriented programs include songs that cross genres from Bach to Broadway to the Beatles. Jacqueline holds a M.M. from Manhattan School of Music, a B.M. from the Eastman School of Music, and a B.A. from the University of Rochester in cultural and intellectual history. Performance credits include Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges (l’Enfant), Company by Stephen Sondheim (Sarah),Griffelkin (Boy – cover), Street Scene (Olga Olsen – cover). As a workshop performer, Jacqueline has performed numerous opera scenes at Songfest in Malibu, the Vocal Arts Symposium in Colorado Springs, and Crittenden Opera Studio in Boston. Jacqueline has released six albums of her music, which can be heard at

Jacqueline Novikov


Marni Karpel lives in Boca Raton, Florida with her husband, two teenage kids and 2 furry kids. She is a Middle School English Teacher, a Krav Maga Instructor and a self-proclaimed bookworm. She was Assistant Director of her school’s production of “Annie Jr.” and thinks that the stage calls her but she lets it go to voicemail. She truly believes that she is “everyone’s mother” and can’t wait to expand her role to include the Maor Campers!


Sydney Blair is an actress, singer, dancer and teaching artist born and raised in Los Angeles.  Sydney now lives and works in New York.  She studied theatre at the University of Southern California, improv & sketch comedy at The Groundlings, and classical theatre at the British American Drama Academy in London.  Sydney has been teaching, directing, and choreographing for over 12 years at acting and dance studios, community theatres, schools, summer programs, and more.  When she is not teaching, Sydney works as a professional actress in Theatre and Television.  “I truly believe theatre and theatre training has power beyond anything to do with talent or fame. It has everything to do with joy, confidence, fun, pride, unity, and empathy.”


Rachelle Freedman has directed, written and performed in theatrical productions across the country. She was a founding writer/director of The Miracle Project, a theatre program for Jewish children of all abilities which was featured in the award-winning documentary Autism: The Musical.  She acted with and directed for The Jewish Women’s Repertory Company in Los Angeles, and taught the master acting class at Kol Neshama, an acting conservatory for girls in Los Angeles. She has also served as a teacher/teaching artist in various schools and camps across the country. She has been the voice of medical software, training videos, a national commercial, internet spots, and even debutante balls. She received her B.A. in Theatre from Georgia State University, and her favorite role to date is raising her own little troupe of players at home.


Rachel Klein (Director) is an NYC based director and choreographer, and Artistic Director of the Rachel Klein Theater Ensemble. Off Broadway: The Anthem; Around the World in 80 Days. Selected NYC Theater: Symphony of Shadows (Jerome Robbins Foundation Commission); The Tragedy of Maria Macabre (Tides Foundation Commission); Circus of Circus (Innovative Theater Awards nominee for Outstanding Director of a Play). Regional: Super (George Street Playhouse); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Brunswick Shakespeare Festival). Miss Klein co-sponsored an internship program for the Department of Education with the Martha Graham School for Contemporary Dance and Talent Unlimited High School. Rachel holds a BA in theatrical directing from Columbia College, is an SDC Associate, and an alumnus of the International Directors Symposium in Spoleto, Italy.


Rhonda Malkin (Head Choreographer) has been a professional dancer for 17 years and has trained  dancers for almost 20 years! She has performed all over the United States and loves sharing her talents and experience with the next generation of dancers. Rhonda feels very honored to say that she has been a Radio City Rockette for 12 years. Some of Rhonda’s other credits include: Los Angeles Laker Girls (dancer/ choreographer), “The Producers: The Movie Musical”, The Academy Awards, The MTV VMA’s and Movie Awards, commercials for Sears, Macy’s, CBS, and Westfield Shopping Towns, multiple live stage shows for Disney, The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Martha Stewart, Regis and Kelly, and a special performance at the White House for President Obama and the First Lady. Rhonda loves seeing her students achieve success in the world of dance and is proud to have had countless students go on to perform on Broadway, National tours, Cirque du Soliel, as Radio City Rockettes, NBA dance teams, and in music videos. Rhonda is also a celebrity personal trainer and professional dance coach in New York City, in addition to being “Mommy” to two daughters ages 6 years and 3 years. Rhonda has been a baalat teshuva for fourteen years, and has studied at Neve Yerushalayim.


Enny Wax (Musical Director, Vocal Coach) has been performing since she was a young child, appearing in productions and national choirs. She has worked with many renowned performers, writers and producers of popular music, including Grammy award winners. Being blessed with 14-year-old triplets, she nevertheless finds time to volunteer her musical services for charitable causes all over the country. She was a featured performer on the historic album “Voices for Israel: Keeping the Faith”, in solidarity with the people of Israel, and has performed for many other community and national events. Enny is currently performs and is working on several studio projects. She is the founder and owner of Sing It™, designing custom vocal coaching and recording experiences for children and young adults all over the country. Contact Enny @ 310-721-1814 or via email:


Judy Merlis (affectionately known as Mama Merlis) received her BFA from Parsons School of Design. She has taught art for many years at various day schools and camps across the country. Nowadays she mostly paints portraits of her grandchildren, and is called upon to supervise scenery painting for Rachelle’s productions. She has a wicked sense of humor.


