Growing Our Staff

As a new year of Keshet programs begins, we are thrilled to announce the hire of two exceptionally talented professionals who are joining Keshet’s leadership team. Their vision and commitment to inclusion will contribute to Keshet’s future growth and elevating the level of service provided for participants, families, volunteers and staff.

Welcome, Dr. Audra Kaplan and Joelle Kelenson.

Dr. Audra Kaplan brings her leadership in Jewish non-profit organizations, her passion for building inclusive communities, and her experience as a clinical psychologist to her role as Chief Program Officer. Before joining Keshet, Dr. Kaplan served as the Associate Director of Camp Ramah Darom, where she oversaw all aspects of a summer camp program and worked to ensure a fun and successful experience for all regardless of level of ability. Dr. Kaplan was the founding director of Ramah Darom’s nationally recognized Tikvah Support Program, building a sustainable model for disability inclusion in a summer camp setting, and before that, was the Director of Camp Firefly, an overnight camp program for children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, jointly run by Jewish Child and Family Services and JCC Chicago’s Camp Chi. Dr. Kaplan also served as a psychologist at Jewish Child and Family Services for 18 years, providing direct services to children and families, supervising and training of graduate students, and offering consultation services and workshops for schools, recreation programs, youth groups, and synagogues throughout the Chicago area.

Dr. Kaplan received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and doctorate of clinical psychology from The Illinois School of Professional Psychology.

Joelle Kelenson is joining Keshet’s staff as the Director of Recreation. From a young age living in Montreal, Joelle has been passionate about giving back and making a difference in the world. Her career has been spent working in the Jewish community. She was the School Age Services Director at the JCC in Northern Virginia, where she ran a day camp and after school program. Most recently, Joelle spent six years at Camp Chi first as the Assistant Director and then as the Associate Director. In this role, Joelle worked alongside Keshet to build Camp Chi’s approach to camper care and accommodations. She is a familiar face for many of our participants and families, which makes her an excellent person to lead Keshet’s recreation programs.

Joelle attended McGill University where she received an undergraduate degree in sociology and Jewish studies. She earned a Master of Social Work from Columbia University and a Master of Jewish Studies from Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

Please join us in welcoming Audra and Joelle to Keshet. We are so glad that they are here!

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