Join us as we give a warm welcome to Jesse Cerrotti, our new Senior Director of J Camps at Owings Mills! Jesse is new to Baltimore but is very familiar with camp–he grew up going to JCC camps in New England, worked five summers at URJ Eisner Camp (Union for Reform Judaism), and was the Assistant Director at Kutz Camp. He holds a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Hartford and studied in graduate programs at the University of Northern Colorado and Hebrew Union College. We are excited to have Jesse direct J Camps and he is looking forward to creating lifelong memories for the campers and staff who call our community, home.
Q: Why are you excited to be at the JCC?
A: Some of my earliest memories were at JCC Camps in the Boston area. The diversity in people, programming, and experiences that you can find at the JCC makes it unlike any other work environment. It is a deeply welcoming space here, and I can attest to that as someone who moved here without knowing anyone in Baltimore before I moved. I look to pay it forward and bring that same unconditional welcome to everyone I get the chance to meet here.
Q: What is your role and what is it like day to day so far?
A: I am thrilled and honored to be the new Senior Director of J Camps. Having recently started, I am working with the fabulous team in place to finish hiring exceptional summer camp staff. I am also taking the time, leading up to Summer 2022, to craft a model of excellence of fun, learning, and safety for our campers and camp families.
Q: What are some of your past experiences, both camp and non-camp related?
A: I am a lifelong camper and camp advocate! I grew up at JCC camps Grossman and Kingswood. I’ve worked at URJ Camp Eisner, Kutz Camp, and Sababa Surf camp in multiple roles, and have organized teen leadership programs in NYC. Outside of my camp work, I am a community organizer and have run many issues-based campaigns in areas such as environmental rights, voter rights, and more.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: Most of my spare time is spent with my wonderful blind dog, Gracie. She is an 18-month Blue Heeler mix who has brought immense joy in my life over the past year. I also love cinema and studied documentary filmmaking in college. I will also challenge anyone to a game of Scrabble or a tennis match, and I love to take long hiking and camping trips.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote/words to live by?
A: “People call these things imperfections, but they’re not- that’s the good stuff.” – Good Will Hunting