Our Team

Keshet's heart and soul

Keshet Staff

 

Numbering over 200, it’s the skilled, creative and extraordinarily dedicated people who work at Keshet who have made us the unmatched organization we are today. From educators, camp counselors, and administrators to art teachers, grant writers and vocational experts, our staff is the collective force driving inspiration and growth throughout Keshet. Our diverse team is a big part of our family empowering Keshet participants lead their very best lives.

 

President & CEO

Jennifer Phillips

Jennifer Phillips is an experienced special educator who has dedicated her career to building inclusive communities. Jennifer began at Keshet in 1994 as a one-to-one summer camp counselor, which inspired her to become a special education teacher. Since then, she has risen from being a teacher in Keshet’s High School to the Director of Recreation and then as the organization’s first Chief Program Officer. Her leadership in program development and community partnership building has been an unparalleled success for the organization. Jennifer has established Keshet as a national leader in inclusion, particularly inclusive summer camps, and is regularly called upon to speak at conferences and trainings.

Jennifer received a B.S. in Elementary Education and Special Education from National Lewis University. She is currently in the second year of the Masters in Jewish Professional Studies at Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership.

Chief Financial Officer

Michelle Ebner

Michelle joined Keshet as its Chief Financial Officer in 2012 after working in the public accounting sector for eight years. Prior to joining Keshet, Michelle served as Keshet’s external auditor for four years. At Keshet, Michelle spends her time planning for Keshet’s financial sustainability and ensures that the organization is fiscally secure. Michelle is a Certified Public Account and holds both a Bachelor and Master in Accounting Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Chief Development Officer

Jamie Lake

Jamie’s commitment to creating inclusive communities began from her experiences as a higher education administrator and summer camp professional for over 20 years, including as a director at Camp Chi. From there, she found her way into the world of marketing, communications and non-profit management. Now she oversees development and fundraising at Keshet, where she feels inspired every day. Jamie has an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and J.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Director of Major Gifts

Rachael Fenton

Rachael has worked in the nonprofit and Jewish communities for her entire professional career, helping to raise millions of dollars by connecting donors to their philanthropic interests. Prior to Keshet, Rachael was the Director of Development at Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, where she managed an annual campaign and endowment growth initiative, and partnered with countless staff and lay leadership to execute a $19.5 million capital campaign.

Director of Education

Dr. Melinda Remaly

Dr. Melinda Remaly joined the Keshet team in 2015. Prior to Keshet, Dr. Remaly served for 26 years as a teacher, inclusion specialist, counselor and Transition Specialist for Niles Township Department of Special Education, and another 10 years as a Special Education Director of Life Skills Programming, Transition Planning, and outreach coordination for Niles Township High School District 219.  Dr. Remaly has an undergraduate degree in special education and general education, her Master of Counseling, and her Doctorate in Educational Administration and Policy Planning.  Dr. Remaly is passionate and dedicated to serving and supporting individuals with disabilities and their families.

Director of Adult Services

Lisa Lew

Lisa has over 20 years of experience working with adults with disabilities and families in direct service programs, and recently completed her first year with Keshet. She holds an Masters in Social Work, and is regarded as an expert in Illinois and Medicaid disability waivers. Lisa is a visionary in program development for adults with a particular focus on supported and customized employment.

Director of Recreation

Jen Evans

Jen began at Keshet as the social worker at Keshet’s day school, a position she held for 15 years. During her summers “off,” Jen managed four of Keshet’s camp locations. Her entire career has been dedicated to working with people who have disabilities and helping them develop the communication, social and interpersonal skills needed for an independent life. She regularly speaks and consults with families and other organizations about the social-emotional well-being of adolescents. Jen holds a Master in Social Work from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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