Personnel changes at the JCC
JCCHiring Update

Personnel changes at the JCC

Familiar faces take on new roles at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh.

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. 

Photo by Adam Reinherz
The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh. Photo by Adam Reinherz

The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh announced a host of personnel changes in camp leadership. Rachael Speck, Emma Kaufmann Camp’s associate director of camping and innovation, was named JCC’s division director for children/youth/family and day camps, effective Aug. 19. Speck succeeds Lewis Sohinki, whose resignation from the position is effective at the end of the day camp season.

Sohinki’s nearly five years as a division director for the JCC of Greater Pittsburgh, were marked by “the foundational work in implementing the Clubhouse Gets Healthy initiative to support physical activity and related behaviors to support child well-being within the after school program,” said JCC’s president and CEO Brian Schreiber in a statement, noting as well Sohinki’s assistance at leading J&R Day Camp’s re-accreditation with the American Camp Association.

“The JCC thanks Sohinki for his service and offers our best wishes for the next phase of his professional journey,” Schreiber said.

Sohinki will continue to serve the JCC as a consultant on special projects through the remainder of 2019.

When Speck begins her new post, she will find herself in a familiar environment, as her connection to the JCC spans decades. Speck attended EKC as a camper and seasonal staff member, and served as an educator in the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center and as a program coordinator in the Children and Family Division.

During her 10 years of professional service to the JCC, Speck created and implemented numerous program initiatives and led strategic efforts in camper recruitment, camper care, communications/marketing and staff training programs.

Rachael Speck. Photo courtesy of Rachael Speck

“I am honored to be able to nurture children, young adults and families in this community through amazing experiences,” she said in a statement. “I am passionate about creating connections between families and providing children and young adults with connections, values, growth and fun through meaningful experiences that prepare them for life’s journeys.”

Speck will lead both the Squirrel Hill and South Hills JCC branches in programmatic areas.

Other changes were also announced at the JCC. Cathy Green Samuels, senior director of development and communications, was named chief development and communications officer. The title change reflects Samuels’ additional work with the Center for Loving Kindness and her efforts at focusing on the CFLK strategic plan’s efforts to build sustainable audience, leadership and grow a consistent public presence. Rabbi Ron Symons, senior director of Jewish life, will continue to focus primarily on the CFLK, its activities and oversee key areas of the strategic plan.

Melissa Hiller, director of the American Jewish Museum, was named assistant director of the CFLK and will focus on grant management and the integration of artistic expression within the CFLK.

Fara Marcus, director of annual giving, was named division director of development and strategic marketing, and will provide strategic marketing for the agency and the CFLK, and aid the development team’s annual fund and legacy efforts. PJC

Adam Reinherz can be reached at

read more: