Beber Leadership

The year-round leadership team at Beber Camp has numerous years of Jewish camping and Beber experience. We are a diverse group with camping, social work, education, marketing, design and business experience blended with a passion for Jewish youth summer experiences!

With over 130 combined years of Beber experience, it’s clear that we love camp!

Meet our staff

Michael Wax

Camp Director

Michael has been devoted to Beber since the summer of 1982 where he arrived as a camper from Louisville, Kentucky. Since that time, Michael has enjoyed various roles at camp. Michael has a bachelors of science in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also has his MBA/JD from the University of Louisville. Michael and his family love spending summers in Mukwonago. Michael supervises the full-time and summer staff and all day-to-day camp operations. Talk to Michael anytime about all questions concerning your child and how best to prepare your camper for a successful summer.

Debbie Morris

Director of Community Care

Debbie is thrilled to be bringing her passion for Beber Camp to the Full-Time Team. She has enjoyed being the Camp Social Worker and Inclusion Coordinator for the last 17 years and is looking forward to expanding her role to provide additional mental, emotional, social, and health initiatives to the community. Debbie began her Beber Camp career in 1991 as a Ramot camper. She spent six consecutive summers as a camper, CIT, and then a counselor. After taking several years off to finish her undergraduate degree in Inclusive Elemental Education from Syracuse University, and then to teach Special Education for three years while completing a Masters degree from the University of Chicago in Social Service and Administration. Upon graduation, Debbie has worked as a School Social Worker and spent her summers at Beber! Schedule a call with Debbie to share all concerns about your child’s adjustment to camp. In addition, Debbie can arrange a pen pal for your camper to ease the transition from home to a summer away at Beber.

Julia Bessen

Director of Operations

At the ripe age of 9, when asked what she wanted to do when she grew up, Julia Bessen responded with "I want to work for Beber Camp!". Hailing from Louisville, KY, Julia has had a deep passion for Jewish summer camp from a young age. Julia holds her bachelors in Management and Marketing from Tulane University, as well as a Masters in Management from the University of Sydney. She is a fiercely curious and creative individual who thrives in situations where she can fuse her analytical business background with the colorful funk and schtick of camp. Julia was proudly a part of the Foundation for Jewish Camp's third Fellowship Cohort, where she developed  a wider understanding of the field and its unique needs. When not discussing summer camp, Julia can be found developing recipes, cheering on the New York Giants, and caring for her loving dog Charlie Brown.

Trudy Sirkis

Director of Health & Wellness and Special Projects

Trudy has been with Beber Camp for over 25 years. Trudy earned her bachelor’s of Social Work and Master’s in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She started as our camp social worker in 1996, and has had many roles in camp since then, including health center administrator, division leader, Israeli staff supervisor, Cornerstone Liaison, Camp Mom, Tour Coordinator, and more! She joined the year-round team in 2016  as the Perlman Retreat Center Coordinator and has also continued In her roles as the first session Health Center Administrator and Tour Coordinator. Trudy and her husband, Steve, take campers on early morning birding hikes. It’s one of the most popular activities at camp!

Lynn Robinson

HR Specialist

Lynn Robinson, CPA, joined the Beber team in 2020 as Comptroller for both Beber and Perlman Camp. Lynn has been with Perlman since 2007.  She received her Bachelors of Science in Retailing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She has served as a Financial Administrator on a multi-million dollar Department of Energy contract for a Fortune 500 company, worked as an accountant for a Maryland CPA firm, and acted as a Committee Chair for the JCC of Greater Washington’s Annual Book Festival. Lynn is a native of the Washington area and lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters.

Harrell-Wittenstein

Executive Director

Harrell started his professional camping career as the Camp Director of Beber Camp from 1993 – 2000. In 2014, Harrell became the executive director of the Association of Independent Jewish Camps (AIJC). The AIJC is a membership-based association that was established to create an opportunity for independent not-for-profit Jewish camps to collaborate in their continued efforts to grow and thrive. Harrell brings over 25 years of Jewish camping experience to the role of executive director of Beber and Perlman Camps. More importantly, both of his children have been campers and staff resulting in both receiving their 10-year blanket. Harrell is currently a member of the board of directors for the Equestrian Connection, a therapeutic horseback-riding program for children and adults with special needs.

