Our Staff


We are teachers, educational professionals, Jewish leaders, college, high school students and child development specialists. Every member of our staff is committed to providing a safe and secure environment where children thrive. Together we have more than 20 years of camping experience and knowledge of children. Our Administrative Staff posses a wealth of knowledge and experience. They mentor and guide our counselors, and actively communicate with camp families.

  • Every counselor is carefully interviewed, references are checked, and then selected for their personal warmth, sensitivity and ability to connect to each child. 
  • Staff is intensively trained before the start of camp, including CPR and first aid. 
  • Administrative Staff attend training courses throughout the year, including the ACA tri-state conference in Atlantic City.
  • We work together to ensure that each child’s individual needs, and the group’s needs are met. 
  • We create an environment where campers build confidence, try new things, express themselves, have FUN and feel proud to be Jewish!


Camp Director: Mrs. Chayale Shagalow

Chayale Shagalow has been active in the camp industry for over 10 years. She spent summers in Texas, Missouri, Brooklyn and New Jersey. Chayale received a degree in education from Machon Shoshanat Yerushalayim. In her career, she has been a teacher, advisor, camp counselor, camp program coordinator and now, the Camp Director. This is Chayale's sixth summer directing Camp Gan Israel Highland Park (Piscataway). Chayale generates exemplary warmth, joy and exuberance. Chayale is responsible, multi-talented, dynamic, organized and sensitive to the individual needs of each camper. Her outstanding successes testifies in every task that she undertakes. Chayale cannot wait for the summer to begin to see all our returning and new campers!


Camp Rabbi: Rabbi Shaya Shagalow

Rabbi Shaya, our Camp Rabbi generates exemplary warmth, joy and exuberance. His perceptive and astute understanding of children and teens, his selfless dedication to others, and distinguished leadership skills, will transform your child this summer. Rabbi Shaya's daily shiur program to our campers is rich with Jewish knowledge and a love for yiddishkeit. Rabbi Shaya is multi-talented, dynamic, and sensitive to the individual needs of each camper. His outstanding successes testifies in every task that he undertakes and we are positive that your child will learn and grow a lot this summer!


Head Counselor First Month: Ms. Menucha Carlebach

Menucha is so excited to come back for another year at Gan Izzy! Growing up as a camper and then counselor in Camp Gan Israel Highland Park (Piscataway), Menucha adds fun and excitement to all those around her. Menucha has organized and led children's programs and Hebrew school classes for several years. She is caring and warm, and loves to bring smiles to people's faces. Menucha's goal is to instill a love and passion for Torah and Mitzvot in each individual camper. She looks forward to an awesome summer!

rivkyHead Counselor Second Month: Ms. Rivky Goodman

Rivky is delighted to return to Gan Izzy! She is a longtime camper and counselor at Gan Izzy Highland Park (Piscataway) and has worked at many other camps around the world. Rivky attended Reenas Bais Yaakov in Highland Park and is the thirteenth child in her family. Rivky  is super responsible, capable, loving and dynamic. She currently teaches at Hebrew School, prepares and helps run Shabbos meals at Rutgers Chabad, and leads other holiday programs. Rivky loves children, and children love her. Camp has always been the highlight of her years and is sure to give the same excitement and love to camp for others!

Administrative Assistant: Ms. Chava Rosenberg

Chava is extremely responsible, caring, warm, sensitive to the individual needs of every counselor and loved by both our campers and staff! Chava's responsibilities at camp will be to provide staff support to our counselors and lead the camp trips. Chava is currently studying in Israel, getting her BA with a focus in Education and Psychology, while working as a dorm counselor for seminary girls. She has spent many summers as a Camp Gan Israel camper, counselor and lifeguard. Chava brings years of experience in working with children and young adults. Chava is looking forward to greeting all our campers and staff with a smile and using her expertise to help make this a fantastic summer! She is thrilled to be able to combine her talents by taking on a role in administration while still interacting with counselors and campers every day. 

debbieOffice Manager: Mrs. Debbie Brown

Morah Debbie has many years of office experience and working with children. She currently works at Netivot and teaches at the Hebrew School at Temple Sholom in Bridgewater. Morah Debbie is passionate, warm and understanding to the needs of our campers. She is really excited to greet our campers and staff at Gan Izzy this summer.




ayalaPhotographer Second Month: Ayala Jones

Ayala Jones, a freshman at Golda Och Academy is so excited to join the Gan Izzy team this summer. Her passion is photography and loves to take pictures! Ayala's picture was submitted to the library and she won first place! In her  free time, she enjoy's playing volleyball, hanging out with friends and taking pictures. She love kids and cant wait to photograph them having a ball at camp this summer!


