Meet Hillel International’s Executive Leadership team!
Adam Lehman, President and CEO
Adam Lehman is privileged to serve as Hillel International’s fifth president and CEO. Adam spent the first two decades of his career as an entrepreneur and executive developing and growing new technology and media ventures, including as a senior vice president at AOL. Seven years ago, Adam made his career transition into professional leadership at Hillel International, based on his passion for strengthening the Jewish future. Prior to his appointment as CEO in 2019, he served as the organization’s chief operating officer and interim CEO. During his tenure as CEO, Hillel International has focused on supporting the Hillel field through the significant impacts of the pandemic, strengthening collaboration and connection across the Hillel movement, and advancing Hillel’s leadership as the innovation lab for the Jewish future. Adam is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School and a former Harry S. Truman Scholar.
Sarah Fried, Chief External Affairs Officer
Sarah Fried is the chief advancement officer for Hillel International, where she oversees resource development as well as the areas of marketing, communications, philanthropic partnerships, and immersive Israel experiences. Sarah and her team are charged with creating and implementing innovative strategies that grow overall resources for both Hillel International and its local affiliates, building the Hillel brand to deepen stakeholder engagement in the movement and developing strategic partnerships that align resources with organizational priorities. Previously, Sarah served as vice president for leadership giving at The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore and development director at Krieger Schechter Day School and Johns Hopkins Hillel in Baltimore. Sarah graduated from Ithaca College with a B.S. in organizational communication, learning, and design and received an M.A. in social work from The University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Jewish communal service from Gratz College. She lives in Baltimore, Md. with her husband, two daughters, and two puppies!
Rachel Gildiner, Chief Engagement Officer
Rachel Gildiner is the Chief Engagement Officer at Hillel International. As the former executive director of GatherDC and CEO of Gather, Inc., Rachel has implemented innovative ways to engage Jewish young professionals in their 20s and 30s, building invaluable skills which she will carry into her new role supporting vibrant programming for Jewish students. Prior to joining Gather, Rachel spent seven years at Hillel International developing and supporting new student engagement, innovation, and campus entrepreneurship programs. Rachel believes that meaningful relationships and Jewish experiences are central to Hillel, and Hillel is central to the Jewish student experience. Rachel lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and three children.
Sam Klein, Chief Financial Officer
As the chief financial officer, Sam Klein leads Hillel’s Finance Team, Technology Services, Conferences and Events, and Facilities Administration. He serves as the staff representative to the Finance, Audit, Retirement Plan, and Investment Board committees. In addition, Sam handles all contractual services of the organization and is the liaison, when necessary, for most of its legal matters. He is also a valuable resource to local Hillels on a wide variety of topics and issues. He came to this role after serving 12 years with Johns Hopkins University in varying financial and accounting capacities. Sam holds an MBA in finance from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and a bachelor’s degree in finance and marketing from Syracuse University.
Shari Merrill, Chief Operating Officer
As COO, Shari Merrill leads Hillel International’s talent and programmatic teams, advancing Hillel’s leadership in attracting, developing, and supporting top talent. She also focuses on ensuring that Hillel International operates as a model 21st-century social enterprise, built on strategic agility, a highly inclusive and collaborative culture, a distributed, global team and infrastructure, and a commitment to outstanding outcomes. Prior to joining Hillel, Shari served as Chief Impact Officer at the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. She also worked as Vice President of Strategy and Innovation at Management Concepts Inc., product manager at the Society for Human Resource Management, and was Associate Director at CEB in Rosslyn, VA and London, England. Shari holds a bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and a graduate degree from the London School of Economics.
Jamie Schiffman, Vice President and Chief of Staff
Jamie Schiffman is honored to be part of Hillel International and to serve and support the Office of the President. Before taking on this role, Jamie oversaw all administrative functions of the Schusterman International Center, as well as implemented professional development supports and services for campus professionals around the world. Prior to her tenure at Hillel International, she spent seven years as a campus professional at the Hillels at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; the University of Pennsylvania; and Rutgers University. Jamie lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Andrew and their daughters, Madeline and Naomi.
Tim Cohen, Senior Vice President of Leadership Giving
Tim Cohen joined Hillel in 2005 as vice president of development. He is currently responsible for developing strategic and philanthropic relationships with key community, business, and university leaders to sustain and enhance Hillel’s mission. This portfolio includes identifying and cultivating prospective members for Hillel’s International Board of Governors.
