School-Age Services and Day Camps Director (Camp Achva & Shavuon)
Rich, originally hailing from New Jersey, comes to us after spending two and a half years as the Youth Director at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC. At Adas, Rich developed and implemented programs and curricula for young adults and youth from grades K-12, including staffing an annual 2 week teen Israel trip, supervising a teen leadership program, and advising the synagogue's USY chapter. Rich holds a Master's Degree in Jewish Communal Service from the Baltimore Hebrew Institute of Towson University. Prior to receiving his degree, Rich worked for two years at JCC MetroWest in NJ as the Children, Youth & Family Services Coordinator, where he was the Assistant Director of the Center's after-school program. Rich developed his passion for Judaism during his seven consecutive years working in various capacities at JCC Metrowest, and is continually inspired with how informal Jewish experiences can transform children and their Jewish identities. After serving for one-year as the Associate Director of School-Age Services and Day Camps, Rich is excited to lead the way for children, staff, and families to continue to build community while developing a strong sense of identity based on Jewish values!
Special Needs Director (Kadima)
Jessica was born and raised in Virginia Beach, attending the University of Virginia for her undergraduate studies. Majoring in Economics and working in sales for a couple of years left her feeling unfulfilled. Being an active person, loving & playing sports her whole life in addition to having a personal passion for those struggling with life challenges, she found Recreation Therapy to be her calling. Graduating with her Masters of Education in Therapeutic Recreation from Temple University, Jessica is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. While living in Philly during her graduate studies, she worked for an inclusive & progressive preschool which helped shape her perspective on the importance of peer modeling, acceptance, and inclusive practices. After graduating and interning at a summer camp for children with disabilities and chronic medical illnesses, she knew that she wanted to continue to grow her career in community work. After her internship, Jessica began work for Easter Seals, a nonprofit focused on providing a variety of services for children and adults with disabilities, as the Director of an inclusive Summer Camp for children and adults with and without disabilities. During the year, she worked as their Recreation Supervisor with adults of all abilities as well as in a self-contained preschool classroom for children with Autism.
Currently serving as the J’s Special Needs Director since 2011, Jessica supervises the department’s incredible administrative staff as well as the many wonderful program staff running social and recreational programs. Jessica and her team are dedicated to the special needs community and their families, always looking to build new programming and make meaningful partnerships with other like-minded organizations to meet the needs of our community. Jessica’s favorite part of the year and what she looks forward to every summer is all the fun and learning that happens in camp!
j.dance Director (j.dance Camps)
Barri DeFrancisci holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from Muhlenberg College, where she performed leading roles in classical and contemporary ballets. Barri serves as the j.dance Director at the JCC of Northern Virginia. In that role, Barri is committed to building a dance program that instills, develops, and nurtures a respect and passion for the art of dance in each of her students. Prior to joining the J, Barri was Director of Dance at Coppermine Fieldhouse in Baltimore, MD. She has performed professionally with Dissonance Dance Theatre, the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Deep Vision Dance Company, Muse 360 Arts, the Baltimore Ballet, and the Harford Ballet. Barri received her early training under merit scholarships at North Carolina School of the Arts, the Kirov Academy of Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the Baltimore Ballet. She is a member of the National Dance Education Organization, the Virginia Dance Coalition, and is a certified Zumba and Barre fitness instructor.
Fairfax: Infant-5 yrs
Infant Toddler, Preschool, Enrichment
Alexandria: 16 months-4 yrs
Infant Toddler, Preschool, Enrichment
Before- & After-School Care (BASE), Enrichment, Camp
Children-Adult Dance Classes