Meet Our Directors
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Jodi has been highly involved with MJCCA Day Camps since she began working at the MJCCA in 2017. For the past two years, Jodi served as the Director of Club J, the MJCCA’s after-school program, where she made a significant impact, greatly expanding the program and introducing new activities such as yoga, community service projects, Spanish learning, and more. A St. Petersburg native and University of Florida graduate, Jodi has called Atlanta her home since 2005, and the MJCCA has been an integral part of her life since her children, Dylan and Samantha, were born. As students of The Weinstein School, campers at MJCCA Day Camps and Camp Barney Medintz, and participants in Youth Sports programs, Jodi’s children have grown, learned, and made lifelong friends at the MJCCA. Jodi is beyond excited to help make amazing summers possible for your children.
As a camper, Meryl spent many summers at Camp Judaea and views her summer overnight camping experiences as the most influential in her life. She attended the University of Georgia and graduated with a BS in business administration. Meryl began her tenure at the MJCCA in 2005 as the Camp Central Registrar. Since then she has been an instrumental part of the MJCCA Day Camps team, serving as Director of Operations and then Director of Day Camps. Most recently, Meryl was promoted to Senior Program Director, overseeing MJCCA Day Camps and several other program areas. She and her husband, Lenny, have three wonderful children, Nathan, Zachary, and Emily, and a dog named Murphy.
Since working as a camp counselor at the MJCCA in 2008, Mackenzie has been very involved with several departments at the JCC, ranging from Club J to Youth Sports. Mackenzie graduated in 2013 from Kennesaw State University with a degree in psychology and a concentration in applied statistics and behavior. Following graduation, Mackenzie worked at Jacob’s Ladder Neurodevelopmental Learning Center in Roswell, where he was a neurodevelopmental teacher in a small group classroom for children with special needs and cognitive delays. Mackenzie currently lives in East Cobb with his wife, Hilary; his son, Hayes; and his black lab, Moose.
Hailey Kessler was born and raised in Atlanta, and graduated from the University ofHartford with a B.A. in Judaic Studies. In college, Hailey taught religious school for a variety of grades. She has five years of experience working at overnight and day camps and spent the past two summers as a unit head at MJCCA Day Camps. Hailey plans to earn a master’s in Jewish education and communal service and social work, to pursue a career in Jewish camping. In her free time, she loves hiking, baking, and travel.
Ilana began her professional journey at the Metairie JCC (in Louisiana) as the Assistant Day Camp Director. Ilana’s tenure was cut short due to Hurricane Katrina, which brought her to Atlanta, where she began working as the Assistant Camp Director for Camp Judaea. She helped to successfully run Camp Judaea from 2005–2009. Ilana then joined the MJCCA, where she directed Barbara & Sanford Orkin Camp Chai for two summers. An integral member of the MJCCA Day Camps staff, Ilana looks forward to continually enhancing the programs and options for our campers! Ilana and her husband, Greg, live in Dunwoody and have two children, Payton and Hunter.
Randi is an Atlanta native and spent many summers as a child attending day camps at the MJCCA and Camp Barney Medintz! After going to the University of Florida for college, Randi moved to Washington, DC, where she worked as a producer’s assistant at Williams Gerard Productions. After a few years, Randi moved back to Atlanta and started her own video montage company, Randodi’s Productions. She joined the MJCCA Day Camps team in 2017 as the Curriculum Coordinator for Theme Camps and became the Theme Camps Assistant Director in 2018. Randi and her husband, Adam, live in Dunwoody with their three boys, Jonah, Logan, and Micah, and their dog, Elphie.
Mary Kathryn, or “MK,” is from Columbus, Georgia and recently graduated from Pace University in New York with a bachelor’s degree in acting. She loves working with kids and uses her creativity and theater experience to encourage children to use their imaginations and, most importantly, to be kind to others. Last year, MK moved to Atlanta and started working at the MJCCA for Club J and Kid Zone. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, movies, and baking vegan treats!
Stephanie has been working with The Lynne & Howard Halpern Drama Camp since 2012. She received her BFA in theater arts from Boston University and also studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. As a performer, director, and educator, Stephanie has worked professionally in theaters in Atlanta, Boston, New York, Edinburgh, and London. She is dedicated to theater education and tirelessly seeks to challenge, enlighten, and inspire children through the arts.
Kim Goodfriend has been part of the Atlanta and JCC arts scene for many years. A graduate of Georgia Tech, Goodfriend helped run the summer Midtown Experience in the Arts camp years before the MJCCA opened its Zaban Park Campus. A 2005 WABE Lexus Leader of the Arts, Goodfriend is also the founding artistic director of the MJCCA’s award-winning Jerry’s Habima Theatre, a theater company featuring actors with special needs performing alongside professionals. She is thrilled to be part of the Performing Arts Camp team.
Erin graduated from the University of Buffalo with a BFA in dance. Erin has danced with Zodiaque Dance Company, as well as Buffalo Contemporary Dance Company. She was on the United States tap team in 1999 and 2000, and traveled to Germany to compete in the Tap Dance World Championships. Both years she placed in the World Medals. Erin worked as the Assistant Director of Administration for the New York Education Departments Summer School of Dance for five years before moving to Georgia, where she worked as the Artistic Director at a performing arts facility and owned Empire School of the Arts dance studio. Erin came to the MJCCA in 2007 as the Director of Dance.
Stacey’s involvement in gymnastics began in 1976 after the Montreal Olympics and watching Nadia Comaneci earn the first perfect 10. She has been involved in all aspects of gymnastics—as a competitor, coach, judge, and even an organizer. She earned a degree from Middlebury College in international politics and economics with minors in Spanish and Russian. Following college graduation, Stacey lived in Russia for two years, before moving back to the states to work for the 1996 Olympics as Assistant Housing Manager for the Olympic Village. She joined the MJCCA in February 2014 and currently lives in Dunwoody with her husband, their two children, and her dog Nelson.
Allye is excited to be entering her 10th year of camp here at the MJCCA. A native of Roswell, GA, Allye has been coaching gymnastics for 14 years, beginning in high school. She has worked at gyms in Roswell and Athens, where she graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in public health. She has also lived in Charleston, SC, where she worked for the city of Charleston’s employee wellness division. Allye started coaching at the MJCCA in 2011 and became the Assistant Gymnastics Director in January 2014.
Adam was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. As a junior tennis player, he was ranked in the state’s Boys 18U Top 10. He won the North Carolina State High School Doubles Championship in 1974 and 1975, and he played Division 1 Tennis at North Carolina State University from 1975–1977. Adam joined the MJCCA staff as a Tennis Professional in 2013, and two years later he was promoted to Director of Tennis. Before working at the JCC, he was a Head Tennis Professional for the PGA Tour Superstores in Atlanta, and he owned and operated The Packaging Store in Dunwoody, which specialized in shipping furniture, fine art, and antiques. Adam is USPTA and USPTR certified, a gold member of the Wilson Advisory Staff, and a member of the GPTA. In his spare time, he enjoys playing competitive tennis and going to the movies.