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Staff Meet Our Staff

Meet Our Staff

Sam Bloom, Director

Sam has 30 years of camping, physical education and youth services experience, including 25 years at EKC. He supervised several areas at the camp before serving as director from 1997 to 2003, and served as director of Herzl Camp in Wisconsin from 2004-2006. Sam has a Bachelors Degree in Health and Physical Education & Recreation from the University of Pittsburgh. During the summer, Sam resides at camp, and he is committed to continuous overall improvements at camp, which includes both program and facility.  He is also the Director of Sports & Recreation Department at the JCC in Pittsburgh where he oversees Maccabi and the youth services experience.  Sam has two daughters; Jordyn and Casey.

Email: sbloom@jccpgh.org
Phone: (412) 339-5412

Rachael Speck, Director of Communication and Alumni Engagement

Rachael Altoff

Rachael’s experience in camping is extensive, including 9 years of informal Jewish education and 15 summers at Emma Kaufmann Camp. She has held positions at EKC as a Bunk Counselor, Assistant Teen Unit Head, CIT (Counselor-In-Training) Unit Head, and as Operations Coordinator where she was involved in camp management, program development and staff engagement. Additionally, Rachael has held positions at J&R Day Camp as a Unit Head, where she supervised over 80 campers and staff, and assisted with all camp programming and daily activities. Most recently, Rachael served as the Young Adult Division Director at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, where her duties included fundraising, leadership development, programming, budgeting and planning efforts for the Young Adult Division. Within this position, Rachael will be responsible for much of the ongoing regular and social media communication with parents, alumni, EKC donors, new constituencies. She will also retain many of her current responsibilities related to camper recruitment, camper care and parent communication and will continue to spend part of the summer with us in Morgantown as she grows our parent and alumni network around the country. During the winter months, Rachael lives in Pittsburgh with her husband Alex.

Email: rspeck@jccpgh.org
Phone: (412) 697-3539

Stephanie Buzza, Assistant Director


Stephanie Buzza joined our office in 2004. A local Pittsburgher, Stephanie graduated from Slippery Rock University with a degree in Business Management. Stephanie has a strong camp background and will often be the first contact when parents call in to the camp office. She also will continue to oversee the camper registration process and supervision of office functions and vendor relations. Stephanie will also play a key role in supporting camper care and parent communication over the summer. We also thank Stephanie for her leadership role in EKC’s continued accreditation through the American Camping Association.

Email: sbuzza@jccpgh.org
Phone: (412) 697-3550

Phil Gelman, Program Coordinator


Phillip Gelman will be joining the EKC family full-time as our Program Coordinator. Phillip will continue to coordinate and oversee the CIT program, assist us in staff hiring and camper recruitment, and build upon his past 15 summers on our staff. A native Pittsburgher, Phillip grew up at the Jewish Community Center in Pittsburgh, participating in camp, basketball clinic, and eventually going on to work in the JCC’s afterschool program. Phillip has a Bachelor’s Degree from Kent State University. Prior to working for camp, he worked for WJS Psychological Association in McKeesport, where he provided at-home therapeutic support to school-age children with special needs. When he is not at camp, Phillip resides in the Lawrenceville area of Pittsburgh.

Email: pgelman@jccpgh.org
Phone: (412) 697-3513

Mark Pattis, Program Director


Mark spends 9 months of the year as the Program Coordinator in the Sports and Recreation department at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. He received a Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University, Bloomington in Physical Education, and minored in Recreational Sports Management. Mark also serves as the Pittsburgh Delegation Head for the JCC Maccabi games. As a teenager, Mark spent his summers as a camper at EKC and has served on staff over the last 9 summers. He is currently responsible for overseeing all of camps mass programs and plays a key role in staff development. When not at camp, Mark resides in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh.

Brooks Weaver, Operations and Activities Coordinator


Brooks Weaver will return to camp as the Operations and Activities Coordinator, overseeing our specialty areas and will assist us in camper recruitment and staff hiring, while continuing his work during the off-season in the Jewish Community Center’s Sports and Recreation Department. Day-to-day, Brooks coaches basketball, teaches physical education classes, and assists in managing our camp facility during the off-season. Brooks also serves as a coach for the JCC Maccabi Delegation. Brooks grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he was active in youth sports for all of his childhood. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Pittsburgh. When not at camp, Brooks resides in the Shadyside area of Pittsburgh.

Email: bweaver@jccpgh.org
Phone: (412) 697-3532

Joan Addicks, Health Center Director


Joan has been on our staff since 1998, and she is responsible for the hiring of doctors, nurses and emergency medical technicians. She also organizes the schedules and facilitates the daily routines of our medical program. Joan lives in Morgantown with her husband Bill and three children Ben, Justin and Lauren all of whom have attended camp for many summers.

Paula Dugan, Health and Wellness Director


Paula has been at EKC for 20 summers. She helps counselors with individual camper issues like homesickness and other needs and she routinely communicates with parents on general camp and health issues. Paula is also responsible for our Bunk Meetings program, pairing each cabin group in camp with an administrative staff member who meets with them on a weekly basis. These meetings are designed to give the campers another Person to talk with that they may not think of on their own and prompt discussion about how cabin groups are getting along with each other, their counselors and camp in general.

Jeff Freedman, Ph. D.

Jeffrey Freedman

Jeffrey D. Freedman, Ph.D. is a clinical neuropsychologist who has been a part of EKC since 2005. For over 20 years, Dr. Freedman has been evaluating and providing treatment to children, adolescents, and adults in our Pittsburgh community. He is the co-owner and clinical director of a group practice, is an associate professor at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and is vice chairman of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service. He regularly lectures and provides staff training for a number of healthcare facilities and has taught psychology undergraduate courses at Duquesne University where he also earned his doctorate. He and his wife, Eileen have two boys who have both attended EKC.