Fifteen new directors and executive directors will take the helm of local Hillel foundations and program centers this month. Ranging from seasoned Hillel professionals to newcomers to the organization, these men and women are all dedicated to enhancing Jewish life on college campuses.
"Hillel has always been blessed with talented professionals, and this group is no exception," Hillel President Avraham Infeld said. "Our students will benefit from their leadership and passion for Judaism."
Rabbi Steve Kirschner joins the Hillel Program at the University of Oklahoma. A recent graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Kirschner served as a student rabbi at several synagogues on the East Coast. He was also a practicing attorney for 18 years in Madison, Wis.
Rachel Bookstein arrives at Long Beach and West Orange County Hillel from the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation, where she worked for several years in Poland as the director of community development. She was also a campus outreach intern at Hillel at the University of California, Santa Cruz, her alma mater.
This marks the first time Simon Klarfeld has worked for Hillel, but the new director of Hillel at Columbia University and Barnard College is no stranger to the Jewish communal world. Klarfeld most recently served as the interim executive vice president of birthright israel in North America and the vice president of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies. A native of England, he led Jewish organizations in the United States, Great Britain, Israel and the former Soviet Union.
After spending five years in Seattle as the assistant director of University of Washington Hillel, Rene Cohen has become the executive director of California State University-Northridge Hillel. Cohen has worked in the Jewish community for her entire career, serving as youth director for the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism's Seaboard Region in Rockville, Md., and the assistant director of Camp Solomon Schechter in Olympia, Wash.
Shawn Laing is familiar to the Hillel community as the director of the Soref Initiative for Emerging Campuses, but he now focuses on the Bulldogs as director of University of Georgia Hillel. Laing previously worked at the Jewish Community Agency of Sonoma County, Calif., as the director of both the Hillel of Sonoma County and the Young Adult Division, and at the Jewish National Fund in Jerusalem.
Joining the Hillel Foundation-Milwaukee is new executive director Heidi Rattner. She formerly worked for the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee as the director of justice programs, and prior to that position, she served as a teacher and education director at Beth El Ner Tamid Synagogue's religious school. Rattner also has extensive volunteer experience in the Milwaukee Jewish community and currently serves on the board of Tikkun Ha-Ir of Milwaukee, Inc.
Rabbi Benjamin Shull heads up Hillel at the University at Albany. He formerly led congregations in Virginia Beach, Va., and Tampa and Stuart, Fla. He also served as executive director of Tampa Jewish Family Services. Shull received both a rabbinical degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a master's degree in social work from Columbia University.
Arlene Pedovitch has been named interim director of the Hillel at the Center of Jewish Life at Princeton University. Prior to joining Hillel, she worked in the financial services industry for more than 20 years, traveling both domestically and abroad to advise American and European Fortune 500 companies. Pedovitch is also a graduate of Princeton and has been very active in alumni activities throughout her career.
Kenneth Krivitzky brings several years of experience working in the Jewish community to his new position as director of Hillel of Towson University. He most recently worked in Cincinnati as the youth and family programs director at Adath Israel Congregation and program coordinator at Jewish Family Services. Krivitzky previously served as program director at the Multi-Campus Hillel of Philadelphia.
A long-time volunteer in her Jewish communities in New York and Connecticut, Pamela Newman is now the executive director of University of Connecticut Hillel. In addition to a career as a marketing expert in the financial services industry, she served on the boards of her local synagogue, hospital and teen center. Newman also worked as the development chair for Machon Chana Women's Institute in New York and the director of programs and communications for the Chabad of the Valley in Simsbury, Conn.
Philip Schlossberg joins Purdue Hillel from University of Georgia Hillel, where he served as director for eight years. Prior to that position, he was executive director for the New Jersey and Seaboard Regions of Young Judaea. Schlossberg previously worked with B'nai B'rith Hillel/JACY in New York as the Hillel director at C.W. Post Center of Long Island University and the director of student activities at Hofstra University.
Formerly the Jewish student life coordinator at Binghamton University Hillel, Brian Cohen now leads University of Virginia Hillel. He also spent many years in the advertising and marketing industries and was the co-founder of Virtualintern.com, a Web site for students seeking internships.
After serving as acting executive director for nine months, Beth Gansky was named the executive director of Hillel of Greater Baltimore in May. A member of the Hillel of Greater Baltimore family since 1995, she previously served as program director, assistant director and associated director for institutional advancement. Gansky also worked in student relations at several colleges, including Johns Hopkins University, Towson University and Sacramento City College.
Adina Danzig became executive director of Stanford Hillel earlier this year. She had previously been Stanford Hillel's assistant director. Prior to joining Hillel, Danzig worked for the New Israel Fund in both Washington, DC, and Jerusalem, and One in Nine, a non-profit organization in Tel Aviv that serves and advocates for women with breast cancer. She is also a volunteer member of the Global Executive Committee for Kol Dor, a new international initiative that brings Jewish young adults together to address challenges and opportunities facing Jews worldwide.
A long-time consultant for Hillel, Lawrence Sternberg joins our organization as executive director of Brandeis University Hillel. He is the former director of the Nathan Perlmutter Institute for Jewish Advocacy, a component of the Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis, and associate director of the university's Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies. Sternberg has taught courses in Jewish community relations and advocacy, community planning, community organizing and organizational development, and he was the principal investigator and co-author of The National Jewish Community Public Affairs Survey, the largest public affairs survey ever conducted among donors to Jewish federations in the United States.
After serving for three years as assistant director of the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, Hillel at New York University, Cindy Greenberg is now the executive director. Prior to joining the Bronfman Center, she worked at Hillel at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem as a fellow with the Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps (JCSC), an Israel recruiter for the JCSC program and the director of the Department of Overseas Students. Greenberg has also been a part-time JCSC coordinator for the past year, supervising and preparing training conferences for fellows. She is a recipient of a Steinhardt Scholarship for JCSC alumni and is pursuing a master's degree in public administration at New York University.