Photographer First Month: Libbie Brooks



Chef Nati & Staff: Luis, Trinidad, Faustino & Daniel

Having graduated at the top of his class at culinary school, Chef Chezky together with his staff create delicious meals for the Chabad House students during the year and Camp Gan Israel during the summer. Chef Chezky and his staff work with a great deal of energy, and have an absolute love for their profession. Their meals are fresh, tasty and wholesome.  There is always a large variety of food with lots of healthy options.


allisonHead Lifeguard: Ms. Allison Serries

Swimming has always been Ms. Allison's passion. Ms. Allison has built an extensive 14 years of swimming knowledge; learning from private swim camps, coaching the Plainfield Middle School and High School Swim Teams, and teaching students of all learning abilities and disabilities. To extend her swimming knowledge, she became a certified swim instructor, lifeguard, and pool operator.  After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University, she was able to use my degree in Psychology to help swimmers tune into their own minds to push them further than they ever thought that they could go with achieving their goals. Her future goal is to, someday, train an Olympic swimmer. Ms. Allison is one of the most beloved staff members at camp and our campers truly made huge strides at the pool this past summer!


Lifeguard: Ms. Eliana Goldblatt

Since she was young, Eliana has always loved the water. A lifeguard for three summers, Eliana has taught swimming in camps throughout the Tri-State area and in private settings as well.  Many children have benefited from her extensive teaching knowledge and love her for her skill and the caring way she encourages them to be the best swimmer they can be. Previously a camper and then counselor at Camp Gan Israel Highland Park (Piscataway), Eliana is returning for another summer of fun in the sun!

aliza wilksLifeguard: Aliza Wilks

We are very excited to have Aliza return to Camp Gan Israel Highland Park. This is Aliza's sixth summer at camp, and she has worked both as a counselor and lifeguard. Her strong sense of responsibility, enthusiasm, and impeccable skills makes Aliza an integral part of our staff. She loves providing swim instruction and being a part in their growth as swimmers.  She has full knowledge of safety protocols and makes safety her number one priority. She can’t wait to see our eager campers and get into the pool with them.



Lifeguard: Elisheva Kroll


Dance: Krystal Galiczynski

Krystal graduated from Montclair State University in May of 2014, and received her Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing in teaching dance, P-12.  Krystal has been dancing all of her life, and is now teaching and choreographing in a number of school settings such as, the Apple Montessori Schools in Wayne and Towaco NJ, the First Avenue Public School in Newark NJ, and has additionally assisted coach for the dance team at Mount Saint Dominick’s High School in Caldwell NJ this past season.  Ms. Krystal is extremely loved by all our campers and the show at the end of the summer is always so professional! She is so excited to return for her third summer!


Drama & Theater Arts: Luci Samp

Camp Gan Israel Piscataway is in partnership with Mainstages - a professional theater arts company. Check out mainstages online: www.mainstages.com

Luci received her BA in Theatre from the College of William and Mary.  She also studied at Circle in the Square Theatre School and Signature Theatre and has been performing on stage throughout her time at school and continues to do so.  Luci loves to teach and direct plays and has worked with the Pixiedust Players on their two productions: Children of Eden Jr. and Jungle Book Kids!  Luci has a wonderful personality that will attract both camper and counselor alike. She is extremely, upbeat, bubbly and experienced with theater for children of all ages. She is organized and professional with a willingness to go above and beyond the scope of duty by lending a hand in any way she can. She is very excited to join the Gan Israel team for her first summer and share her love of theater with all of her campers! Click here to Meet Luci!


mayaSports: Ms. Maya Levy

Ms. Maya Levy is originally from California and ercently got married and moved to Edison. She attended UC Santa Cruz for her Bachelors in Psychology and History and received her Masters in Elementary Education from The George Washington University. She currently works as a teacher during the school year. Ms. Maya is extremely athletic, dynamic and loves to play sports! She is so excited to teach our Gan Izzy campers many skills this summer.



cassyGymnastics: Ms. Cassie Murray

Ms. Cassie graduated from Kean University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Ms. Cassie attended her first gymnastics class at the age of 3 and has been hooked ever since! She continued to train for the next 13 years and she LOVED it! Even as a teenager, she taught all her neighborhood friends how to do cartwheels and back-bends. Unfortunately, her gymnastics career came to a standstill due to an injury. But as any true gymnast, the injury did not stop her.  She used the conditioning and stretching exercises that she learned from gymnastics to help maintain as much strength and flexibility as possible while healing, and although she never competed again she continued with recreational gymnastics.

