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 8 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.
Jill was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, spending her summers at camp in Algonquin Park. This is where her passion for summer camp exploded and helped shape her to be the woman she is today. After graduating from McGill University with a Bachelor of Education, Jill enjoyed being a director of a teen tour for Westcoast Connections and then went travelling in Australia. After meeting her husband in New Zealand, she spent the next 5 years living there, working as a facilitator at an outdoor education centre for school groups as well as corporate team building manager. Upon returning home, she continued her love of working with teens as Director of BBYO (Montreal), only to move to Ottawa with her family in 2010, where she joined the awesome team at Ganon Preschool as an early childcare teacher. Jill spent 8 years helping the family business, Green Rebel, in the office as Catering Manager, however there was nothing more exciting for her than getting back to her true passion of summer camp.
Assistant Director of Operations & Alumni Development
Marnie is thrilled to be a part of the CBB of Ottawa family. CBB of Ottawa was her home for 13 summers from when she was an A-Girl in 2002 to Supervisor of the Waterski and Wakeboard Program in 2014. In 2015, Marnie transitioned into a new role with Westcoast Connections; she lead and directed 3 trips in North America and Europe for a group of 50+ teenagers. Following her graduation from Brock University, Marnie packed her bags and traveled to over 30 countries, an experience she’ll never forget, and one that led to her starting a new venture in 2017; she founded a Group Travel Service for Remote Workers.
Marnie is extremely excited to continue her CBB career as the Assistant Director of Operations & Alumni Development. Over the past few years, Marnie has reconnected with camp alumni and has found innovative ways to engage them through social media and in-person reunions and events. She continues to look for new and unique ways to improve relationships with alumni and plans to implement fun and engaging events. Her goal is to bring alumni back to their roots and help remind them of their amazing and life-changing summers at CBB of Ottawa. She is excited to facilitate the reunion of old friends, and to provide the space for them to reminisce and relive those faded, yet unforgettable memories.
Assistant Director of Junior Camper Care
Lianna is from Ottawa, Ontario and is a Grade 2 teacher at the Ottawa Jewish Community School. Lianna is extremely involved in the Ottawa Jewish community; she worked at her Synagogue, Machzikei Hadas, as the Youth Programming Coordinator for 2 years and she is now on the JFO Emerging Generation steering committee. Lianna has been attending CBB of Ottawa since 2002 as an A-girl, making this her 19th summer at camp. After many summers running the Dance program while twinning on A-Boys, one summer as Head of B-girls, one summer as Head of Senior girls, one summer as Head of CITs and Staff Development, and two summers as a Camper Care Supervisor, Lianna is extremely excited to be back at CBB as the Assistant Director overseeing Camper Care. With her extensive camp experience and her knowledge from working with children in an educational setting, Lianna is eager to jump into this role and ensure that our campers’ health and wellbeing is properly taken care of. Lianna is looking forward to working with all of the staff and campers at CBB to make 2021 the best summer yet! Lianna is counting down the days, hours, and minutes until she can share her enthusiasm, excitement, and extremely loud voice with everyone at CBB!
Assistant Director of Senior Camper Care
Justin first arrived at CBB of Ottawa at the age of 7, as a first year Junior Boy. He returned every summer for the next 14 years as a camper and staff. Some of Justin’s fondest memories include leading many canoe trips to various parts of the region as Supervisor of the tripping program.
Justin is thrilled to be able to share this continued journey at camp with his family. His amazing and talented wife Jessica, their two children, and Clover! Throughout the year Justin is a Principal with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board, prior to which he was Vice-Principal and teacher. Justin believes that CBB of Ottawa is a place where all campers have the opportunity to take amazing risks, grow, and to create true friendships that last a lifetime.
Mike Levinsky is thrilled to be joining the CBB of Ottawa family. He brings a wealth of both camp and educational experience, having spent over forty consecutive summers at camp – as a camper, staff member, and camp administrator. Let’s just say he is a true camp guy! He has worked at different overnight and day camps over the past 30 years, most notably as Program Director for several years at both Camp White Pine and Camp Manitou. He has presented a variety of workshops at both the Ontario Camps Association & American Camping conferences as well as run staff training sessions at various camps. Mike has been an educator for the past 25 years, and is a graduate from the University of Arizona where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Drama Production. He later spent many years acting in Los Angeles in television and commercials before eventually moving back to Toronto where he received his post-graduate degree in Education. Mike is the proud parent of three children and is brimming with excitement for what is sure to be an epic summer at CBB of Ottawa.
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.
Jon remains involved with CBB, including capital renewal projects, disposal and acquisition of major equipment, alumni engagement and special projects.