Hillel International to Convene Inaugural Student Cabinet



April 8, 2016

Hillel International will convene a meeting of its first Student Cabinet on April 10-11, 2016. The cabinet will bring together 24 Jewish students from across the country and around the world to share their advice, opinions and perspectives with leadership of Hillel International.

The premier cohort of the Hillel International Student Cabinet, which was selected through a highly competitive process which drew close to 100 applicants, is comprised of a rich diversity of students representing the full spectrum of Jewish backgrounds, including students of color, students from interfaith backgrounds, students with disabilities, students who identify as LGBTQ, and students from an array of schools and areas of study. Beginning at the meeting this month and throughout the course of the next year, the Hillel International Student Cabinet will serve as a vehicle to connect Jewish students and their peers throughout the world and to ensure that the perspective of Jewish students is heard by Hillel leadership and the broader Jewish community.

“Having diverse students serve as advisors to Hillel will make our organization stronger,” said Hillel International Vice President for Social Entrepreneurship Sheila Katz. “The 24 students selected represent great diversity from our movement. They range from all sects of Judaism, varying levels of involvement with organized Jewish life, and diverse ideologies.”

Student Cabinet Co-Founders Hannah Schlacter and Evan Traylor, both student members of Hillel International’s Board of Directors, have worked closely with Hillel International leadership and 2015-16 Bronfman Fellow Kayla Sokoloff to implement this new initiative. Through surveys, one-on-one conversations and peer-driven nomination process, nearly 2000 students were involved in the conceptualization and creation of the Student Cabinet.

“Seeing the Student Cabinet develop from idea to execution over the last year has been inspiring and empowering. Now more than ever, Jewish students need a voice and global connection as we face challenges affecting the Jewish people in the 21st century,” said Schlacter, a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “These students’ creativity and passion will realize the Cabinet’s vision.”

“I’m incredibly excited to provide Jewish college students from around the world the opportunity to connect to one another and expand the impact of Hillel International,” echoed Traylor, a senior at the University of Kansas. “The diversity of backgrounds and opinions of the Student Cabinet will strengthen Jewish life for years to come.” 

Below is a full list of the 2016-17 Cabinet members:

Hannah Schlacter, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ‘17
Evan Traylor, University of Kansas ‘16

Gilad Atlacevitz, Hebrew University of Jerusalem ‘17
Jordan Berger, Cornell University ‘17
Ross Beroff, Northeastern University ‘18
Jonathan Boretsky, Dawson College ‘19
Rachel Brunelle, New York University ‘19
Elaine Cynovich, Universidad ORT ‘17
Liat Deener-Chodirker, University of Maryland ‘17
Alexandra Frol, Westminster College ‘18
Evan Gottesman, Rutgers University ‘17
Jonathan Israilov, Western Michigan University ‘17
Tomer Kornfeld, John Jay College of Criminal Justice ‘17
Bianca Levy, University of Alabama ‘18
Rachel Marcus, University of California Berkeley ‘18
Yoel Rotterman, Florida International University ‘17
Nicole Selz, Virginia Tech ‘17
Aaron Serota, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences ‘17
Mikhael Smits, Princeton University ‘18
Jacob Sussman, Roger Williams University ‘18
Jeremy Tibbetts, University of Massachusetts Amherst ‘17
Zach Wolff, New York University ‘18
Shiran Yahav, Hebrew University of Jerusalem ‘19
Rachel Zucker, University of Chicago ‘18

About Hillel International                           

Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path. During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives.

Matthew E. Berger – Hillel International
[email protected]