Tawonga’s Young Alumni Board
Could you be our next Young Alumni Board member? Tawonga is looking to grow this board! Learn about board service expectations here.
The Camp Tawonga Young Alumni Board (YAB), which launched in January 2016, is an opportunity for Tawonga alumni in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties to engage with and give back to Camp in a meaningful way. Through their board work, members advise Tawonga on issues related to alumni engagement, plan alumni events in the community, liaise with Tawonga’s Board of Directors and gain leadership skills.
This board launched Tawonga’s first Young Alumni Facebook Group to facilitate connection and engagement among our alumni community. Join the conversation!
Meet Our Members
Members of YAB are committed to pursuing excellence for Tawonga’s future, bringing a rich history of involvement in Tawonga’s programs. This talented group brings to the board a diverse professional background, including in the fields of law, PR, nonprofit management, tech and more. All Young Alumni Board Members are summer staff alumni, and the majority of them are also former campers.
David Aptaker was a camper, CIT, and TSL participant with Camp Tawonga before working on staff for five summers. He recently graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with an MA in Security Studies, and is currently living in Brooklyn, New York. Tawonga’s 2006 & 2007 Peacemakers Weekend programs, and David’s BA in Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Berkeley both fueled his passion for the Middle East, leading to multiple long-term stays in Israel. Most recently he served as a research assistant at an Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies, and is currently interning with the Global Surgical and Medical Support Group. David loves chess, good food, and basketball. He’s also a strong Super Smash Brothers player (N64 of course).
Jessica Chizen grew up in Los Altos, CA and was a Tawonga camper for five summers. She then spent three summers on staff and has been involved with Tawonga ever since. Jessica went to college at Washington University in St. Louis and holds a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Boston University. She is now a speech therapist at SPEECH, Inc., a pediatric private practice in San Francisco. She has always loved working with children and feels lucky to have a job helping them learn to communicate. Jessica is excited to bring her passion for kids and Tawonga to the new YAB!
Miriam was a camper for seven summers and worked as a counselor in 2004, where she met her husband. Together they are parents to three future Tawongans under the age of five. With a background in speech-language pathology and behavior analysis, Miriam currently works as Assistant Director at Wellspring, a school for children with special needs. She is excited to reconnect with and give back to the Tawonga community.
Perry, a native of Oakland, CA, was first introduced to Camp Tawonga in 2000 as a Session IV camper. She has been a Tawongan ever since, spending 7 years as a camper and 5 years as a summer staff member in various roles, most recently as a supervisor. Perry holds a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and is currently an account manager at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, a creative advertising agency in San Francisco. She is committed to giving back to the Tawonga community and excited to serve on the inaugural Young Alumni Board.
Rachael is a proud Tawonga camper alum, staff alum, and Legacy Society Member. She is currently Manager in Corporate Social Responsibility for Jamba Juice Company, overseeing all sustainability initiatives and community and philanthropy programs. She received her BA in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley and her MS in Food, Agriculture, and the Environment from Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition in 2012. Rachael actively volunteers with the Oakland chapter of BBYO, Inc. Her favorite camp meal is Unit BBQ on Shabbat, and her favorite camp activity is hanging by the river.
Daniella was a Tawonga camper for nine years, worked on staff for three years, and was a part of both the Counselor in Training and Teen Service Learning programs. She is currently a Publications Manager at the world’s largest open access science journal, PLOS ONE. She has a background in Microbiology and published at both Stanford and San Francisco Public Health.
Noah was a Camp Tawonga camper for eight years and worked on staff for five years in a variety of roles. After five years as a Teacher and two as a Firefighter/EMT, he has found a new challenge as the Chief Taster for Coletta Gelato, a San Francisco based artisanal gelato company. Noah’s fondest memories of Camp Tawonga include time spent with campers and staff alike; under the stars, in front of a Camp Fire, in the Schvitz, and out in the backcountry.
Julia was a first time Camp Tawonga camper in 2002 and was hooked for the next six summers! Julia describes working on staff in 2010 as the most amazing, life changing summer of her life. It was then that Julia realized she wanted to work with Children and Families. She graduated from SFSU in 2014 with a Bachelors degree in Child and Adolescent Development. Julia currently works for the City and County of San Francisco, Medi-Cal Department where she helps residents of San Francisco County get Health Insurance. In her spare time Julia enjoys baking, reading, spending time with family & friends, and cheering on the San Francisco Giants!
Danna Rubin grew up in Sunnyvale, CA and was a Tawonga camper for the first iteration of TLI and a Tawonga Quest. She then spent two summers on staff, as a counselor and supervisor. She is currently a HR Business Partner at Dropbox. She is excited to bring in her previous Jewish community volunteer experience and her current work expertise into enriching the lives of Tawonga alum.
Zach Stein first came to Tawonga after he graduated from college in 2011. His first summer was transformational, and he came back for the next three summers, finally making his way down the pyramid to unit head in 2014. Today, Zach resides in Berkeley where he is working on getting his start-up off the ground. In his spare time, Zach loves his daily CrossFit class and shouting at the TV during Warriors games.
Simone is a writer and marketer from San Francisco. As a 13-year Tawonga veteran, he often awakes in a cold sweat wondering why he’s no longer in the company of tall, tall trees. He attended the University of Pennsylvania and has traveled around the world as a journalist, but always feels a gravitational pull back to the land of foggy beaches and ripe avocados. Outside of work, he finds joy in poetry, frisbee, and deep breaths.
Sophie is a Marin native who was a camper at Tawonga for five summers and a counselor for two. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies and then went on to work at a public sector consulting firm in Chicago. She recently moved back to San Francisco where she currently works as a Recruitment and Talent Coordinator for EducationSuperHighway, an educational non-profit working to accelerate internet upgrades in public schools. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, hiking, and (attempting) Pinterest projects.
Dylan discovered the magic of Tawonga in 2002, when he found an amazing group of friends (and perhaps a part of himself) in the bunk of B9. Instantly hooked, he spent eight of the next nine summers at Camp as a Counselor in Training, Specialist in Training, Counselor, Lifeguard, and Unit Head. His fondest memories of camp include dodgeball, song session, the river, and wheel-board racing in the dining hall. Dylan now practices Family Law in Oakland, plays bass guitar, hangs out with his cats, and is excited to be a part of Tawonga again!
Members of YAB may serve up to two two-year terms. New members to YAB will be determined by the board’s governance guidelines. Please reach Associate Director Katie Quinn at 415.543.2267 or at [email protected] with any questions. You can also email YAB member Jessica Chizen to learn more at [email protected].