Exciting News from Camp Sabra

In a Focus on the Future, Camp Sabra Names Terri Grossman as Executive Director; Kim Holtzman Sloan as Camp Director

In response to the ongoing success of Camp Sabra and to meet the needs of the future, Camp Sabra is excited to announce that it has named Terri Grossman as its new Executive Director and Kim Holtzman Sloan as new Camp Director. In these new roles, Grossman and Holtzman Sloan continue to lead the strategic, ideological and logistical efforts of Camp Sabra. Combined, Grossman and Holtzman Sloan bring more than 40 years of Camp Sabra experience to the leadership of our premier Jewish sleepaway camp.

“The J is extremely fortunate that, after 26 years at Camp, Terri Grossman still has the passion for and commitment to Sabra to accept the Executive Director position,” said Lynn Wittels, President & CEO of the St. Louis Jewish Community Center. “Terri has developed such a strong team that Kim Holtzman Sloan rising as our new Camp Director ensures a seamless transition in leadership. We are thrilled to share this news with our camp family.”

This new leadership structure begins a formal focus on the future of Camp Sabra and on securing its legacy for future generations. As Executive Director, Grossman will oversee expanding alumni relations, fundraising and facility development, as well as lend her experience as past Camp Director as a resource to help guide operations at Camp.

“I am so excited to be a part of this next step in helping to ensure Camp Sabra’s future. I hope that by reconnecting alumni and creating a robust alumni association, we can reignite that passion for Sabra in all the people who have been lucky enough to spend a summer at our camp,” said Grossman.

Grossman and Holtzman Sloan have served at Camp Sabra in many capacities and with multiple tenures as teammates, including as Assistant Director (Grossman) and Unit Head (Holtzman Sloan) from 1995-1996. Most recently, as Director and Assistant Director, this pair is responsible for an incredible growth in camper enrollment and retention. Since 2014 camper enrollment has grown 47% and hit all-time record highs. Additionally, Camp Sabra’s net promoter score (a statistic used to measure staff, family and camper satisfaction) hit 96 in 2021– a number that reflects a truly outstanding camp experience.

Holtzman Sloan, as the Director of Camp Sabra, will work with current Camp Sabra families and staff to ensure each summer at the Staenberg Peninsula provides the best experience for our camp community. The Camp Director leads community stewardship and daily operations, and oversees camper recruitment, all administration staff, camper housing, camper family communications and camp operations, including the health center and security.

“Working closely with Terri for the past eight years has taught me so much. Most importantly, I learned that families want to send their children to a place where they respect and have confidence in the Director at camp,” says Holtzman Sloan. “Terri has been that Director for our families and such a role model to me. I hope to continue to hold the respect and confidence of the families as they send their children to camp this and future summers. I feel honored to follow in her footsteps.”

The promotion of Holtzman Sloan as Camp Director provides a continuation of the successful leadership that has grown Camp Sabra exponentially over the past eight years. In her previous role, Holtzman Sloan developed personal relationships with all camper families and enrolled every single camper into the program. Her leadership as Camp Director brings her insight through these relationships to the daily operation of Camp Sabra.

Camp Sabra is currently enrolling for the 2022 camp sessions – many units are already on waitlists. For more information, please visit our website.

Meet the Camp Sabra team below. Additionally, Camp Sabra is hiring an Assistant Director of Staffing & Programming to fill the position previously held by Ben Panet. This full-time, year-round position manages all seasonal staff, program area curriculum, trip planning and more.

The Camp Sabra Team

Terri Grossman, Executive Director

Terri brings more than 26 years of Camp Sabra experience to the role of Executive Director, including 14 years as the Camp Director – the longest-serving and first female Camp Director in Camp Sabra’s history. Under her leadership as Camp Director, Camp Sabra saw enrollment reach record levels while maintaining extremely high family, camper and staff satisfaction rates. Additionally, Terri oversaw the historic renovations of Camp Sabra’s facilities, led the development of a new strategic plan and expanded Jewish values-based programming at camp.

Her Camp Sabra experience began as a camper in 1971. She continued her Camp Sabra journey by serving as summer staff, including head counselor for Sharone, Ayelet, Habonim and Masada (1979-1981), Assistant Director (1994-1997), Camp Director (2008-2021), and now in the new role of Executive Director.

