Meet Our Staff
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Ohio University
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification
SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) certification
Responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures encompassing all aspects of Human Resources including employee and labor relations, compensation and benefits, training and development, performance management, and recruitment.
Rachel joined the Mandel JCC family in December of 2016 and in that time has raised the level of customer service, improved the operations experience for both staff and members and has played a key role in supporting our families in navigating the complexities of Day Camp, Kids Club and enrichment program registration. Rachel has built trust and wonderful relationships with her coworkers as well as with parents and children.
Prior to coming to work at the JCC Rachel spent 6 years of camp programming experience where she served several roles including Wilderness coordinator and as a naturalist. Her previous work also includes four years in an administrative role for a property management company.
Yolanda has served in the role of Administrative Assistant for two years and Supervisor of Senior and Adult Programming for one year. In her role as Supervisor, she has daily contact with older adults, many of whom are vulnerable and at risk. She ensures that provided meals and programming are substantial to their needs. She oversees the transportation provided by Contracted Transportation Services and establishes the daily routines of outings offered by the program as well as the transport of participants to and from the center. She also works closely with the participants to assess and identify at-risk hazards, which may interfere with their independence and health, while referring those in need to JFSA (Jewish Family Services Association) and DSAS (Department of Senior & Adult Services). Along with seventeen years past experience in an educational facility, Yolanda also has three years’ experience working in the field of aging. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Associate of Art in Early Childhood Education, and Associate of Art in Liberal Studies along with a Certificate in Gerontology.
Abbey has outstanding experience working as an assistant day camp director at three other day camps including JCC of Southern Nevada and Siegel JCC in Wilmington, Delaware and Park Synagogue here in Cleveland. She has a Bachelor in Science of Education from Kent State.
Jessica Robins, Director of Early Childhood, received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and History of Art from the University of Michigan. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City to teach elementary school in the South Bronx with Teach for America (TFA). During that time she received her Master’s in Elementary Education at the Bank Street College of Education. Following her graduation and TFA commitment, she then moved to Israel to participate in a MASA program called Otzma where she lived in Be’er Sheva, Afula, and Tel Aviv. While in Israel, she taught English in schools, volunteered in after school programs, and did development work for WIZO (Women’s International Zionist Organization).
Jessica returned to New York to work for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, an educational non-profit, where she taught entrepreneurship skills to students and teachers in low income Middle and High Schools throughout the city.
Most recently, before joining The J, Jessica spent the last seven years serving as the Director of Admissions at the Hannah Senesh Community Day School and as Associate Director at the Bank Street School for Children. She was also the co-chair of the Diversity Committee at Bank Street College.
In her free time, Jessica likes being active and engaged in her community. She especially enjoys hiking, cycling, running, yoga, and skiing. She also loves to travel, read, watch foreign films, play games, eat delicious foods, and continue to learn whenever she has the opportunity.
Bryan Smith is The J’s Aquatic Supervisor. In his role, Bryan oversees private swimming lessons and the water exercise programs. Bryan has worked around pools since the age of 16. He has been a lifeguard, swim instructor, supervisor and director at his previous pools. He is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in Sports Studies. In his spare time, Bryan plays softball, soccer and enjoys running. He also enjoys history, reading and traveling.
Daniel Solomon has worked at the Mandel JCC since 2011, first serving as a Sales Associate and then as a Senior Sales Associate. He is currently the Membership Director and in that capacity, oversees the membership and sales team. Prior to working at the Mandel JCC, he was the Regional Operations Director for Life Time Fitness Inc. in New Jersey. Daniel has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Kent State University and is a huge Tom Brady fan.
Kate is our director of the fitness, wellness and recreation department, overseeing all fitness center operations. She also oversees group fitness, Yoga and Pilates Reformer programs at The J. She has worked in and around Cleveland as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and manager for 10 years, including eight years at The J as a group fitness instructor. She holds a variety of certifications in personal training, group fitness and Spinning.
Kate is a graduate of Cleveland State University and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and a Masters Degree in Education.
Rachel recently returned home to Cleveland after living and working in Los Angeles for five years. She also spent time in Madrid, Spain teaching English. During her time in Los Angeles, she worked as an actor and had roles in “This is 40” and “Grey’s Anatomy”. Rachel also published a novel, Two People are Coming out of a Building and is working on her second book.
BA Health and physical Education, Cleveland State University
NFPT ,TRX, HumanSport, Sports Nutrition
Oversees personal training program and staff, small group training programs and day to day operations of The J’s Fitness Center
Rich enjoys coaching youth sports. Rich plays competitive softball and has won 5 World Series championships in his career in GSL (35 and over X2) and NSA (class C, Coed B and 35 and over) sanctions. He also played Division 1 baseball and spent time in the Frontier league of professional baseball. Rich and his wife and two boys live in North Olmsted.
Nancy creates opportunities for Jewish enrichment throughout the Mandel JCC. Nancy works closely with all departments at the Mandel JCC to help enhance our Jewish environment and programs and brings new Jewish education, social and cultural programming to The J.
A native Clevelander, Nancy holds a bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies from the University of Cincinnati, a Master’s degree in Jewish Studies from the Cleveland College of Jewish Studies (Siegal College) and has studied Hebrew language at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Nancy lives in Orange Village with her husband Rob and their three wonderful boys, Micah, Noah and Avi.