Michelle Koplan
Michelle KoplanChief Executive Officer
Phone: 503.452.3444
Michelle Koplan has been the Chief Executive Officer of B’nai B’rith Camp since 1999. She is responsible for the overall administration and management of B’nai B’rith Camp, including programs, fundraising, and business operations. Her areas of expertise include planning and evaluation, policy development and administration, personnel and fiscal management, and public relations.
For six years prior to becoming the Chief Executive Officer of BB Camp, Michelle was the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization Director for both the Portland and Eugene Councils and directed the Mittleman Jewish Community Center’s Youth Services Department.
Michelle graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara. In 2007, Michelle was part of the first group of camp executive directors to complete the Executive Leadership Institute (an MBA equivalent program) sponsored by the Foundation for Jewish Camp.
B’nai B’rith Camp is Michelle’s childhood Camp, as she was a camper for eight years and on summer staff for nine years. Camp is a family affair. Michelle and her husband, Loren, a B’nai B’rith Men’s Camper, have two daughters who have attended BB Camp with Michelle since they were infants. Both girls are enthusiastic BB Campers!
Ben Charlton
Ben CharltonChief Program Officer
Ben’s love for BB Camp is rooted in its inclusive Jewish community. He is proud to work with BB Camp because he sees it as a place where children of all abilities and backgrounds can thrive and where anything is possible. His creativity, wit, empathy, and water bottle are the four things he brings with him to Camp every day.
Ben received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from the University at Buffalo and first joined the BB Camp community in 2013 as the Jewish Education Director. That summer, he took on the nickname “Chuck,” since there were already five other staff members named Ben. He then served as Overnight Camp Director for five summers, before spending a year in Maryland to be closer to his family and serving as the Director of Programming at Main Street Connect, working with adults with disabilities, before returning to BB Camp.
Ben is a lifelong sports fan and made sure to adopt a team from each of the 3 places he has called home; go Bills, Blazers, and Nationals! Ben loves spending time outdoors, hiking, and playing basketball.
Bette Amir-Brownstein
Bette Amir-BrownsteinCamp Director
Phone: 503.452.3443
Bette has been a part of the BB Camp staff for the past 6 summers. She recently received her Bachelors of Science degree in behavioral neuroscience at Western Washington University. Since High School and continuing through college, Bette has been active in numerous Jewish leadership roles. Her Jewish leadership skills began to develop during her time in BBYO and BB Camp which is why she is extremely excited to be the Assistant Camp Director and BBYO City Director where she will work with kids in both organizations in their journeys to becoming Jewish leaders. Bette loves all activities involving water and kids, and Bette really likes traveling to sunny places
Chanel Bourdeau
Chanel BourdeauDay Camp and Youth Engagement Director
Phone: 503.496.7447
Chanel was born and raised in Portland, graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Chanel first joined the BB Camp community in 2014 and feels lucky to call it her second home. Chanel is proud of her experiences working in various Jewish leadership roles at BB Camp, spanning from Counselor to Unit Head to Counseling Director to Social Inclusion Intern, and including volunteering for BBYO. Chanel has a passion for community enrichment and working with individuals of all abilities, which she attributes to her time spent at BB Camp. Prior to Chanel’s current position, she was the Housing and Employment Specialist at a local non-profit serving adults with disabilities. In Chanel’s spare time, you can find her enjoying live music, exploring the Portland food scene, or at the Oregon Coast with her dog.
Aaron Bazen
Aaron BazenFacilities Director
Aaron joined the BB Camp team in October 2015, leaving a 25 year career to pursue the next chapter of his life. Since joining the team, he has enthusiastically jumped into many projects. He and his team have been updating and beautifying the camp. He is very proud of the work that has accomplished.
Aaron has always been a car enthusiast and spends his free time rebuilding his latest project. He is also an avid Harley rider and has rebuilt and custom painted it his motorcycle.
Aaron has a 15 year old son that is a current camper and has attended. He also has two step children that are camper alumni and a daughter who has recently made him a grandpa of a beautiful baby girl!
Becci Bazen
Becci BazenFood Service Director
Phone: 541.205.9754
Becci graduated from Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon in 1995, with a Culinary Arts Degree. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be a Chef. She attributes her love for cooking with the time she shared in the kitchen with her grandmother.
