Focused on building future executive leadership from within, Weinberg ACCELERATE: Hillel’s Executive Training Program identifies and develops eight to twelve high potential professionals over a twelve month period to prepare them to assume directorships and/or positions of senior leadership within Hillel in the next two-three years.
Leadership development is a key foundation to enhance the mission, vision, values, and goals of Hillel as it evolves to a true learning organization
Weinberg ACCELERATE participants are enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead a Hillel as an Executive Director. They are interested in expanding the breadth of their perspective and experience. Current Weinberg ACCELERATE participants are working with an Executive Director who supports their participation in the program and they are mentored by an experienced professional in the Jewish nonprofit community.
Weinberg ACCELERATE: Hillel’s Executive Training Program will provide participants with:
- The opportunity to learn and develop key professional competencies, as defined in the “Hillel Success factors”
- Customized professional development plans grounded in the outcomes of a 360° performance feedback instrument
- A quality Jewish learning experience
- Two seminars which provide both leadership and professional development training
- Leadership exposure and networking opportunities
- Connection to a cohort of other top Hillel talent interested in assuming directorships
The current cohort of Weinberg ACCELERATE: Hillel's Executive Training Program is the third cohort to participate in the initiative. The cohort members come from diverse backgrounds with a wide array of experience, and include:
Cara Behneman is the Assistant Director at UMBC Hillel. She has been working with college students since completing her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland in 2004. Research about identity in Jewish college students during Cara’s Master’s in Higher Education Administration program brought her to join the Hillel staff at the University of Arizona. She is passionate about making the world a better place by rethinking gender dynamics, improving food justice, and encouraging change through interpersonal relationships. Work with Hillel allows her to investigate these ideas with students and colleagues in a way that is thoughtful and inspiring. Cara lives in the Waverly neighborhood of Baltimore with her brother, Ryan, sister, Dana, and dog, Stella.
Jonathan Falk is the Program Director at the Hillel at Johns Hopkins University. He has been at Hopkins Hillel since graduating from Muhlenberg College in 2010 with a B.A. in Business and Religion and a concentration in management and Jewish thought. He will be promoted to Assistant Director in July 2013. Social media is an avenue for Jon to constantly connect with students and ensure lasting memories of student’s Jewish journeys. Students are constantly interacting with Jon over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Through Jon’s work at Hillel, he is able to insure that all Jews find a place for Jewish life in the present and in the future. One of Jon’s greatest strengths is relationship building and capitalizing on strategic relationships. Jon has had the opportunity to provide an immersion experience to over 150 Hopkins students. He believes these experiences can transform a relationship and inspire Jews to own their Judaism. Jon loves to cook and play Jewish basketball. This summer Jon will be studying at Pardes in Jerusalem.
Yona Gorelick is the Assistant Director at Goucher College Hillel. Yona’s greatest joy in her work on campus is accompanying students on journeys of self-discovery. Now in her fifth year with Hillel, Yona recently completed the first level of certification in Internal Family Systems Therapy, a non-pathologizing approach to healing. Yona brings to the sacred task of pluralistic Jewish community-building exposure to a wide range of Jewish expressions, having been immersed at various points in her life in Orthodox Jewish day schools, secular Yiddishist guerrilla theater, and spiritual chanting circles atop wooded mountains, to name a few. Yona enjoys ice cream, a good music festival, and making up words.
Tanya Gutsol grew up in Kiev, Ukraine, in a non-religious household. While obtaining her B.A. in computer science, Tanya followed the insistent advice of her Jewish mother and discovered Kiev Hillel at the age of 17, which is where her Jewish journey began. Tanya learned quickly about traditions, holidays and history of her community and she turned into an active member and then into a Program Director. Tanya coordinated Jewish holiday programming for thousands of students, young adults and community members and created partnerships with other Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and raised Hillel’s profile in the community. After being professionally involved with Hillel for 4 years she moved to Baltimore to work on a college campus as an Engagement Associate, first at University of Maryland, Baltimore and then at the University of Maryland, College Park, a school with one of the largest Jewish student bodies in the country where she developed and implemented engagement strategy to expand the student network, advised and grew several Israeli, Russian, leadership and community service student groups. Currently, she is a Program Director at Long Island University Hillel, Director of City-Wide events, a Masa Israel Russian Community Liaison and a resident of Russian Moishe House NYC.
Aaron Katchen is the Associate Executive Director and Rabbi for Hillel of Greater Toronto. Working his way up the ranks, he has worked for Hillel in Winnipeg, Brown, and as half of the JLIC couple at Oxford University. Aaron completed his undergraduate studies at York University and studied for rabbinic ordination in Israel at the Pardes Institute. A project Aaron is currently most proud of is the impact that Ask Big Questions has had on the University of Toronto campus. Aaron is married with two kids, and they all enjoy going to camp together every summer.
Aaron Lerner is the Senior Jewish Educator at UCLA Hillel and graduated from the crosstown rival, University of Southern California, in 2002 with a B.S. in Business Administration. After graduating, Aaron lived in Israel for two years and studied at Pardes and Yeshivat Bat Ayin. Upon returning to Los Angeles, he worked for four years as an investment banker and was involved in the closing of more than two billion dollars of commercial real estate debt and equity transactions. A passion for Torah and the Jewish people led Aaron to enroll himself in Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) in 2008, and a passion for the ocean, college students, and darn good weather brought him back to Los Angeles in 2012.
Rabbi Ilana Schachter is a New York City native and graduated with Honors from Brown University in 2005 with a dual degree in Comparative Literature and Judaic Studies; her thesis focused on the influence of the Bible on the poetry of Yehuda Amichai and TS Eliot. While at Brown, Ilana was engaged actively in Jewish life, working to found the Hillel Gallery Project, the largest student art gallery open to Brown and RISD students, in an effort to promote the Hillel as a community cultural center. Ilana was ordained as a rabbi from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles in 2012. Ilana has a strong passion for social justice work, particularly with regard to food justice, hunger, and homelessness. Such passion has drawn Ilana to serve as the Hillel rabbi of Loyola Marymount University, a Jesuit community whose mission expresses shared values of learning, faith and justice.
Brian Small is the current Interim Executive Director at Hillel at Syracuse University. Brian started working at Hillel at Syracuse University in the fall of 2007 and brings diverse and unique combination of public-relations experience and higher-education knowledge to his position. Most advantageous, however, is Brian's familiarity with the campus environment. He is a 2002 undergraduate alumnus of Syracuse University and a former student-participant at Hillel at Syracuse University programming. In May 2008, Brian concluded working on his second Master's degree in the field of higher education at Syracuse. Brian advocates for a higher-education centered Hillel model that brings Jewish life to the students where they are geographically, spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. Brian has co-led various trainings for the PNEI program at Hillel Institute. Originally from Rocky Hill, CT, Brian now resides in Manlius, NY, with his wife, Shannon, who was also an employee at Hillel at Syracuse University during her graduate studies. Shannon and Brian have a daughter, Danielle Hazel Small, and a Havanese named Desi.
Seth Winberg is the Assistant Director and rabbi at the University of Michigan Hillel. He graduated from York University and Yeshiva University, and was ordained by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. He has also studied at HUC and the Conservative Yeshiva. Seth has been busy raising Hillel's profile in professional schools at Michigan, and trying to figure out the best ways to do Birthright follow up. He has two kids, and another one on the way.