Richard Fohr

Site Director

Richard was born and raised in Mukwonago. He and his wife both raised their five kids in Whitewater, WI. In 2017 Richard moved his family and himself to Mukwonago. Richard has been a part of Beber since 2001. During the offseason of camp, Richard works on refurbishing the campgrounds and makes sure camp is open and ready to go before the summer. During the summer Richard spends his time working on boats, lights, toilets, etc,. In his free time, Richard loves to go hunting, fishing, and even riding his four-wheeler.

Shannon Fohr

Housekeeping Director

Shannon was born and raised in Whitewater, WI. Shannon moved to Mukwonago at the end of her junior year and attended East Troy High School for her senior year. She has been a part of Beber for 5 years, 2 years as a Makor camper, 3 years as a Housekeeper. During the offseason of camp, Shannon spends time deep cleaning cabins, painting cabins, stripping, and waxing floors. During the summer, Shannon enjoys working with her staff to make sure all campers and staff are healthy each and every day. In her free time, Shannon loves playing with her chickens, playing video games, and spending time with her family.

Kimberly (Kym) Bird

Program Director

Kimberly (Kym) Bird embraces the true Beber mission. Arriving at age 6 in 1982 with her parents Ron and Cheryl Kaplan, Kym will be entering her 39th summer on Lake Beulah. Kym has worn many hats at camp from swim director at the waterfront, the first pool director, CIT leader, PIO leader, drama director, assistant program director, and Maccabiah planning guru. Spending her summers at Beber with her parents and her own kids Madison and Emily, who even got to have their Bat Mitzvahs at camp has been the highlight of her life. Graduating from SUNY Binghamton and a Masters from SUNY Cortland, Kym is currently teaching high school Biology and A&P, in Upstate NY where she also directs the high school musicals.  

Kym is responsible for planning and expediting out of camp trips, creating exciting programming in camp including Maccabiah, and working with the full-time team on scheduling, planning, and purchasing. Her organizational skills are the envy of all who know her.

Maya Levine

Head Nurse

Maya has been part of the Beber community since 2003. Originally from Cleveland, OH, she attended Beber Camp as a camper and moved through the Pio and CIT program, becoming a counselor, arts and crafts specialist, and Ramot Division Leader. Maya has a B.S. in Nursing from the Ohio State University. She works full-time as a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Nurse at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and is working on her Pediatric Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Johns Hopkins University. In her free time, Maya enjoys traveling, especially camping and backpacking, experiences she first had at Beber. Maya is excited to be spending her 20th summer at Beber and her third year as the Head Nurse.

Meet our board

Barry Metzger

Barry Metzger has been a Managing Director at Charles Schwab for nearly 20 years.  He and his wife Holly live in Deerfield Il.  All three of Barry’s kids have been campers and counselors at Beber for a combined tenure of over 30 years.

Barry grew up in Highalnd Park and spent his summers in the North Woods in Wisconsin at both Camp Menominee and Camp Ojibwa.

Barry received his BA from the University Of Illinois and his MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of management at Northwestern University.

Barry has served on several boards including Briarwood Country Club, BJBE Congregation and the JCC.

Barry and Holly enjoy playing golf, Pickle Ball and Skiing.

Anne Abramson

As a granddaughter of Sam and Helen Beber, Anne has long been a part of building the Beber Camp legacy. A graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern Law School, Anne has worked as a law librarian for over 25 years, primarily at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Anne and fellow board member Basil Chaltas enjoy experiential travel, as well as tennis, yoga and cooking.