Terri finds strength in her Jewish identity. She loves being at Camp Sabra because each summer she gets to play a role in creating an atmosphere for joyous Judaism. Her favorite part of camp is seeing the campers respond to the camp’s safe environment and kind community.

Terri grew up in St Louis, and she earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and her Master’s in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. She is a graduate of the Foundation for Jewish Camp Executive Leadership Institute and of JCC Association’s Lekhu Lachem program. She previously served as the Director of BBYO St. Louis (1993-1997).

Kim Holtzman Sloan, Camp Director

Kim has spent much of her life as part of the Camp Sabra family and St. Louis Jewish community. She became a Sabra camper in 1986, transitioned to staff in 1990 and progressed to being a unit head by 1995. She knows Camp Sabra thoroughly – she has served as everything from a counselor-in-training to a nanny to a unit head to Assistant Director and now, as Camp Director.

While Kim served as the Assistant Director of Camper Retention and Recruitment, Camp Sabra saw incredible growth. Since 2014, camper numbers have increased by more than 47% with retention rates as high as 84% year-to-year. This is due in part to the personal connections Kim fostered with almost every camper family – she has enrolled almost every single camper since 2014. Her promotion as Camp Director provides these families with a continued connection to Camp Sabra’s leadership and allows Kim to bring the insight these relationships have given her to the daily operations of camp.

Her favorite part of her job is seeing the new generations of campers joining the Camp Sabra family – the parents of many she knows from her own days as a camper. She looks forward to each new camp season and meeting all the new campers and families joining our community.

Kim grew up in St. Louis as a member of Congregation Shaare Emeth becoming a Bat Mitzvah and being Confirmed there. She and her family are still Shaare Emeth members, and her children attend religious school there now. Kim earned her Bachelor of Communications in Television and Radio from the University of Southern Illinois Carbondale.

Lisa Deutsch, Assistant Director of Community Care

As Assistant Director of Community Care, Lisa Deutsch leads a team of mental health professionals focusing on the rising need for mental, social, and emotional support for both campers and staff. As part of her work, Lisa cultivates all-year relationships with camp parents, campers and staff to discuss concerns, set up support plans and maintain strong connections that help facilitate a successful summer. Additionally, Lisa will be joining Camp Sabra’s recruitment team and will be meeting and connecting with new and existing camp families.

Lisa joined the year-round team at Camp Sabra in 2019 and, due to her success supporting the increased need for mental health assistance, her role now expands to full-time. Prior to this position, Lisa served as the Camp ‘Mom,’ helping campers and staff with social, emotional and behavioral adjustments to camp. Lisa is a Camp Sabra alum who has served as a camp counselor and sent all four of her children to Camp Sabra.

Lisa earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Before joining the year-round team at Camp Sabra, Lisa facilitated It’s a Girl Thing, a Nishmah program at the J. Lisa also led Girls in the Know and worked At CHADS Coalition, whose mission is focused on suicide awareness, education and support in elementary, middle school and high school in the greater St. Louis area.

Todd Witzman, Facilities Manager

Todd Witzman celebrated his 20th year at Camp Sabra in 2021. In his role as Facilities Manager, Todd has overseen every improvement and addition made to camp during its renovations. Under Todd’s supervision, we have added new cabins, medical center, office, staff lounge, arts & crafts studio, sports’ pavilion, theatre pavilion, docks and more to our campus. Todd’s experience in facilities, logistics and construction ensures that our campers and staff return every summer to our first-class amenities, the foundation upon which the entire Camp Sabra experience builds. Todd lives at Camp Sabra with his wife, Tamara, and four children, providing year-round stewardship of the Staenberg Peninsula.

Liz White, Operations Manager

As Operations Manager, Liz White oversees all transportation needs, including camper travel and trip logistics. Liz ensures that your camper arrives easily to camp, experiences seamless travel during camp activities and returns home safely. Additionally, she oversees the administration side of all camper registration and billing.

Liz joined the Sabra team full-time as Operations Manager this fall. Since 2014, she has been part of the camp community as a driver, meeting and transporting many of our current campers to and from camp. Liz’ husband, Bill, is also a driver at Camp Sabra – something they look forward to every summer. Before and during her time with Camp Sabra, Liz was a Lead Teacher for Head Start for 17 years and a bus driver for Eldon School District for 8 years.