Meet the JCC Youth and Teen Department

Leslie Unger, Director Youth & Teen Department

Leslie is responsible for all K-12th grade programs at the JCC.  Leslie joined the Youth and Teen Department as Youth Coordinator in August 2011, and served as Camp Shalom Assistant Director in Summer 2012.  She hails from Richmond, Virginia where she was previously working as Operations Coordinator for the 2010 Richmond Maccabi Games.  Leslie holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Justice from American University, in Washington, D.C.  She also studied for a semester at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy.  Leslie brings to the Austin JCC a variety of experience working in non-profit and government organizations.  Additionally, she has over 12 years of experience working with youth (K-12), most notably as Assistant Director at Camp Hilbert based out of the Weinstein JCC.  She also spent four wonderful years as a staff member and supervisor at Camp Livingston in Bennington, Indiana.  In Richmond, Leslie was a BBYO advisor for Abraham Cohen #1172, where she was also an active member from 1999-2002.  Leslie is excited to leave behind her East Coast ways in favor of warm winters, great music and food, and new, great friends.

Sarah Yonas, Teen Coordinator (Grades 6-12)

Sarah joined the Youth and Teen department in 2012 and works with middle and high school students. During the school year, she is the JCC’s Teen Coordinator (6th through 12th grades), the Austin BBYO City Director, and the staff coordinator for our community’s J-Serve day of service. In the summer, Sarah is the Assistant Director of Camp Tiyul and the L.I.T. program.  She worked with BBYO in Ohio for three years before relocating to Austin in 2008. She worked in the JCC’s Early Childhood Program for almost five years and is in her fifth year of teaching for Temple Beth Shalom’s Religious School. Sarah was recognized in 2011 as a local and national recipient of the Grinspoon-Steinhardt Award for excellent in Jewish education. She is passionate about creating communities and is so happy to have found a home in the Austin Jewish community.


Jessica Ochs, Youth Coordinator (Grades K-5)

Jessica coordinates all K-5 programming, including Kids Connection, Yom Kef Days, Saturday Nights at the J, and much more!  She is also the Camp Shalom Assistant Director, and has worked at the JCAA as a Camp Shalom counselor and Kids Connection Head Counselor.  She is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, with a minor in Mathematics and certifications in Special Education and Bilingual Education.  Jessica has over 20 years of experience working with children in camp and school settings.  She has served in roles as both an educator and an administrator in New Jersey, Arizona, and Texas.  Jessica is excited to have the opportunity to combine her experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm to create a fun and educational youth program here at the Jewish Community Center.