Kristen Hugo began dancing recreationally as a child in northern New Jersey. When her family moved to Pennsylvania she continued to study dance at numerous dance studios throughout the tri state area. She continued to dance competitively. She began taking her career to the next level and traveled to Italy to be a part of the World Dance Movement program where she studied under Stacey Tookey, Michelle Assaf and Joshua Pelatzky. She has traveled and completed many dance intensives throughout the country including the Rockette Summer Intensives. She also studied under Katie Fierro and Jeremy Arnold. She later relocated to Oklahoma City where she decided to study dance professionally at Oklahoma City University. She was a dancer for the American Spirit Dance Company under the direction of Jo Rowan. During her time as an American Spirit dancer she worked closely with choreographers such as Brian Marcum and Alana Martin. She was also a line captain for Brian Marcum for the 2015 Home For The Holidays show. She has recently moved back home to the east coast and continues to take class at Broadway Dance Center and independently studies under Rhonda Malkin while auditioning in NYC. She collaboratively works and choreographs with Akia Deyvon and continues teaching numerous workshops together. She is currently a dance teacher and choreographer at K and K Dancing Dreamzzz in northeast PA.


Remy Zaken: Last seen as Anne Frank (Pittsburgh Public Theater). Broadway: Spring Awakening (OBC Thea). Off-Broadway: Dear Evan Hansen, Brooklynite, The Anthem, Freckleface Strawberry (Title role), Spring Awakening, Radiant Baby. Regional:  A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (Connecticut Critics Circle Award), A Little Princess. Selected workshops: Bright Star(Steve Martin musical), Some Lovers (Burt Bacharach musical).  Film/TV: Pitching Tents, Sing Along (short), “Gossip Girl,” “Law and Order,” “It Could Be Worse.” BA in psychology from Columbia University.


Leah Gottfried (Film Major Instructor) started acting at an early age, appearing in various films, commercials and stage productions At age 17, she explored a newfound interest of working behind the scenes and wrote and directed her first short film. Since then Leah has produced the feature film Operation: Candlelight and founded Dignity Entertainment, a production company dedicated to creating meaningful visual content. She has directed four music videos for the popular Jewish singer Shaindel Antelis, casting some of her acting students in the most recent video. She loves passing on her passion for film-making and acting and has taught dozens of young girls across the country. Leah studied film and theatre arts at Stern College and cinematography at NYU. She is the creator of the new web series “Soon By You”, about young Modern Orthodox Jews living the single life in NYC. The award winning first episode is online now!


Lisa Silvey, will be joining the Camp Maor, staff this summer as a Life Guard/Social Media with her daughter, and three sons.

She comes to Camp Maor with over twenty years of life guarding experience in pools and on the waterfront, including training both new and seasoned guards to become both life guards and better swim instructors.  Also a Water Safety Instructor, Babysitter Instructor and CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor all through the American Red Cross, she runs courses throughout the year in the in the local schools and hospitals to further train new staff.  A half fish-half human, Lisa is also a certified scuba diver with over 100 logged dives from across the world, and has a boater’s license to take the girls on the waver runners this summer! Additionally, she teaches water aerobics and spin fitness classes to women and girls of all ages with a spunk and energy that makes them all leave with a smile!

When not working in and around the pools, she is working as a speech pathologist in the public schools, as well as at the local community college transitioning students with learning disabilities from the high school to college setting.


Stella Weiss is extremely thrilled to be joining Camp Maor working in the staff day camp.
Currently Stella works at the HANC Early Childhood Center as an Assistant Teacher.  There is never a dull moment when working with toddlers or young children, and as hard as it is, she loves it!

When not working she is busy raising four children (2 girls and 2 boys) ages 11, 10, 8, and 7 that keeps her very busy. She enjoys yoga, Zumba and going for walks to keep myself in shape. She loves experimenting in the kitchen and is always finding ways to replace unwholesome recipes with much healthier ingredients. She is eager to share these secrets as well as many others with our little ones in the Camp Maor Day Camp this summer!

Shaindel Antelis is a singer/songwriter who has been singing since she learnt how to talk! She released three albums with original songs as well as many music videos over the years. Her aim is to uplift and inspire women and girls everywhere. She has done shows internationally in Mexico, Canada, Israel and more. She is honored to be a staff member at camp Maor this summer!


Rena Rubin returns to Maor for the third summer with an extensive background in all things camp related. She has worked in a variety of day and sleep-away camps as a counselor, Morah, lifeguard, Drama director and Assistant Director, from the age of teenager until present.

Rena is passionate about the camp experience, especially when she can do all of the things she loves with an amazing group of girls: playing all sports, singing, acting, swimming, hiking and being involved in nature.Not only did Rena play basketball and softball in High School, but she also has continued to play in all-women’s leagues as an adult. An avid swimmer, Rena holds Lifeguarding and Water Safety Instructor certifications. In her real life, Rena has been a middle-school teacher for the past 15 years. She has an excellent rapport with her students and is excited to bring that expertise to Camp Maor. Rena and her husband Adam live in West Hempstead, NY with their three children, all of whom are eagerly anticipating the best summer ever at Camp Maor.


Rabbi Joshua Strulowitz is in his third year as Camp Rabbi of Camp Maor. He is in charge of Rabbinic duties such as the Kashrut of the Kitchen, the Eruv and running the Shabbat minyan. He also is a key member of the Chinuch staff. He is on the faculty of Yeshiva University’s High School for Girls (Central) and is the Resident Scholar at Ohab Zedek on the Upper West Side. Previously he was a Shul Rabbi in San Francisco, CA. Rabbi Strulowitz grew up in North Miami Beach, Fl and he and his wife Bethany have five children.