Rabbi Michael Merrill and Malkie Merrill

Directors and Founders of Camp Al Haderech

Sixteen years ago Rabbi Michael and Malkie Merrill founded Camp Al Haderech to create a camp with a Torah environment, that also provided diverse programming, creating a wonderful experience in camp each day. Along the way they also started the Al Haderech Tots (now in its thirteenth season) as well as the Al Haderech Juniors Program (now in its seventh season). As hands on directors they are available at all times for the children, staff, and parents. Rabbi Merrill goes on all the overnights and supervises the camp learning program. Malkie Merrill serves as the Aquatics Director and directly oversees the Tots program. They can be reached at all hours of the day and often late at night to ensure your child has a great camp experience.

For the last 14 years Rabbi Merrill has been the Director of Student Activities and teaches at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County (HANC).

Malkie Merrill as been teaching computers at Bais Yaakov of Queens for the last 16 years. She is also an active member of numerous committees at the Young Israel of West Hempstead.

The Merrills and their children love spending their summers at Camp Al Haderech.

Katie Lichter

Assistant Director

Katie is from Great Neck where she is the assistant Rebbetzin at the Great Neck Synagogue. She is getting ready to enjoy her third summer as the Assistant Director. Katie has great programming ideas and has teamed up with the rest of the Head Staff to make every day at Al Haderech special. Prior to joining Al Haderech she was the director at Nshama Day Camp. Katie’s children look forward to another great summer with their Al Haderech family!


Tehilla Ben-Ari

Juniors Division Head Counselor

Tehilla has been part of the Al Haderech family for the past 7 summers. She has been a Morah in both Tots and Juniors. In her first year as Head Counselor she created an amazing theme that wove dynamic programming into the daily and weekly schedule of the Juniors. She is looking forward to her second year in the position. As neighbors and friends of the Merrills she can be spotted in West Hemsptead all times of day and night planning for the coming summer. Her children are very happy campers in Al Haderech as well and can’t wait for the summer! During the year, “Morah Ben-Ari” is an outstanding 5th and 7th grade Mechanechet at Yeshiva Har Torah.

Sapir Sandowski

Juniors Division Assistant Head Counselor

Sapir has been in Al Haderech for a long long time!!! She started out as a camper and then went on to be one of the most beloved counselors in the travel camp and Juniors. Sapir is funny and loving and looks forward to her first summer as a member of the Head Staff.

Deena Lewin Wertman

NJ Girls Travel Camp Head Counselor

Deena joined the camp for Summer 2017 as a master teacher in Yeshivat Noam. Deena knows NJ and helped plan great trips. Her daily activities made camp a blast. Deena was full of excitement and ruach and helped make Al Haderech NJ the place to be. In her spare time Deena loves to play with her adorable son Sammy.


Rina Bienenfeld

Girls Travel Camp Head Counselor

Rina joins Al Haderech with lots of creativity and camping experience. Rina spent 20 years in Camp Mesorah as a camper, counselor and upper staff member. She is looking forward to planning amazing activities and traveling to fun and exciting places. Rina can not wait for the summer to start to meet and have a great time with all the girls!! During the year Rina is a Morah in YCQ. 


Rabbi Shmuel Morgenbesser

Boys Travel Camp Head Counselor

Rabbi Morgenbesser joins Camp Al Haderech for his first summer. He has a reputation as an outstanding teacher at HALB for his loving nature and care for his students. On top of all that Rabbi Morgenbesser is known to be high energy and super fun. He loves messy activities (as do many of our campers) and is busy creating lots of exciting programs in addition to our awesome daily trips.