Eight Hillel professionals from campuses around the country will participate in the first session of ACCELERATE, a new executive training program that will prepare individuals to become Hillel directors. The first class of Accelerate participants are: U.C. San Diego Assistant Director Keri Copans, University of Florida Associate Director Rabbi Yoni Kaiser-Blueth, Cornell Hillel Director of Advancement Julia Levy, Silicon Valley Hillel Assistant Director Vanina Sandel Mutchnik, University of Michigan Hillel Berman Fellow Tilly Shames, Harvard Hillel Associate Director Michael Simon, Baruch College Associate Director Matt Vogel and David Rittberg, director of the Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at New York University.
"Hillel can only accomplish our mission with skilled professionals," explains Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone. "The Accelerate program identifies talented individuals within the Hillel organization and provides them with additional training so that they can better serve their current Jewish student populations and grow professionally."
ACCELERATE, part of Hillel's comprehensive human resources development program, offers a combination of mentorship, individualized learning and leadership development. Participants will have opportunities to learn and develop key professional competencies, gain exposure to leadership and skill training, as well as work with a successful Hillel director to fulfill the mentorship component of the program.
Jay Lewis, Or Mars and Rae Ringel will serve as mentor/teachers for the program, all drawing from years of experience in high-level leadership roles in and out of the Hillel community. Lewis is in his seventh year as executive director of University of Kansas Hillel; Mars is director of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship Program and former director of North Carolina Hillel; Ringel is president of the Ringel Group LLC, a leadership coach and trainer with an expertise in transforming professional performance to drive greater business excellence. The program is supervised by Hillel Executive Campus Liaison Cindy Greenberg, the former executive director of the Bronfman Center at NYU.