Spark Speakers
Current Participants

Meet our Featured Speakers!

This year we are highlighting more experiential speakers at #JCampConf. Read on to find out who will be leading engaging all-hands presentations in the ballroom in 2016.

Cara Greene Epstein


Cara Greene Epstein began working as a creative thinker and ideation professional when she was 19. Over the past two decades, Cara has helped countless corporations and non-profits use the creative process to grow their organizations, develop stronger branding platforms, create innovative marketing strategies and tactics, and position new and existing products.

In addition to her corporate creativity work, Cara is also a professional actor, director, writer, producer and teaching artist. She holds an MFA in Acting from The Old Globe/University of San Diego, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, AFTRA, and the Actor's Equity Association. Her award-winning first feature film "Dragonfly" was released on the film festival circuit in Spring 2016. As a teaching artist, Cara uses the arts to help high school, college, and adult students unlock their creative and artistic potential.

Cara has been a proud Herzl Camper since 1989.


Peter Himmelman


By all accounts, Peter Himmelman has had an unusual career. He's a Grammy and Emmy nominated singer-songwriter, visual artist, author, film composer, entrepreneur, and rock and roll musician.
Time Magazine has said of him: "Himmelman writes songs with the same urgency that compelled the Lost Generation to write novels."

In yet another twist, Peter is also one of the few rock stars to have ever earned an advanced management certificate at The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Within the last few years, Himmelman has taken his special skills at unlocking innate creativity, to academic institutions such as The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania, The UCLA School of Medicine, to corporate behemoths like McDonald's and Gap Inc.

His book, Let Me Out (Unlock your creative mind and bring your ideas to life) is due out October 2016 on Penguin/Perigee

"Fear is one of life's biggest roadblocks, which is why Peter Himmelman's book is so important. Let Me Out gets to the heart of how we can keep fear from limiting our potential by tapping into our inner resilience, creativity, and strength. There's deep wisdom here along with very practical tools for translating our ideas into the real world."
- Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post


Rabbi Marc Baker

Rabbi Marc Baker has served as the Head of Gann Academy in Waltham, MA since June 2007. A native of Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Rabbi Baker attended Phillips Academy Andover during the school year, and Camp Bauercrest in Amesbury, MA for more than ten summers, serving as camper, counselor, and group leader. 

Rabbi Baker received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University. He then spent four years at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies In Jerusalem as the recipient of a Dorot Fellowship, a Fellow and as a pioneer of the Pardes Educators Program. He received his M.A. in Jewish Education from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbi Danny Landes, Director and Rosh Yeshiva of Pardes. 

In 2011 Rabbi Baker was one of five Jewish educators from across the country to receive The Pomegranate Prize from The Covenant Foundation which honors and nurtures exceptional, emerging professionals. Rabbi Baker lives in Brookline, Massachusetts with his wife, Jill, and their four children, Elisha, Meital, Maor and Alanna, all future campers.


Steven Meyers


Whether you are a gift officer, estate or financial advisor or a philanthropist, Steve's book, "Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix" can help restore creativity, effectiveness - even joy - to your practice.

With Personalized Philanthropy, donors can create a lasting legacy - where impact and recognition begin right now. And so can you. Steve is frequently asked to do presentations and work with donors, their advisors and gift officers one-on-one.

Steven L. Meyers, Ph.D., is Vice President of the Center for Personalized Philanthropy at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. His quest for innovative donor-focused gift designs led to a question - Why isn't all philanthropy personalized philanthropy? - and a series of "killer apps" that are changing the way advisors and donors think about and do philanthropy.

With this new technology of personalized gift design, from now on, donors can go beyond merely "servicing" institutional campaigns. Instead, they can mesh their compelling interests and needs with the organizations they care most about - for the benefit of all.

Steve joined the American Committee of the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1995 and now serves as Vice President of its Center of Personalized Philanthropy, as well as a member of its management team and total financial resource development strategy group. He holds a Masters Degree in Organization and Management from Antioch University and a Ph.D. from the University of Buffalo.

Personalized Philanthropy has been prominently featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Steve has published in The Journal of Gift Planning as well as Advancing Philanthropy. He speaks frequently on donor-focused topics and planned giving in the big picture for national and regional councils and at gift and financial conferences, including the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning (PPP), Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), and the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA). He is a contributing author for the Planned Giving Design Center, as well as for the Elite Advisor Forum of CEG Worldwide. He's served on philanthropy councils in New York and Connecticut, as well as task forces dedicated to recommending guidelines and metrics for counting and reporting charitable gifts.

Steve strongly believes in building a pioneering culture of teamwork and collaboration and most enjoys helping donors realize ways they can help make miracles happen at the Weizmann Institute of Science and other organizations close to their hearts. He is the author of the book, Personalized Philanthropy: Crash the Fundraising Matrix, and its companion for donors, Personalized Philanthropy and the Four Donors: Parables for Radically Rethinking Your Philanthropy: A New Conversation for donors, gift officers, and advisors.

Steve's book is available via the publisher, Charity Channel Press or at

Visit Steve's blog at