Andrea Barton, Vice President of Finance
Andrea Barton came out of retirement to join Hillel International in 2018 as a consultant and became a permanent hire in 2019. She has over 30 years of experience including managed accounting services to nonprofit organizations, real estate acquisition, development, construction and syndication, telecommunications, and travel risk management, and as an auditor with the former Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers). She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Virginia and was a Certified Public Accountant. Andrea lives in Annapolis, Md. with her husband and two cats. She is an avid tennis player and enjoys bicycling, sailing, tap dancing, and especially visiting with her children and grandchildren.
Rabbi Benjamin Berger, Vice President for Jewish Education and Experience
Rabbi Ben Berger oversees Jewish and Israel education at Hillel International, including three major priority areas: student experiences, educator development, and movement culture. Together these pillars of Hillel’s work center Jewish learning and powerful Jewish experiences with the goal of growing the skills, knowledge, connections, and confidence of students and professionals. Ben has many years of experience at several campus Hillels including Cornell University, University of Michigan, and The Ohio State University. He was formerly the director of the Wexner Heritage Program, which has the mission to expand the vision, deepen the knowledge, and build the confidence of Jewish volunteer leaders throughout the North American Jewish community. Ben was ordained by Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. He, his wife Rachel, also a Hillel International professional, and their four daughters live in Washington, DC.
Andrew J. Cohen, Vice President for Technology Strategy and Operations
Andrew Cohen oversees the digital strategy and information technology teams in support of Hillel professionals across the movement. Previously, he served 10 years as managing director of digital strategy at Forum One, a digital agency in Washington DC., where he provided technical strategy, digital design, and online community consulting to major nonprofit organizations. His clients included American Red Cross, Consumer Reports, Energy Star, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Population Services International, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Equally adept in technology platforms and design thinking approaches, Andrew has nearly 20 years of experience balancing business considerations with user needs.
Maiya Edelson, Vice President, Organizational Learning and Development
Maiya comes to Hillel International after leading the Texas Hillel team as executive director from 2017 to 2022. Prior to her arrival to Austin, Maiya spent five years with Maryland Hillel as assistant director and director of educational engagement and previously worked as program director at Hillel at Davis and Sacramento. In 2015, Hillel International named Maiya a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence. Maiya holds a doctorate in education from the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California where her dissertation research focused on the role of mid-level managers in supporting employee engagement in Jewish nonprofit organizations. Maiya also holds an M.A. in experiential Jewish education from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. in sociology from Columbia University (Columbia College), where she was captain of the women’s softball team. Maiya competed for the Israeli National Softball team from 2003 to 2013. She has completed the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Fellowship for Campus Professionals and is a Schusterman Fellow.
Adina Danzig Epelman, Vice President for Engagement and Impact
Adina Danzig Epelman came to Hillel International in 2015 to lead the conceptualization and launch of Hillel U, a comprehensive professional development initiative. Today, Adina supports student engagement through advancing the core areas of student and staff well-being, social impact, and addressing antisemitism.
From 2000 to 2010, Adina was associate director and then executive director of Hillel at Stanford. She led Hillel at Stanford’s capital and building campaigns, moving the organization into its current home, and was recognized with Hillel’s Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence and Great Place to Work awards. From 2011 to 2015, Adina was a program officer for the San Francisco Jewish Community Federation, launching their Impact Grants Initiative.
A native Californian who completed her B.A. at UC Berkeley, Adina is an alumna of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship and holds an MPA from New York University and an M.A. in modern Jewish studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Adina lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and three children.
Jon Falk, Vice President, Israel Action and Addressing Antisemitism Program (IAP)
Jon Falk is the associate vice president of Hillel International’s Israel Action and Addressing Antisemitism Program (IAP). Jon oversees the teams that support Hillels in navigating and responding to anti-Israel activity, antisemitic incidents, and BDS. These teams also support Hillels in celebrating, advocating for, and educating about Israel.
Jon started his professional career with Johns Hopkins Hillel as an engagement associate and left as the assistant director. After Hopkins, Jon went on to work at AIPAC as the Baltimore associate area director and then continued on to the Israel on Campus Coalition as the senior western regional director before rejoining Hillel. Jon holds a B.A. from Muhlenberg College and an MPA from University of Baltimore.
When Jon is not working, he can be found in his woodshop or remodeling his home one piece of oak floor at a time. He loves hanging out with his daughters, Georgia and Nora, wife Ruby and dog Luna. A native of Baltimore, Jon currently lives in the mile-high city of Denver.
Etan Harmelech, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Etan Harmelech leads Hillel International’s marketing and communications teams, which include brand and design, direct response fundraising, strategic communications, and student-facing marketing. Before joining Hillel, Etan was the director of marketing and membership for PJ Library, helping to provide free Jewish children’s books to more than 500,000 children around the world each year. Prior to his work with Jewish nonprofit organizations, Etan spent 10 years at ESPN in production and integrated marketing, cultivating and managing partnerships with clients such as Jaguar, Under Armour, and Gatorade. Etan holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University, and an MBA from the University of Connecticut.
Batya Kopelowitz, Vice President of Measurement
Batya is responsible for leading the strategy behind Hillel International’s measurement program and strategic grants portfolio. In that capacity, she works on inspiring people across the Hillel movement to understand and use data, leads the team that distributes and stewards strategic/talent grants to support campus Hillels, and generally dabbles in Salesforce. Prior to joining Hillel, Batya worked as a financial auditor, a human resource professional, and a program evaluation consultant, accumulating a diverse skill set which fits neatly into her role. Batya holds a master’s degree in organizational psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from The Ohio State University. Batya lives in Reston, Va. with her husband, two kids, and a corgi.
Amy Marks, Vice President, Philanthropic Partnerships and Experience
Amy Marks is the associate vice president of philanthropic partnerships and experiences for Hillel International, where she has worked since 2017. In this role, Amy oversees the strategy and implementation of Hillel International’s institutional giving program, focusing on growing overall resources for Hillel International and its local affiliates. She is also responsible for developing leadership experiences, engaging Hillel stakeholders from around the world, and deepening their connection and commitment to the Hillel movement. Amy’s previous roles include the development director at Kansas University Hillel and the director of youth and camping for Temple Israel in Minneapolis, Minn. Amy received her BA in secondary education: language arts from Indiana University. Amy lives in Harlem, N.Y. with her husband and son, Morrie.
Amy Martasin, Vice President of People Operations
Amy Martasin leads Hillel International’s human resources team and strategy, providing HR support and resources to Hillel professionals across North America on topics like performance management, compensation, payroll and benefits, employee engagement, and safety, respect, and equity. Prior to joining Hillel, she spent 11 years working in HR for a large, publicly-traded pawnshop chain, most recently as a senior HR business partner, helping to create and implement HR best practices across 500+ stores in the U.S. Amy received a master’s degree in human resource management from St. Edward’s University and a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Texas at Austin and holds both Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certifications. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two children, and goldendoodle.
Mark Rotenberg, Vice President for University Initiatives and General Counsel
Mark oversees Hillel’s Campus Climate Initiative, working across the U.S. with Hillel professionals and higher education leaders to ensure a campus environment in which every student can feel comfortable learning about and identifying with Judaism and Israel. Mark has spent most of his professional career on university campuses, serving as the general counsel at the University of Minnesota and at Johns Hopkins University. In those positions, he provided strategic counsel and policy advice to university boards, presidents, chancellors and other senior officers. A seasoned university educator, Mark currently is an Adjunct Professor of Law at American University in Washington, taught at the University of Minnesota for over 20 years, and was a visiting professor of law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He has argued and won cases in the US Supreme Court and many other judicial forums. Mark received his B.A. from Brandeis University, and J.D., M.Phil., and M.A. from Columbia Law School and the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
Rachel Weiss-Berger, Vice President for Advancement
Rachel Weiss-Berger implements fundraising strategies that maximizes organization sustainability, fundraising effectiveness, and efficiencies at Hillel International and for the field. She leads the Advancement Field Services, Planned Giving, and Campaign & Planning Services teams of the Advancement Pillar at Hillel International.
