With two decades as a professional educator, Rabbi Harari is know far and wide in putting his students and soldiers first. Rabbi Harari has been involved with staffing camps since 1998. From Camp Gan Israel in Montreal, Canada and NY, to leading backpacking trips through the treacherous Carpathian Mountains, as well as head counselor of Camp Gan Israel in Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine. As a Wilderness EMT Rabbi Harari has volunteered on teams from Bravo Ambulance to Mountain Search & Rescue, and is currently a chaplain in the US Army. Rabbi Harari has continued to stand out as an extraordinary figure and pioneer of Jewish wilderness education.
Manu has been with YOA for three years, each summer as vibrant and unique as the experiences and friendships made along the way. First in 2016, sailing the Exy Johnson around the Channel Islands of CA. Then in 2018, climbing Mt. Rainier and hiking through beautiful state parks. And most recently, building a log cabin on a ranch in Idaho as a junior staff member in 2020. In addition, being a former day camp counselor and lifeguard provided him with valuable skills he relies on to this day. His love of the YOA family and enthusiasm for anything outdoors makes for a likable, knowledgeable, passionate staff member, who brings a lot to the YOA team.
Noach joined the team in 2018 and has been an integral part of camp ever since. His love for chassidus paired with his enthusiasm for being in the back country makes him a valuable asset to any organization and especially YOA. Noach's dedication, leadership and educational skills along with his natural empathetic nature have added an irreplaceable element to our program.
Shim joined YOA in 2016, our first real summer at sea aboard the 200 Ton Tallship Exy Johnson. Despite being constantly sea sick, Shim out performed his peers and always kept a smile on his face. As he advanced to Jr. Watch Officer, his natural leadership skills were showcased. Over the next few years as Shim made his way from camper to staff member, he continued to impress everyone around him. with his adaptability, incredible self of humor and interpersonal skills. Shim was awarded the Above and Beyond commendation as a student in YOA 2016.
Nisan is a world traveler that brings Chassidus alive wherever he goes, especially in the back country, making him a walking inspiration. He has served as an IDF special forces combat medic and is currently a licensed Wilderness Guide. Nissan is an experienced outdoors-man and possesses the unique ability to make any situation uplifting and motivating. Nisan was awarded the Above and Beyond commendation as a student in YOA 2009.
Shmulik has been with YOA, working his way up, for 5 years, each year growing and improving his skills, and is now looking to bring those incredible experiences to the next year of YOAers. "Shmoo" was awarded the Above and Beyond commendation as a student in YOA 2019. Through the years of backpacking and hiking, his relatability and leadership skills have come to fruition, and he is ready to apply his knowledge to help others learn to be a Jew in the backcountry.
Yossie Plotke has extensive experience working with kids and teens in various capacities. He was the Head Counselor for LEC Day Camp and he headed a wilderness program in Camp L'man Achai.
He will be joining us back at Camp YOA for his 5th summer. He has participated in our program as a camper, Jr staff member and finally as a staff member for his third summer.
He is trained in wilderness first aid and has spent many hours backpacking around the country.
Yossie’s lively nature and enthusiasm for all things outdoors, along with his love for chassidus have added so much to our program.
A great staff can make a boy’s summer. A boy away from home needs to trust the staff and sense their compassion and competence. Camp YOA staff members are hand picked for their caring and dedication. They sincerely want to see the campers enjoy a fun and very meaningful summer. The strong bond that develops with the campers often extends well past the summer’s end. Our staff is especially trained in techniques for self improvement and developing social skills. The one-on-one relationship formed with our staff members provides a strong backbone in character development.