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Rachael Speck cmyk

Rachael Speck

Director of J&R Day Camp, Division Director, JCC Children and Family, Day Camping and Teen Engagement

Rachael has over 15 years of experience in Jewish community engagement, youth programming and development and camping.  She grew up in JCC camps both as a camper at the Harrisburg JCC Day Camp and as a camper, seasonal staff member and most recently the Associate Director at Emma Kaufmann Camp, the Pittsburgh JCC’s overnight camp.  In between, she worked as an educator in the JCC’s Early Childhood Development Center, spent time as a program-coordinator for the Clubhouse after-school program and led fundraising, leadership development and outreach and engagement efforts for the Young Adult Division at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.  Rachael holds degrees from Indiana University in both journalism and sociology and is a graduate of the Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Yitro Professional Leadership program.  In her role at the JCC, Rachael oversees all JCC Day Camps, children and family programming and is the director of J&R Day Camp in Monroeville.  Rachael lives in Greenfield with her husband Alex and two sons, Dylan and Parker.

Rachael Speck, 412-697-3537 Summer: 412-829-7707


Kari Vissichelli

Assistant Director, Children, Youth and Family Division and Day Camping

Kari has an extensive background spanning over 15 years in both the educational and camping sectors.  She began her career with Pittsburgh Public Schools in 2009 and taught 8th grade Math for ten years at Pittsburgh Colfax.  Summers were synonymous with J&R, where Kari evolved from a camper to a counselor and unit head.  Her most recent time at camp was as the Director of Programming where she oversaw all of our specialty areas and activity instructors.  Kari would eventually end her time at camp, but only to transition to leadership roles within Pittsburgh Public Schools.  She excelled as the Assistant Principal at Pittsburgh Morrow for four years before assuming the position of Principal at the Environmental Charter High School.  In these capacities, she spearheaded staff hiring, elevated student achievement, coached teachers for professional growth, championed robust parent and community involvement and created a positive school climate as a transformational leader. After a hiatus to start her family and be home with her two young children, Kari returned to the JCC as a Membership Sales Specialist.  Reconnecting with the organization, she discovered her passion and wealth of experience as an educator and principal could greatly benefit our JCC community and from there she joined the camping team in February 2024.  Kari resides in the city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Chris, who serves as a city police officer, and their two children, Carter and Dani.

Kari Vissichelli, 412-697-3537 Summer: 412-829-7707


Brandi Tedesco

J&R Day Camp Program Director, JCC Sports & Rec Director

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Brandi has over 15 years of education and youth programming experience working with multiple schools and organizations around the Pittsburgh area.  In addition to the Program Director at J&R, Brandi manages our Sport & Recreation department at the JCC, overseeing all of our basketball leagues and youth and adult sports.  Brandi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Slippery Rock University and a Master’s in Health and Physical Activity from the University of Pittsburgh.  Brandi lives in Shaler with her husband, Vince and daughter Madelyn.

Brandi Tedesco , 412-697-3532


Kathy Wayne

 Director, Performing Arts Camp

Kathy’s skill, creativity and care have inspired kids in dance and musical theater at the JCC, where she is a long-time director of the year-round JCC School of Dance program, Performing Arts Camp and the annual Middle School Musical.  A graduate of Point Park College with a B.A. in dance, her professional credits include Tokyo Disneyland, Caesar’s Atlantic City and many productions with the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

Kathy Wayne, 412-339-5414

J&R Jordan Keitel IMG-0066 - use this

Jordan Keitel

Business Manager of JCC Day Camps and Children, Youth and Family Division

Jordan is incredibly excited to be joining the Children, Youth and Family team as the Business Manager. He grew up right down the street in Squirrel Hill and has been a part of the JCC and Pittsburgh Jewish community for as long as he can remember. As both a J&R Day Camp and Clubhouse participant in his youth, Jordan is looking forward to giving back to the programs that provided such fond memories for him. In addition to J&R Day Camp, Jordan spent 9 summers as camper and staff member at Goldman Union Camp Institute in Zionsville, IN. Jordan is a graduate of the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. After college, he worked as an audit associate at both large and mid-size firms in Washington, D.C. and New York City. His combination of professional experience in the business/finance sector, as well as the camp setting, will provide a well-rounded support structure for the Children, Youth and Family division. Jordan now lives in Greenfield with his significant other, Kelly, and their three cats: Michelle, Salem and Benjamin (Jordan is willing and able to provide photographic evidence of their cuteness/cuddliness upon request).


Emma Litwak

South Hills Day Camps Director and Director of Children and Family Services

Emma will lead the South Hills JCC in providing high-quality, impactful programming for the youngest members of our South Hills community and their families.

Deeply connected to the JCC movement and her local Jewish community, Emma has spent the majority of her life to this point participating in or professionally supporting a wide variety of JCC programs, including having attended J&R Day Camp in Monroeville and J Day Camps of the Mandel JCC in Cleveland, Ohio. Over the past three years, Emma has worked as a Group Supervisor in our Clubhouse afterschool program, a Program Coordinator in our Children, Youth and Family Division where she planned Kids Nite Out, JDays and birthday parties, and as the Assistant Director of the Mandel JCC’s Performing Arts Camp. Emma is currently working as a School Day Engagement Coordinator to support the virtual learning of kindergarten and first grade students in our Squirrel Hill All Day at the J program. Emma is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her degree in psychology and holds certificates in nonprofit-management and Jewish studies.

April Artz

April Artz

JCC Inclusion Consultant

Aprilynn (April) Artz, LPC is the JCC’s inclusion consultant. April has a private counseling and consultation practice; Connection Counseling & Consultation Inc. and provides behavioral consultation services, Positive Behavior Support modeling and training to JCC’s early childhood program, after school program, and J&R and South Hills Day Camp. April is a licensed professional counselor (LPC) who earned her Master’s degree in Professional Counseling from Carlow University.

April has been working with children and their families since 2001 in varying capacities. Her first experience in the helping profession began at Pressley Ridge in what was then called BHRS or wraparound. April worked for over 6 years as a Therapeutic Staff Support, Behavior Specialist Consultant and Mobile Therapist, and through that work, learned a tremendous amount about how to support children in their homes, schools, and communities.  Working at Pressley Ridge helped April recognize she wanted to continue to help those who are neurodiverse, and so she then entered the Master’s of Counseling program at Carlow University. She has many years of experience related to designing curriculum for, and running, play-based and therapeutic social skills groups for children on the autism spectrum at both Pressley Ridge and The Watson Institute.

She also worked for several years at WPIC’s Merck Outpatient clinic where she conducted outpatient therapy, started social skills groups, and learned how to diagnose autism via the ADOS. For the past 10 years she was the Director Quest Camp. Quest Camp served youth ages 6-18 with invisible disabilities like ADHD, Autism, OCD, etc.

April is excited to be at camp this summer, to spread Positive Behavior Support approaches far and wide, and to continue to advocate for the neurodiverse population.


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