Rachel returned to Hillel in 2019 with more than 17 years of experience in the fundraising field. She has worked at top academic fundraising institutions, including University of Michigan and Columbia University, and was the first director of the Global Day of Jewish Learning. Most recently, Rachel worked at The Ohio State University, creating the fundraising infrastructure for the Wexner Medical Center and then serving as senior strategic adviser for development, where she enabled senior leadership to make strategic data-driven decisions across their 31 fundraising units.
Rachel lives in Washington D.C. with her husband Rabbi Benjamin Berger and their four daughters, Tovah, Avital, Eliana, and Nili.
Esther Abramowitz, Associate Vice President for Global Israel Experiences
Esther Abramowitz began her Hillel career at the University of Maryland, then worked at Hillels in Philadelphia before moving to Israel. Since 1991, Esther has served in a variety of roles for Hillel in Israel, including as a program professional for the overseas students studying at Hebrew University, a mentor and coach for Israeli Hillel professionals, a staff member on trips to Poland and Eastern Europe, and a representative of Hillel International in Israel. She has worked with Birthright Israel since its inception. Esther currently works with colleagues, students, and educators from all over the Hillel world. She loves to host friends and visitors in her apartment in Jerusalem.
Hindy Chinn, Associate Vice President for Information and Technology
Hindy Chinn oversees vendor relationships, budgets, contracts, and data systems to assist professionals across the Hillel movement. Hindy is responsible for managing Fluxx, Hillel’s grant management application. In 1997, she began her career with Hillel, serving as the first member of the Information Technology / Tech Services Department. Hindy, who lives in Baltimore, Md., enjoys spoiling her wonderful grandchildren and playing with her “grandpuppy,” Maggie.
PJ Edelman, Associate Vice President, Direct Response Marketing
PJ Edelman joined Hillel International in 2022. He serves as the associate vice president for direct response marketing and fundraising, bringing 15 years of nonprofit experience to the role. PJ executes creative digital and direct mail campaigns to engage the broader Jewish community around Hillel’s work and to raise funds to support its mission.
Most recently, PJ worked at The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Prior to that, he served in strategic fundraising and marketing roles at nonprofit organizations including New Futures, Israel on Campus Coalition, and The Jewish Federation of St. Louis. Originally from New York, PJ graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in English Literature. He lives with his wife and three boys in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Sandy Myers Grawert, Associate Vice President of Communications
Sandy joined Hillel in December 2022 as the Associate Vice President of Communications. She joined the organization with almost 15 years of experience in government, advocacy, and communications in the Jewish community and public sector. She most recently served as the Associate Director of the Jewish Community Relations Committee at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest (NJ). Prior to joining Federation, Sandy served as Vice President, External Affairs and Communications at Selfhelp Community Services, an organization in NYC dedicated to serving older adults and Holocaust survivors. Sandy also worked in the government relations department at UJA-Federation of New York, and she began her career in city government working with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, serving as Community Liaison and Liaison to the Jewish Community. Sandy lives in West Orange, NJ with her husband and daughter.
Josh Hartman, Associate Vice President of Immersive Experiences and Interim Lead of International Operations
Josh joined the team at Hillel International in February 2022 after almost 20 years working in college administration and student affairs. Prior to taking on his role overseeing immersive experiences at Hillel, he served in a variety of leadership roles at several universities including Dartmouth College, The George Washington University, Bucknell University, and New York University, and most recently as senior director of residential life and learning at Tufts University. He received his bachelor’s degree (philosophy) and masters degree and education specialist degree (both in higher education administration) from The George Washington University. He earned a doctoral degree from New England College, where his dissertation focused on the impact of immersive Israel experiences on the Jewish identity development of North American college students.
Rachel Hochheiser Schwartz, Associate Vice President of Conferences and Events
Rachel Hochheiser Schwartz oversees Hillel’s Conferences and Events Department, which plans hundreds of meetings and events for Hillel International over the course of any given year. These programs range from small meetings to 1200 person conferences and everything in between. She joined Hillel in 2014 after spending 10 years at BBYO focused on professional development and human resources management. This is her second time working for Hillel International, having served as the Bittker Fellow and student leadership development associate after college.
Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in Judaic studies and American history from Brown University and an MBA with a concentration in organizational leadership from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a Zumba instructor, a member of her Temple board and an avid volunteer at her children’s schools. Rachel lives in Bethesda, Md. with her husband, Scott, and three children, Hannah, Josh, and Emma.