Today, Cassie is an amazing coach filled with lots of energy, passion and knowledge at Head Over Heels Gymnastics. She loves working with children and is in complete awe that she is able to teach, motivate and encourage them to challenge themselves both physically and mentally. She always says “There is no better feeling then watching a child overcome their fears and accomplish a new skill right before your eyes.” She is very excited to work with Gan Izzy campers and looks forward to watching them as they learn and grow this summer!

katrin2Martial Arts: Mrs. Katrin Kavalchuk

Laoshi Katrin is originally from Belarus and has been in the U.S. for over two years. She has over ten years experience as a summer camp counselor. She is currently an apprentice instructor at Ziran Martial Arts School in the Highland Park area. Her martial arts area of expertise is in Kung Fu and she's currently working towards earning her Black Sash as a Shidoin licensed instructor. Every step toward the Black Sash includes practice and knowledge of teaching essential skills to both kids and adults. She is looking forward to returning to Gan Izzy for her second summer and imparting her martial arts skills to our campers.

  lexArt Teacher: Ms. Alexis Steiner 

Alexis will be graduating from Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University this coming May 2016 with her BFA in visual arts. Alexis has been practicing art her entire life and has worked as a head counselor for the last 4 summers. Her internship for Mason Gross was completed at Mendham Township High school in the Art Department. She assisted the students with their projects, teaching them different art techniques ranging from sculpture to painting. She worked at The Westfield Little School in Westfield developing craft projects and instructing them on how to perform their projects.  Alexis has multiple years of experience working with children and her passion and experience make  her a perfect fit for the Art Teacher at Gan Izzy. We are delighted to have Alexis join our team this summer and we are certain she will become a valuable asset to our staff!


adam Guitar Teacher: Mr. Adam Shaber

Adam Shaber graduated Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with Bachelor's degrees in music education and jazz studies.  With guitar and voice as his main instruments, Adam performs all over New Jersey and the surrounding areas of New York City and Philadelphia.  He also teaches guitar, bass, ukulele, piano, and voice at a studio and privately. While keeping a very busy schedule this summer of weekly lessons and performances, Adam is very excited to return to Camp Gan Israel for his second summer.  He hopes to instill a work ethic and focus in the students that will carry through in whatever they would like to pursue.

ariellaMini Gan Morah: Morah Ariella Wilks

Ariella is currently a student at Touro College in Manhattan studying Early Childhood Education. She has been a camper at Camp Gan Izzy Piscataway all her life, and has worked as a staff member at camp for many years. Ariella has also been worked as a group leader for the youth groups in her shul for a few years.  This summer will be Ariella's sixth summer as a staff member at Camp Gan Israel and we are delighted to have her return as our Mini Gan Morah. Ariella has extensive experience with our Mini Gan bunk, is super responsible, organized, motivated, hardworking and extremely patient with young children. She hopes to help each of her campers grow this summer, by making camp a safe, enriching, and fun environment. Ariella is so excited to be returning as our Mini Gan Morah this summer!



Click here to meet some of our out of town staff!

Boys: Rabbi Moshe Carlebach, Yossi Dietz, Simon Weintraub, Asher Brooks, Elie Benedek, Asher Weisel, Avi Goldstein

Girls: Dina Leff, Yvette Teitelbaum, Nechama Stein, Josie Rosen, Dina Shapiro, Charna Rosenberg, Peri Fogel, Atara Erps, Ziesel Rosenberg Baila Lesches, Devorah Yerushalmi, Hesha Avtzon, Mushki Hami, Zeldy Rubin, Shira Israily, Gitty Staschower, Ita Sonnenschein, Eden Autmezguine, Chani Zikvashvili, Rachel Hetzrony, Leah Wilansky,



Shira Cohen, Nechama Erps, Dina Zemble, Chloe Katz, Reva Matthew, Racheli Lerner, Brooke Blum, Ayelet Shakarchi, Jessica Maza, Yonit Salit, Sarah Simcha, Jordy Dube, 





Mothers Helper:

Edie Berman, Atara Blatt and Jessica Maza