Basil Chaltas

Along with his brother, Basil attended the camp of ‘The Great Outdoors’, outside the family home in Branford, Connecticut. Basil graduated from Brown University and the Kellogg Business School at Northwestern. Shortly after business school, he met his wife and fellow board member, Anne Abramson.  Basil has been an industry analyst focusing on investment opportunities in leveraged finance and mergers & acquisitions for most of his career. For the past fourteen years, he has made investments in the High Yield and Bank Loan portfolios at Allstate Insurance.

Susan Kahan

Susan started at Beber Camp in O-1, and then spent ten summers at her home away from home as a camper, Pioneer, CIT, and finally as a staff member who led the hobby, Susan’s Splashing Fun! A graduate of the George Washington University, Susan has spent her career working in nonprofits in fundraising, event management, and political activism. Susan founded her own fundraising consulting business for nonprofits, Sapphire Fundraising Specialists, and serves as the co-chair of the Beber Camp Annual Fund with Danielle Weinstein.

Steve Marcus

Steve has been a camper since his first summer at Camp Chi in 1970. He joined the Beber Board when his good friend (and current Beber Board Member) Harrell Wittenstein became the Director of Beber Camp in 1994. Steve has been Board Chair since 2011. In his professional life, Steve is a lawyer with Ray and Glick, LLC, and he appreciates the opportunity to bring his legal knowledge and problem solving passion to support his participation at Beber. Steve and his wife, Stephanie, have two children, both Beber Campers, and one is currently on staff.

Ruth Perlman

Ruth’s grandparents, Louis and Anita Perlman, instilled in Ruth the importance and value of philanthropy. Anita was the international president of B’nai B’rith Women and founded B’nai B’rith Girls. Ruth has followed in Anita’s legacy as an active board member for a number of non-profit organizations, including the Perlman Family Foundation, and as a long-time chair of the Beber Camp Annual Fund. The Perlman family connections at Beber extend across generations, including all three of Ruth’s children spending time as campers (and now one on staff) at Beber!

Ron Sonenthal

Ron has attended camp vicariously through the experiences of his three daughters who were campers and staff at Beber for 17 years. It was a combination of friends and the Beber VHS marketing video that ultimately convinced Ron and his wife Kathy that Beber would be a good fit for their girls! Ron brings his experience from serving on a number of charitable boards to his work at Beber. Ron is a partner with Deloitte, leading the Global Member Firm Standards and Global Member Firm Restructuring organizations.

Danielle Weinstein

Danielle’s love of camping developed at an early age over many summers spent with her sister at Camp Tamarack, outside of Detroit, Michigan. Danielle served as the Assistant Director of Beber Camp from 1996-2000, working with fellow Board member and then-Director Harrell Wittenstein, before becoming Director from 2001-2005. For the past twelve years, Danielle has been a chair of the Beber Camp Annual Fund. Danielle and her husband, Brian, are thrilled to have two current Beber campers.

Deena Zeppelin

A 10-year camper and staff member, Deena found Beber to be her home away from home – a place where she could be proud of her Jewish identity and develop close personal relationships. One of those relationships (from staff week!) blossomed into a wonderful partnership with her husband Dan. A serial volunteer, Deena works with Vail Resorts on Marketing and Special events, in addition to supporting the family dental practice. Deena and Dan are also the proud parents of two Beber Campers.

EMERITUS BOARD

Over the past 40 years, these community members have shown endless dedication, visionary leadership, and unwavering support. For those reasons we recognize them for their transformational leadership in allowing Beber Camp to evolve into the successful, life-changing organization that we all love.

Floyd Abramson

Michael Carney

Aaron Hadley

Michael Holtz

Jim Klutznick

Michael Krasny

Ted Perlman

Board of Directors

The Beber community is fortunate to have the insightful guidance and governance of an amazing Board of Directors. With parents, alumni, donors, founding families, and past directors, Beber’s Board is a diverse representation of the full Beber community. We are so grateful to the following passionate and dedicated members of our Board.

Barry Metzger
Deena Zeppelin
Danielle Weinstein
Ron Sonenthal
Basil Chaltas
Anne Abramson

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