Erika Eskenazi selected for prestigious fellowship

by | Nov 14, 2014 | Mazel Tov

by Leslie Shroyer

JCC Association’s Merrin Center for Teen Engagement has selected 15 professionals from JCCs and camps in North America to participate in the Merrin Teen Professional Fellows Program. Erika Eskenazi, the Simon Family JCC’s Children and Camp director, is one of the 15.

Designed to give those working with teens the skills to better serve a critical sector of the Jewish community, the program enhances their profiles in their organizations, enriches and deepens their Jewish identities and builds a stronger professional network of teen service providers across North America.

The fellowship features five seminars held over 14 months, with the first in New York City in January, 2015. This selective professional development program focuses on developing leadership and management skills, learning how to serve teens more effectively, planning career paths in the JCC Movement, and deepening one’s sense of Jewish knowledge. One of the seminars is held in Israel.

Eskenazi moved to Richmond for a teaching job with a program for deaf children in 2008. There, she reconnected with the BBYO world she so enjoyed as a teen, and became an advisor. Deciding on a career in Jewish Communal Service, she then served as the director of Youth and Family Programs and the head of the religious school for a small temple near Syracuse, N.Y.

Eskenazi joined the Simon Family JCC in 2013 as the assistant director of JCC’s Children and Camp department and was recently promoted to director.

“Erika has a proven track record for being a committed and dedicated JCC professional,” says Scott Katz, JCC executive director. “She oversees Summer Camp, our Kids Connection Before and After School Program, manages our babysitting staff and runs PJ Library. She is devoted, caring and very deserving of her recent promotion and her selection in the Merrin Fellowship program.”

“The fellowship will help me grow as a professional as well as allow me to interact with other JCC professionals in similar jobs to collaborate on our shared goals and objectives,” says Eskenazi.