Shwayder Camp staff hail from around the world. With diverse backgrounds and years of camp experience, our staff will ensure that campers are safe, happy and having the best summer ever. Our Directors are dedicated to creating a feeling of community at Shwayder. They build campers’ confidence and maintain a balanced lifestyle throughout the summer where campers can flourish and develop long-lasting relationships. Temple Emanuel clergy also play a large role at Shwayder Camp by teaching Jewish values through activities and celebrations.

Jodie Abrams Schafer, Camp Director

This summer will be Jodie’s eighth year as the Director of Shwayder Camp. Jodie grew up in St. Louis where she developed a passion for Jewish youth education through her involvement in youth group and synagogue life. While pursuing a degree in Business Administration at Kent State University, Jodie began her tenure at Shwayder Camp as a counselor, kitchen manager, unit head and eventually assistant director.

As director, Jodie has brought a passion for Jewish education and identity as she works to develop confidences and value-driven campers and staff. Jodie is currently pursuing her masters degree in organizational leadership with a focus in strategic leadership at the University of Colorado Boulder. Jodie is personally passionate about blending Reform Judaism values that are ingrained in everyday life at camp back into daily life outside of Shwayder and creating a community that is based on respect and pride.

Zahava Davis, Assistant Director

After spending many summers as a camper and staff member at Shwayder Camp, Zahava is ecstatic to be a part of the community full-time as the Assistant Director for her fourth summer. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, and endorsements in Special Education and English Language Learning. She continues her professional development through programs such as the Yitro Cohort through the Foundation for Jewish Camp to bring the latest and greatest Jewish camping concepts to Shwayder. With a passion in experiential learning for children and a love for our Jewish community, Zahava helps give our campers a life-long connection to their Jewish roots.


The exceptional individuals who make up our staff are exemplary role models for your children. They are caring, mature, experienced and certified in both First Aid and CPR. Our ten-day staff training program serves to enhance their existing skill set and expose them to the most cutting-edge research and theory in the ever changing world of Jewish summer camping. The vast majority of our staff grew up at Shwayder Camp themselves, extending the Shwayder experience L’dor V’dor (from generation to generation). Others join us from our homeland, bringing the soul, culture and energy of Israel to our front door. Each of our staff remembers with great reverence the vibrancy of youth and is dedicated to leading a positive Jewish life. With a nearly two-to-one camper-to-staff ratio, campers have the opportunity to form close relationships with those who guarantee their safety and well-being.