Danielle Kranjec, Associate Vice President, Center for Jewish and Israel Education/Meyerhoff Center
Danielle Kranjec is the associate vice president of Hillel International’s Center for Jewish and Israel Education/Meyerhoff Center, responsible for the educational approach that helps students develop and grow their Jewish knowledge, friendships, and identities. Kranjec previously served as Director of Campus Initiatives for the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and prior to that spent eight years as the Senior Jewish Educator at Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh.
Jason Leivenberg, Associate Vice President, Innovation
For 15 years, Jason Leivenberg has worked across multiple sectors of the Jewish communal ecosystem, focused on connecting individuals to Jewish opportunities that bring meaning to their lives. He has built, scaled, and reinvented programs and initiatives to provide pathways and meaningful touchpoints for tens of thousands of young adults.
Previously, he served as Senior Vice President at the LA Jewish Federation leading their young adult Jewish engagement and leadership development efforts through programs like NuRoots and The Community Leadership Institute. He helped create connections between one’s philanthropic interests and Jewish values as the Senior Development Officer at Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston. And a meaningful student experience at UC Berkeley inspired him to work for Hillel of Santa Barbara and Hillel at UCLA as Director of Student Life and Repair the World Coordinator.
Jason is a Los Angeles native. He graduated from Berkeley with BAs in Sociology and Mass Communications, and has an MPA from NYU Wagner and an MA in Judaic Studies from NYU Skirball. Jason is a proud alumnus of Education Pioneers, Bend the Arc’s Jeremiah Fellowship, the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Encounter, and many an Alternative Spring Break. He lives in South Los Angeles with his partner, Ryan Cohen.
Arielle (Ari) Levy, Associate Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
As Hillel’s first full-time staff member dedicated to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ari lead Hillel’s DEI strategy, implementation plans, and accountability measures. Through partnerships with Hillel International’s C-suite, Communications, Marketing, Human Resources, and Grants departments, as well as the Board of Directors, Ari’s role is to guide the organization in its efforts relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, offering tangible action steps for integrating DEI into the way employees and members of the larger community work and find belonging at Hillel. Ari received both her BA in Sociology and Community Health and her Master’s in Public Health and Health Communication from Tufts University in Boston.
Nati Szczupak, the Jewish Agency’s Central Shlicha to Hillel International and Director of the Israel Fellows Program
Nati Szczupak has been with Hillel for over a decade. She has a unique understanding of the Jewish Agency Israel Fellows’ impact on campus, having been a fellow herself at Hillel Uruguay. She is also deeply familiar with Hillel’s impact around the globe, from her role as director of program professional development for Hillel International and through her work in Israel where she served as vice president of Hillel Israel. She brings great leadership, management, and strategic planning experience to the Fellows program, having most recently served as chief operating officer of Ulpan-Or, helping them shift their business model during the pandemic. Nati, her husband, and their two children live in the Washington DC. metro area.
Jennifer Chestnut, Campus Support Director
Jennifer Chestnut’s work in the Jewish community since 1996 has focused on organizational transitions and transformations.
Under her leadership as executive director for sixteen years, the Hillel at Kent State grew its budget, staff and facility nearly tenfold, became a Federation agency, was the first Hillel to build a facility on state land and receive state funds to do so. In her work as a campus support director her passion is helping Hillels reach their maximum potential- from professional staff to board leadership. Her portfolio includes all Canadian Hillels and 14 campuses throughout the United States.
She received a BS from Syracuse University and a master’s of nonprofit organizations from Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Outside of work, Jen is a 200RYT yoga instructor and a committed Daf Yomi learner. A Cleveland native, she lives in Akron, Ohio with her husband and children.
Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, Campus Support Director
Rabbi Danielle Leshaw joined the Hillel movement in 2002 as the executive director for Hillel at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she served for 14 years. In her current role as a campus support director and senior educator for Hillel International, she consults with over 70 campuses nationally, focusing on student engagement, fundraising initiatives, donor relations, Jewish education and celebration, and campus climate. Over the years, Danielle has developed a keen understanding of how to successfully lead and build a small campus Hillel and has strengthened Hillel International’s relationship with college chaplains and administrators. A lover of all things related to Talmud, Danielle created the Hillel Daf Yomi cohort, leading weekly sessions for Hillel professionals to pursue greater appreciation and knowledge of our ancient texts.
