About OUR Staff

Douglas Lynn is the Director of Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps—Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp in Malibu, California. Doug came to Jewish camping naturally, having “grown up” in the Reform movement’s youth groups and regional movements. He is a graduate of Duke University and an alum of Brandeis University’s Institute for Informal Jewish Education and The Foundation for Jewish Camp’s ELI (Executive Leadership Institute) program. Doug is honored to have worked in the field of informal Jewish education since 1995, first as a regional advisor for the North American Federation of Temple Youth, then for nine years with the Union for Reform Judaism’s Eisner Camp, prior to becoming the director at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps in 2004. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jamie, and their daughters, Eden and Talia. Email Doug at doug@wbtcamps.org.

John Bard has been Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps' Executive Chef and On-site Manager since 1994. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1984, and is a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation. John prides himself on producing quality food and service for all guests. He truly loves his summers at camp, watching the campers grow up year after year. John’s two daughters, Miranda and Nicole, both attended Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp. John enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and spending time with his wife, Nina, and his daughters. Email John at john@wbtcamps.org.

Seth Toybes, Associate Director, was born and raised in St. Louis. Seth's passion for Judaism and informal education was ignited during high school, where he participated heavily in NFTY's Missouri Valley region, both locally and regionally. Seth graduated with honors from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, with a bachelor's in history. Upon graduating college, Seth moved to Colorado to be a Youth Director, serving the region in which he grew up. Throughout college and into his years in Colorado, Seth fell in love with Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps, working with us each summer as a counselor, and eventually a senior staff member. After working as a Jewish professional in Colorado, Seth could no longer ignore his passion, and joined our Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps team full time. As our newest Associate Director, Seth now lives in Los Angeles where he enjoys preparing, programming, planning and working to build our wonderful summer camping experiences. Email Seth at seth@wbtcamps.org.

Erica Feinman, Assistant Director, grew up very involved in the southern California Jewish community—from synagogue to BBYO to 14 summers right here at Gindling Hilltop Camp. During her time at Hilltop she was a camper, a counselor for almost every age group, CIT Director, and Head Counselor. At Cal State Northridge she studied sociology and Jewish studies and then joined the San Diego Hillel team to start her professional career in informal Jewish education. She spent three years working with the Jewish community at San Diego State before heading to New York to earn a master’s degree in organizational behavior from NYU. After grad school she spent a year as an assistant director at Camp Alonim in Simi Valley. Erica is very excited to be back home at WBT Camps and can't wait to sing and Israeli-dance her heart out at each and every Shabbat this summer. Email Erica at erica@wbtcamps.org.

Ari Kaplan, Assistant Director, was born in Los Angeles and grew up as a camper at Camp Hess Kramer. His love of the Jewish summer camp experience—the interpersonal connections it fosters, the personal growth it inspires, and the supportive community it creates—kept him returning summer after summer to our camps. Ari has moved throughout the ranks from camper to CIT to staff to Head Songleader. As Ari worked at both Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp, he realized his passion was programming for youth through a Jewish lens. Since obtaining his B.S. in music from Indiana University, Ari has been utilizing his passion and skills to run religious, music, and athletic programs at Temple Israel of Hollywood. He has worked in their Day School, Religious School, and Teen Program. Ari’s passion for developing all types of programs for Jewish youth inspires him to create a safe camp environment in which children are empowered to be themselves, embrace the individuals within their community, find a personal connection to Judaism, and have the best time of their lives! When he isn’t working, Ari can be found cooking or playing basketball. Email Ari at ari@wbtcamps.org.

Rabbi David Eshel is Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps Rabbi. Rabbi Eshel first joined our camp community in the summer of 2001 when, returning from his first year of rabbinical school in Israel, he served our camps as a unit head. Rabbi Eshel has spent every subsequent summer working with our camps, serving as a Judaic educator and student rabbi. He joined the Temple clergy as a full-time Rabbi in the summer of 2006. David holds a B.A. in History from UCLA, an M.A. in Jewish Education as well as ordination from The Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. David’s wife, Stephanie, works as a Religious School educator for Temple Israel of Hollywood. Email David at rabbidavid@wbtla.org.

Cheri Lauterbach is the Alumni and Development Director for Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps. She has more than 20 years' experience in alumni programming and fundraising, at both independent schools and as the Director of Development at the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Cheri and her husband, Bob, have three children living in Chicago, the Bay Area, and New York.

A Camp Hess Kramer alum, she is a passionate advocate for residential Jewish camps. Since beginning her tenure with our camps, Cheri has created many new opportunities for alums and camp families to return to camp, experience Shabbat, reconnect with old friends, and support the ongoing programs, growth and expansion of Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp. She encourages your involvement, ideas and suggestions and most importantly, the opportunity to welcome you back to camp, to experience again the ruach that is Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camps. Email Cheri at cheri@wbtcamps.org.

Janine Regal, Registrar, is a native of the Chicago suburbs and a graduate of Columbia College. She moved to Los Angeles in 1998 with husband Ian Liebman and their son Daniel (then two months old). Their son, Aaron, who attends Brawerman East Elementary School, is the only native Californian in their clan. They live in Woodland Hills with their three cats, Mimi, Wyatt, and Foster. Both Janine and Ian are musicians, and Janine currently plays in a classics-to-current rock band called The Promises.

It was Janine’s own experiences as a camper and as the mother of a camper that drew her to her role as Registrar. She enjoys bringing the joy of camp to other kids, and sharing the experience of being a camp parent with all of the camp families. Feel free to email Janine at janine@wbtcamps.org.