Friday, January 21, 2022
Dear Camp Community,
I hope you were able to join the special event this past Sunday in appreciation of Vicky Shizgal and her fifteen transformative years of dedication and service to Camp Moshava Ennismore.
Last summer, following Vicky’s difficult decision to retire from Camp Moshava, I put together a Search Committee to find an Associate Director who would learn from Vicky through Summer 2022, with the intention that the successful candidate takes on her mantle after this coming summer.
I am therefore thrilled to introduce you to our new Associate Director, Rabbi Aaron Katchen. Aaron (as he’s asked to be called) is a visionary educator with deep roots in the Jewish overnight camp world, both in Canada and the US. Based in Toronto, Aaron is very excited to join our Moshava family and help us achieve our vision of nurturing and educating the religious Zionist leaders of the future from across Canada and the world.
Please see below for further information on Aaron, as well as the process taken by our fantastic Search Committee. In the coming weeks and months, you’ll hear from Aaron directly and I assure you that you’ll be as enriched in the process as we have been.
I want to thank our Search Committee – Rena Nickerson, Arielle Wasserman, Aviva Zieleniec and Dan Diamond – for their tremendous devotion of time and energy to this thoughtful and deliberate recruitment process. I also want to thank Vicky for her unwavering support and deep involvement in every aspect of the process, and for ensuring that we arrived at the right candidate to take on the difficult task of doing the impossible – filling her role after she retires at the end of Camp 2022!
Please join me in welcoming Aaron to our Moshava Family and wishing him only hatzlacha in his new role.
B’virkat Chaverim le’Torah V’Avodah,
Chairman of the Vaad
Camp Moshava Ennismore
. The Vaad has unanimously voted to hire Rabbi Aaron Katchen for the role of Associate Director of Camp Moshava Ennismore.
· Aaron is a thoughtful, mission-driven educator who teaches Jewish and leadership values in contexts that make it all the more impactful for not being in a classroom. He relates well to kids, teens and adults.
· What sets Aaron apart is his vision of how to incorporate education and chinuch into the aspirations for the growth of the Camp, and to help us reach our goal of increasing camper enrollment from 280 to 350 by 2025 He takes no camper or staffer for granted; every summer, every peulah, is an opportunity to inspire them in the key values of Torah v’Avodah. He believes in constant improvement through honest evaluation and transparency
· A Calgary native, Aaron grew up as a camper and eventually senior staffer at Camp Massad in Winnipeg. He studied at York University and received his Yoreh Yoreh semicha in Jerusalem.
· He currently leads Congregation Beit Tzion (AKA Mizrachi Bayit) in Toronto, where he, his wife Shira, and three children live.
· Aaron is a longtime Moshava leader and Rosh Anaf from Camp Moshava Indian Orchard (IO), with 16 years experience leading twenty staff in informal education through their outdoor 7-location Ropes Challenge Course, which he designed, implemented and led.
· Aaron has deep experience in organizational management, which has included overseeing large and diverse teams, complex budgets, physical plant management, development, and board relationships.
· Aaron currently oversees all of Koren Publishers’ Canadian operations, as well as very successfully managing sales and institutional relationships in the Midwest and Western US.
· Aaron also has a dozen years of experience with university students, due to his roles as Assistant Director at Brown University, JLIC Rabbi at Oxford University and successive roles within Hillel, including Campus Director at U of T. Through Hillel he also played a leadership role in Ask Big Questions, a Slingshot recognized start-up initiative of Hillel International that builds community through better understanding of major topics.
· Aaron was selected to participate in Hillel International’s ACCELERATE executive training program, which provided the skills, connections, and mentorship to serve as the senior executive of a Jewish not-for-profit organization.
· Search Committee: Arielle Wasserman, Aviva Zieleniec, Dan Diamond, Rena Nickerson and Vicky Shizgal, sponsored by the Camp Chairman, Jonny Hass. The Committee was built to include strong representation of varied Camp, Vaad and professional experience.
· After speaking with experts inside & outside Camp, the Committee launched the search, advertised it on multiple sites, and received over a dozen high quality candidates.
· After a thorough interview process, rigorous rubric-based assessment and multiple formal and informal reference checks, the Committee unanimously recommended Rabbi Aaron Katchen for the role of Associate Director.
· The Vaad unanimously voted in approval
Thank you again for your continued support of Camp Moshava.
Camp Moshava begins on July 5, 2022