Rabbi Debbie Pine, Campus Support Director
Rabbi Debbie Pine served as executive director of Hopkins Hillel from 2009 to 2017 and Tulane Hillel from 2006 to 2008. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Debbie initiated a capital campaign and a strong partnership with Tulane. From 2017 to 2019, she was the vice president of strategic philanthropy at The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. Debbie was recognized as a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence and is known for her mentorship and empowerment of staff.
Debbie has served as staff and faculty at several Reform-affiliated camps. Before Hillel, she served congregations as a pulpit rabbi and director of education. Debbie was ordained from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 1992. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1987 and lives in Baltimore with her husband Rabbi Andrew Busch. They have three grown children.
Michael Rabkin, Campus Support Director
Michael Rabkin is a campus support director for Hillel International based in San Diego. He supports several campus Hillels on the west coast with guidance on strategy, fundraising, talent and board development, student engagement, and capital projects. He has served as the director of Emory Hillel and executive director of Hillel of San Diego, where he led the development of three capital projects. Michael began his career at UC San Diego Hillel and was recognized as a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence. He also served as a campus strategic services associate at Hillel International. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree from CU Boulder and his master’s degree in public administration from New York University. Michael completed the Hillel Fellowship at the Shalom Hartman Institute and a summer seminar at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies.
Susannah Sagan, Campus Support Director
Susannah Sagan began her Hillel career in 1998 at The Ohio State University Hillel. Over the years, she expanded her fundraising and external relations portfolio to include staff supervision, day-to-day operations, programming, and student engagement as the assistant director. From 2016 to 2018, she served as the associate executive director. Susannah became a campus support director in July of 2018 and works with more than 22 campuses around the country along with many Hillel International sponsored projects. She is a Richard M. Joel Hillel Exemplar of Excellence who has mentored and coached scores of Hillel professionals and is a frequent trainer at Hillel conferences.
Susannah holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and has spent her career working for a wide range of nonprofit organizations. Susannah and her husband live in Columbus, Ohio along with their two adult sons and their loves.
Ronit Sherwin, Campus Support Director
Ronit Sherwin has been working in the Jewish communal world since 1996 as both a Jewish educator and a nonprofit executive. Ronit holds a bachelor’s degree in education from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School. Her varied experiences in JCCs and Jewish Federations, as well as her own successful Jewish women’s start-up in St. Louis and her former role as the director of the Hillel at the University of Delaware, contribute to Ronit’s ability to serve a diverse portfolio of Hillels. Ronit resides in Canton, Ohio with her husband Rabbi David Komerofsky, also a former Hillel director. Their blended family includes two sets of twins.
Rebecca Simons, Campus Support Director
In her role as campus support director, Rebecca Simons works in partnership with Hillels across the U.S. to maximize impact and achieve excellence. Rebecca brings 15 years of Hillel campus experience, most recently serving as the director for Jewish life at Duke University. While at Duke, she worked to raise the profile of the university in the Jewish community, increase the Jewish student population, and grow the endowment in support of Jewish life on campus. Rebecca previously served on the board of Hillel International and as chair of the Hillel’s Director’s Cabinet. In addition to having earned advanced degrees in physical therapy and Jewish education, she completed her professional coaching certification and is a credentialed coach. Rebecca lives with her family in Durham, N.C.
Aviva Zucker Snyder, Campus Support DirectorAviva supports 17 local Hillels in the Northeast to design and execute strategic plans, build stronger partnerships with stakeholders, develop new funding streams, and deepen student engagement. Aviva began her Hillel career in 2002 at University at Albany, growing Hillel’s engagement to approximately 2000 students and a new board of directors as the organization’s executive director. As Hillel International’s director of talent acquisition from 2009 to 2017, she guided hundreds of Hillel through the full cycle of talent acquisition and onboarding. She spearheaded a redesign of recruitment strategy and training for hiring managers and has served as faculty for all of Hillel’s training conferences. In addition to her degree in Jewish studies and archeology, Aviva spent a year in Israel as part of the Young Judaea Year Course. She lives in N.Y.’s Hudson Valley, where you will catch her running for fun and chasing after her daughter, Noa and dog, Mac.