Alan Friedman, Executive Director
Alan Friedman has been involved in camping since he was 12 years old. His summer camping career began at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, a private boys’ sports camp in the Berkshire Mountains located in Lenox Massachusetts.Over the next eighteen years, Alan continued to spend his summers at Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, as a camper, CIT, group leader and program director. In 1993, he became its first full-time Assistant Director and in 1999 was promoted to Director. In these leadership positions Alan was responsible for overseeing the entire camp operation. Alan continually hired the best high school and college coaches to ensure the finest sports instruction and program was available.
In 2006 Alan took his passion for informal Jewish education and summer camping and became the Executive Director of Camp Mountain Chai a relatively new Jewish residential summer camp and year-round retreat center located in Southern California. Alan arrived after the first summer with camp having only 125 campers and went on to grow camp to a total of 550 campers.
From 2013-2015 Alan was the Director of 6 Points Sports Academy North Carolina, where he helped to pioneer the specialty camp model within the Union for Reform Judaism’s camp offerings. As a result of the immense success of the North Carolina location, the decision was made to open our California location with Alan serving as the Executive Director of all 6 Points Sports camps and the founding Director of 6 Points Sports California.
Alan knows from firsthand experience that Jewish camping plays a vital role in the formation of a strong Jewish identity. At Camp Mountain Chai Alan created a place where campers and staff are immersed in a life of Jewish values, creating lasting bonds and friendships, and learning valuable lessons that help them grow and develop as proud Jews. This inclusive community ensured that everyone was supported and cared for.
While growing up Alan was very involved in his local synagogue youth group and was an active participant in NFTY throughout high school. After graduating college he spent ten years working as Senior Youth Group advisor to four different Reform congregations in the northeast.
Alan attended Ithaca College where he earned a degree in Communications and Business Management.
In addition to camping, he has had a prosperous advertising career, selling television time in the New York City, Boston and Harrisburg markets.
Rachel Slaton, Associate Director
Born and raised in Austin, TX, Rachel grew up rushing back and forth between activities at Congregation Beth Israel and practices for gymnastics, volleyball, basketball and softball. Although she made an exception for NFTY in Israel, her competitive schedule kept her busy during the summers. This gave rise to her current passion for providing serious Jewish athletes the opportunity to train at a high level while also experiencing the magic of Jewish summer camp.
After four years as the starting setter at Dripping Springs High School, Rachel played libero and defensive specialist at Southwestern University, leading her team to the SCAC Conference Championship in 2005. Her love for volleyball led her into a lifetime of coaching. Since 2003, Rachel has coached club volleyball for girls aged 11-15 and currently is in her 5th season coaching for Los Angeles Volleyball Academy as the Head Coach for the top 12-Adidas team. She also served as the Assistant Volleyball Coach for Southwestern before moving to Los Angles for graduate school.
Rachel caught the camp bug in 2003 as a madricha (counselor) at URJ Camp Swig where she experienced her first-ever summer at camp. She spent the following three summers at Camp Newman as a Rosh (Unit Head) and then as the Avodah Director. After college, Rachel worked at Camp Young Judaea-TX as the Head of Specialists and Area Supervisor for year-round programming where she helped pilot a specialty soccer camp.
Since 2011, Rachel has worked in the Los Angeles Jewish community as the Associate Director for Day School Education at Builders of Jewish Education (BJE) and as the Assistant Director of Development at American Jewish Committee (AJC). She is stoked to be back in the camping world making Jewish sports camp a reality in Southern California!
Rachel received her Bachelors in International Studies and a double-Masters in Jewish Nonprofit Management and Public Administration from HUC’s Zelikow School and the University of Southern California, respectively. Rachel is a die-hard Texas Longhorn fan and on the weekends you can find her on the disc golf course with her husband Rich (who she met at URJ Camp Swig) and their dog Boone.