Jonathan Pivnick returned to Camp B'nai Brith of Ottawa as Director in 2008, continuing a camp career that has spanned the period from the late 60s to the 21st century at CBB of Ottawa. Piv's background and experience are helping CBB of Ottawa continue to move forward, building upon the camp's strengths and traditions.
Jonathan has worked with children, adolescents and the community his entire adult life. He has taught, mentored and been an administrator in education, sports and camping.
With a degree in mathematics and education, both from Queen's University, and qualifications in special education and guidance, Piv enjoyed a most rewarding career in the teaching profession. He spent 31 years serving the Ottawa community as a teacher at Sir Robert Borden High School and a longtime coach on the local hockey and lacrosse scene before retiring in 2008. During that time, he coached many high school sports including hockey, wrestling, baseball, and lacrosse. Piv was a math teacher for 27 years and spent his final four years in the guidance department where he assisted students with the many issues that they deal with in their daily lives.
Jonathan enjoys working with children and believes that going to camp provides an excellent opportunity for campers and staff alike to partake in new experiences and meet new people in a Jewish environment. Piv has seen first hand how the camp experience helps to develop an individual's confidence and independence, lifelong friendships, and a strong commitment to the Jewish Community.
The Pivnicks are all alumni of CBB of Ottawa. Jonathan met his wife, Heidi (Portigal), at camp while she worked on the horseback riding program. Heidi continues to pursue her passion in art as a rug artist, teacher and mentor. Their children, Lindsey, David and Rebecca were first at CBB of Ottawa as the children of the director ages 7, 5 and 3 back in 1988. Both David and Rebecca have held Head Staff positions in recent years.
Cindy Presser Benedek
Cindy's dream has always been to return to the place where her passion for working with children was seeded – CBB of Ottawa! Cindy attended CBB of Ottawa from 1982-1994.
Cindy has built a career working with children at all levels of Jewish education. Cindy graduated from York University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and certification in Early Childhood Education. She launched her teaching career at The Children’s Place in Ottawa, a not-for-profit childcare organization, serving children from infants through school age and as a kindergarten classroom teacher, before quickly moving into the role of Program Supervisor. She also administrated the Summer Program for children ages 5-12, planning the curriculum, training and supervising staff.
When Cindy’s husband, Joey, was recruited to Microsoft in Seattle, Washington, she served as the Assistant Head of School at The Jewish Day School of Metropolitan Seattle, managing the Preschool and Admissions. Cindy thrived in this role, where she was responsible for the children’s academic, social and emotional development as well as the school’s operations. When Cindy and her family moved back to Canada 7 years ago, Cindy accepted the role of Director of Communications at The Leo Baeck Day School in Toronto where she has been responsible for all marketing, advertising and community communications.
For the past 5 years, Cindy has worked full-time for Camp B'nai Brith of Ottawa! Cindy truly adores working with children and believes camp provides an unparalleled opportunity for campers and staff to participate in a wide variety of activities in an environment that reinforces Jewish values, identity and community, while developing friendships that will last a lifetime.
Drew is thrilled to be returning to Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa this summer to take up the role of Assistant Director. From A Boy to Head of the Beach, Drew spent almost 15 years immersed in camp living, where he honed the counselling and leadership skills that have so greatly enriched all aspects of his personal and professional life to this day.
After graduating from Concordia University, Montreal, with a B.A in Philosophy, he received his Master's Degree in Education from SUNY Potsdam. There, Drew discovered his true passion in education, and has been teaching Math, Science and English for the past 11 years in various Jewish day schools in Toronto and Montreal.
In Toronto, Drew worked at both the Heschel and Paul Penna schools. He is currently living in Montreal, where he will begin his seventh year at the Akiva School this fall. In simultaneously promoting a strong arts-based curriculum paired with the ethical, social and historical facets that are the pillars of Jewish learning, Drew believes that children thrive when allowed the freedom to express themselves as individuals... a philosophy he is eager to continue bringing to CBB.
While Drew takes great pride in fostering a creative learning environment for his students, he also knows that the some of the best educational and experiential learning happens outside the classroom. Camp is the ideal setting to celebrate our children’s Jewish identity, and these lifelong experiences are what will, one day, make them responsible, proud and successful members of our community. Participating in camp life offers kids tremendous opportunities for personal growth, deep-rooted friendships, leadership-development skills, and the chance to discover who they are.
Drew and his wife Sarah Rosenhek – whom he met at CBB! – have a seven-year old son, Nate, and a three-year old daughter, Rose, who will be up at camp this summer too. Drew is excited to work with the CBB leadership team and to show campers the summer of a lifetime!
Abi was born and raised in Ottawa and she has been attending Camp B’nai Brith of Ottawa since 2003. Abi worked on the beach for four summers (three summers as Sail staff and one summer as Head of Sail) and has worked as part of the administration team for the past three summers (Head of Operations, Assistant Program Director, Program Director), and this will be Abi’s second summer as Program Director. Over the past several summers, Abi has been involved in the creation of many camp programs and she is extremely excited to build upon these experiences this summer. Through 14 summers at CBB, Abi has both seen and experienced firsthand the excitement that comes from the countless number of camp programs and traditions that CBB has to offer. She also realizes that every camp program has a meaningful impact on the campers and staff and provides them with memories that will last a lifetime. With this in mind, Abi takes great pride in ensuring that all campers receive the ultimate level of joy and satisfaction from every program they participate in. Heading into Summer 2017, Abi understands the need to maintain the spirit and essence of the camp's traditions, but she is also focused on working with the staff and supervisors to add new and creative elements to all of the daily programs and special events.
Abi graduated from McGill University in June 2015 after studying Industrial Relations, and is currently working full-time for Camp B'nai Brith of Ottawa!