Rabbi Avraham Laber studied and received Smicha from the central Lubavitch Yeshiva in Brooklyn. He spent four summers as director of a 4 week overnight camp in Moscow, Russia and can speak Russian fluently. In September 1996, he became the Rabbi of Beth Tephilah Synagogue. Rabbi Laber is also a historian specializing in early American Jewry. He is the founder of the website www.jewishdata.com. He has also done extensive research on the rescue of the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe from Nazi occupied Poland. Rabbi Laber gives adult Torah classes and is the Bar Mitzvah instructor at the Beth Tephilah Hebrew school. He is also everyone’s favorite storyteller, especially at Jewish Girls Retreat, and is currently working on producing his first story CD, called Chassidic Adventures.
Nechama grew up in Brooklyn, NY and studied at the Beth Rivkah School. Nechama traveled each summer from the age of 15 to various Jewish camps around the world to be a counselor. She spent summers in Suffern, NY; St. Louis, Missouri; Rochester, NY; Denver, Colorado.
She received a degree in education from the Chaya Mushkah Teacher’s Seminary in Montreal, Canada. She continued her studies in lesson planning and special education at Touro College in Brooklyn, NY. After completing her teaching degree, Nechama spent four months doing community service in Charkov, Ukraine; to study with children and adults about their Jewish heritage and to head a day camp and one month overnight camp.
Before moving to Troy, she taught at the Beth Rivkah schools in Montreal and NY. She has also been a Hebrew (Sunday) school teacher at the Free Hebrew for Juniors in Montreal, Beth Israel of Schenectady, NY and with her husband, Rabbi Laber, reopened the Beth Tephilah Hebrew School in 1997.
Nechama is a teacher at the Maimonidies Hebrew Day School and since 1998 has taught all grades from nursery through High School. She founded the Capital Region Bat Mitzvah Club in 1998 and the Bat Mitzvah Camp in 1999. Nechama and her husband, Rabbi Avraham Laber, are the co-directors of Chabad of S. Rensselaer County and have lived in Troy since 1996 with their 8 beautiful children, Baruch Hashem. “It has been such a joy to be a part of the growing JGR-BMC family. We welcome all Jewish girls to join the BMC experience.” says Nechama Laber.
Leah Caras, of Sharon, MA is the founder, editor, and publisher of YALDAH magazine. At age 11, Leah had the powerful experience of attending a Camp Gan Israel in Milford, MA and was inspired to embrace Judaism with passion. As she continued to learn more about her beautiful heritage, she wanted to share this with other Jewish girls like herself. She founded YALDAH magazine at age 13. YALDAH now has readers worldwide and is sold in hundreds of bookstores across the country. Over 90 girls have served on YALDAH’s yearly Editorial Board.
Leah has received awards including Next Step Magazine’s ‘Super Teen’, Microsoft’s Start Something Amazing Award, and Tzivos Hashem’s ‘Power of Children’. She also founded her own graphic design business, LL Design, at age 16.Leah has been part of the Jewish Girls Retreat team since 2006. She leads writing and graphic design clubs in camp and as director of communications runs the JGR website, creates brochures, newsletters, press releases, and publicity materials.
Our counselors are the key to the incredible experience at Jewish Girls Retreat. They care for each camper individually with unmatched warmth, dedication and companionship that is difficult to express in words. We have a staff-camper ratio of 1-3, giving each camper valuable individual attention. Many staff members return year after year, lending experience and continuity to all programs. Each counselor is a role model for the girls, promising them friendship which will last forever. Our experienced and hand-picked counselors come from all around the world to spend their summer at Jewish Girls Retreat.