Becci has known since bringing her daughter to BB Camp in 1999, that it was a very special place and thought that this would be the ultimate dream job, matching two of her favorite things, feeding kids with Camp! She has three kids , two that have and one that currently attends BB Camp. She is very grateful for the experiences and opportunities that BB Camp has given her family and is herself grateful to be able to give back to BB Camp.
Nicole Danberg
Nicole DanbergOperations Coordinator
Phone: 503.452.3429
Nicole was born and raised in Portland and spent many of her summers as a BB Camper. During High School, she was involved in her local BBYO chapter and stayed connected to the Jewish community. Nicole graduated from Oregon State University (Go Beavs!) in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology. In 2014, she became a BB Camp counselor and then worked as a Unit Head, Counseling Director, Office Manager for BB Day Camp Portland, and ReJewvenation Counselor! Before joining BB Camp’s year-round staff, Nicole was the Housing, Financial, and Reproductive Justice Specialist at a nonprofit in Washington D.C., working with people experiencing homelessness and severe mental illness. Most recently, she spent her time working on various political campaigns across the United States. Nicole values finding community no matter where she is in the world, and always seems to find her way back to BB Camp. In her spare time, Nicole likes to go camping, attend concerts, say hi to every dog she sees, and is always on the search for the world’s BEST slice of pizza!
Abby Evonuk
Abby Evonuk Assistant Director, BB Day Camp Portland
Abby was born and raised in Portland. She graduated from Oregon State University in 2021 with a major in Human Development and Family Sciences and a minor in Spanish. Known to her campers as “Cocoa”, Abby has been working with BB Day Camp Portland since 2018. Before that, she attended, then worked at, a summer camp in California for 12 years. Abby is very passionate about working with children and helping to give them the same magical camp experience that she had. Along with her work at BB Camp, Abby is teaching in 6th and 7th grade religious school classes at Congregation Beth Israel. Abby loves to travel, spend time outdoors (especially in the summer), and take care of her gecko, Zoozer.
Barb Gordon
Barb GordonExecutive Assistant
Phone: 503.496.7446
Barb’s first experience at BB Camp was as a CIT in 1973, and she continued on as a counselor for the next 8 years. Barb attended the University of Oregon and worked in Residential Treatment at The Christie School for 20 years before returning to BB Camp in 2001. Barb met her husband, Randy, at Camp, and her children, Aaron and Leah, were long time campers and staff. For fun, Barb enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, camping, and playing with her dog Harley. Barb’s favorite quote is, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” by Mahatma Gandhi.
Sammie Hagen
Sammie HagenAssociate Day Camp Director - Programming
Sammie was born in Bend, OR and raised throughout the Willamette Valley. She has a Bachelor’s in History and Film from Southern Oregon University. Sammie has been involved in the camping and outdoor education industry since 2009, and absolutely loves the impact camp and the outdoors has on campers and staff. She has previously worked with Portland Jewish Academy, Outdoor School, Camp Fire, and Girl Scouts. Her biggest motivation for continuing her career in camping is to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of every participant in every way. Camp is a place where anyone can truly be their whole self and where, together, we can make the world a better place. Sammie loves the outdoors, animals, Pixar, flowers, travel, and spending time with her partner Mack and their 3 fur babies.
Allison Kaufman
Allison KaufmanChief Financial Officer
Phone: 503.535.3514
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.
Stacey Lebenzon
Stacey LebenzonSecond Century Events Coordinator
Phone: 503.496.7445
Stacey was born and raised in Portland. She received a bachelor’s degree in Judaic Studies and Education at Brandeis University. After spending six months living on a kibbutz in Israel and traveling through Europe, Stacey returned to Portland to teach at Portland Jewish Academy. After spending time living in Florida, Virginia, New York, Washington State and California, she returned to Portland in 2015. Stacey has two children, Leo and Sarina, who are proud BB Campers, just like their mom, grandfather, and great-grandfather before them! Go Blue!!
Julia Monkarsh
Julia Monkarsh Assistant Director, Community Care and Inclusion
Julia was born in Toulouse, France and spent most of her childhood growing up in Los Angeles, California. She is fluent in French and is most grateful for her multicultural upbringing. Julia graduated from Lewis and Clark College with degrees in both French and Psychology. Julia has considered Jewish Camp to be her second home since her first summer as a camper in 2009. Since then, she has worked in various camp leadership roles spanning from counselor to archery instructor to unit head. The thing she loves most about working at camp is creating camp magic for a new generation of campers. She has a passion for working with children of all abilities and aims to help all individuals find their home at BB Camp. In her free time Julia enjoys drawing, going on walks, playing board games, and spending time with her cat Iris.
