Year Round Staff
Meet the B’nai B’rith Camp Professional Staff:
Michelle Koplan, Executive Director
BB Camp is Michelle’s childhood Camp, as she was a camper for eight years and on staff for nine years prior to her seventeen year (and counting!) stint as the Director. Previous to directing Camp, Michelle was the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization Director for both Portland and Eugene Councils for six years, and Michelle directed the Mittleman Community Center’s Youth Services Department for five years. Michelle’s husband, Loren is a Men’s Camper and their oldest daughter, Ali, has been at Camp since she was six weeks old. Michelle graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara and completed the Executive Leadership Institute (a MBA equivalent program) through the Foundation of Jewish Camp in 2007.
Ben Charlton, Camp Director
Ben first joined the BB Camp family in 2013 as our Judaic educator, where he connected with campers through his love for both Judaism and BB Camp. A native of Maryland, Ben spent eight years in Buffalo, New York where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University at Buffalo in economics. Ben started his career as a middle school math teacher. While in Buffalo, he also taught at religious schools, advised youth groups, and worked at summer camp. Most recently, he was the Program Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education. Previous to that position, Ben was the Director of Informal Jewish Education at Temple Beth Tzedek. Of all his work experiences, Ben most cherishes his time spent with children with special needs, both in classroom and recreational settings. On a typical Saturday night, you can find Ben catching a Blazers game or eating large quantities of grilled cheese.
Thea Robinson, Finance Director
Originally from Mexico City, when her family moved to the Portland area, her mom and dad sought a way for Thea to be involved in the community and found BB Camp. Thea attended Camp for eight years and was a counselor for two years. She credits her time at camp for her love of the Oregon Coast and has fond memories of her time spent at camp. Thea has worked in some function of Finance and Accounting for 20 years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Lewis & Clark College. Prior to joining the BB Camp team, Thea worked in the A/E/C industry for seven years providing budgeting, forecasting, finance and accounting management for many landmark projects in the Pacific Northwest and New York. She and her husband, Kyle, show and breed Alaskan Malamutes which takes her on adventures throughout the western United States and Canada.
Allison Kaufman, Operations Director
Allison earned her Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Arizona. Prior to working for BB Camp, Allison was an analyst in the Mortgage Banking field for 13 years. Allison and her husband Jason have three beautiful daughters (who are now devoted BB Campers). Allison is also a Girl Scout troop leader and likes to bake, sew and play computer games.
Aaron Pearlman, MSW, CFRE, Development & Capital Campaign Director
Aaron attended BB Camp from 1978 – 1985 and was a counselor in 1986 and 1989. Aaron credits BB Camp for inspiring him to attend the dual-degree Jewish Communal Service program at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Columbia University. Aaron has been in fund development for nearly 20 years including four at the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation and eight at Portland State University where he worked on gifts totaling over $8M primarily for the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies and the School of Social Work.
Aaron was the founding Executive Director of the Greater Portland Hillel, and a founding board member of both the Jewish Theatre Collaborative (JTC) and Tivnu: Building Justice. Aaron is a Past President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Oregon & SW Washington Chapter and an active member at Congregation Havurah Shalom. Aaron’s wife, Sacha Reich, is the Executive Director of JTC. They are the proud parents of Lev and Ravit who are passionate about BB Camp and involved in many musical and artistic endeavors.
For fun, Aaron enjoys playing guitar, photography, the outdoors, and playing basketball (when his knees can take it). To get some (almost) daily inspiration you can follow Aaron on twitter @changeurday. It is an honor to be helping our excellent lay leadership raise dollars to run camp and for the capital campaign to renew the campus for a second century.
Barb Gordon, Administrative Support and PJ Library Coordinator
Barb began her journey with BB Camp in 1973. From 1973-1979 she worked as a counselor at BB Camp; most notable accomplishments were catching a grape in her mouth thrown across the length of the dining hall by the then Camp Director, and meeting and marrying her husband, Randy, at Camp. Barb returned to Camp in 2000 as a parent of campers, becoming the most senior, senior counselor at age 42! After spending 20 years working with some of Oregon’s most difficult youth in residential treatment, Barb was excited to come back to Camp and joined our year-round team in 2005. Barb believes she may also hold the record for having worked for the most BB Camp Directors – six!
Mike Morrow, Site Manager
Previous to working for BB Camp, Mike and his wife Tanya, owned and operated a construction company in the Portland area for 12 years. Since 2001, Mike has worked for BB Camp, first as the Assistant Site Manager and then was promoted to Site Manager. Mike wears his heart on his sleeve and appreciates a challenge, so working at BB Camp in an ever-changing environment with the opportunity to touch so many lives in a positive way is a perfect fit for Mike.