Maddie Newman
Maddie NewmanAssistant Director, Programming
Maddie was raised in Dallas, Texas, and is excited to be back in the PNW. After graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Non-profit Management in December 2020, she moved back down south to work at Texas Hillel. Maddie attended and worked at a summer camp in Texas for 13 years. As a long-time summer camp kid, she is honored to be back in the camp world as an Assistant Director at BB Camp. Maddie can’t wait to help create the camp magic for generations of campers and counselors to come! In her spare time, you can find Maddie seeking out the best cup of coffee Portland has to offer and spending time with friends and family.
Aaron Pearlman
Aaron PearlmanChief Philanthropy Officer
Phone: 503.345.9476
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. 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 and his wife, Sacha Reich, are the proud parents of longtime BB Campers Lev and Ravit.
Noa Rubin
Noa RubinMarketing and Communications Director
Phone: 503.345.9464
Born in Eilat, Israel, Noa is fluent in Hebrew and served in the IDF as a Computer Operator. Noa has a BFA in Photography from State University of New York at Purchase and a Certificate in Multimedia from Portland Community College. She worked as a photographer for Christie’s Auction House in NYC, taught English in Vietnam and Spain, and after moving to Portland in 2008, worked for various Jewish agencies. In her free time, she enjoys arts and crafts, photography, traveling, and competes in various paddling races. When she is not at her desk, you can find her hiking or paddling on her Stand Up Paddleboard on local waters, or volunteering with Portland New Generations Rotary Club, where she serves on the board.
Yuliya Saponar
Yuliya SaponarAccounting Specialist
Phone: 503.452.3429
Yulia was born in Ukraine and lived in Israel for over 20 years. She is fluent in Russian and Hebrew. Graduating from Open University of Israel with a Bachelor’s Degree of Management and Economics earned Yuliya the opportunity to work for 18 years in the field of finance in the chemical industry in Israel, prior to moving to the United States. Yuliya’s family is the most cherished part of her life. Her three sons, Lior, Roni and Gil, all have actively participated in our BB Camp community. Her eldest, Lior, was a BB Camp counselor in 2014 and now serves in the US military. Roni was devoted BB Camper from the ages of 11 to 15, and Gil recently became a BB Camper. In her spare time, Yuliya and her husband, Shimon, travel with their family. Yuliya enjoys dancing with her husband, as well as Zumba and belly dancing. In fact, Yuliya and Shimon are known to go to parties and dance until they’re the last ones left!
Hanna Skaggs
Hanna SkaggsCommunity Care Intern
Hanna was born in Southern California and has lived in Portland since March 2021. She recently received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University, Monterey Bay. Hanna moved to Portland to complete her Master’s in Social Work at Portland State University and is interning at BB Camp as a part of that program. Hanna enjoys traveling and exploring all the Pacific Northwest offers – from food and city life to hiking and nature.
Nathan Schloss
Nathan Schloss Leadership Institute Program Associate
Nathan, a native Portlander, has been engaged in the Jewish community for as long as he can remember. He grew up attending Congregation Beth Israel, where he became a Bar Mitzvah and now, alongside his work with BB Camp, teaches religious school at CBI on Sunday mornings. Since 2017, Nathan has spent his summers working at BB Camp, enjoying various roles, including overnight and day camp counselors, a programming coordinator, a lifeguard, and in 2021, the aquatics director. After spending the last five summers at BB Camp and graduating from Portland State University, Nathan is delighted to contribute to BB Camp in a year-round capacity! Nathan’s favorite activities include traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Carly Sokoloff
Carly Sokoloff Assistant Overnight Camp Director/BBYO Portland Director
Carly was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, and has lived in Portland since 2014. Carly loves all things Jewish and spent almost every summer of her childhood at camp in Pennsylvania. Since 2014, Carly has volunteered as an advisor for BBYO in Portland. In 2019, she had the wonderful opportunity to work as a Unit Leader for BB Camp. In Carly’s spare time, you can find her exploring Northwest’s great outdoors, sampling the amazing food in Portland, and enjoying watching Netflix and sports.