Meet Hillel International’s 2024 Summer Interns!



June 3, 2024

Welcome to all of Hillel International’s new and returning summer interns! Every year, students from all over the United States join Hillel International to form an incredible cohort of interns and learn about different aspects of the organization. Learn more about this year’s interns:

Julia Cestari

Julia Cestari (she/her) is a rising senior at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is a joint major in American studies and sociology, with a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality Studies. She currently serves as her university’s president of Hillel, and is active in Alpha Delta Pi, The Poor Richard’s (F&M’s oldest and only co-ed a cappella group), and Black Pyramid Honor Society. She is from the Hudson Valley, New York, and enjoys all things food and music. She is incredibly excited for this opportunity to meet Hillel interns as well as professional staff/faculty, and to learn more about the organization as a whole!

Nia Crosley

Nia Crosley (she/her) is a recent law school graduate and a Jewish educator. She received her JD in May 2024 from Northwestern Law School, and is expected to receive an LLM in taxation from Northwestern Law  School in fall 2024. In addition to tax, Nia is passionate about constitutional law, racial history and Jewish/Black relations, economic justice, and legislation protecting incarcerated survivors. Active in the Chicago Jewish community, Nia is a third grade religious school and Hebrew school teacher at her home synagogue, Temple Sholom, as well as a leader in the Jewish Council of Urban Affairs’ board, Community Ventures Project, and Kol Or Jews of Color Caucus. In her free time, Nia enjoys learning about public and local history, taking dance classes, and playing darts.

Karen Dotan

Karen Dotan (she/her) is a political science student at California State University, Northridge. She is the Israel Intern at Hillel 818, and president of CSUN’s Students Supporting Israel Chapter. She is passionate about Jewish advocacy and Israel advocacy, and is so honored and excited to be a part of the Hillel International team!

Ella Elimelech

Ella Elimelech (she/her) is a rising sophomore at the University of Maryland, where she is majoring in information science. Originally from Israel, she was raised in the United States in the Washington, D.C. area. This past semester, she served as vice president of Terps for Israel, and in the fall, she will serve as president of Terps for Israel on campus. She has been very involved with the Jewish community on campus, and she is dedicated to advocating for the State of Israel. Hillel has already made a huge impact on her college experience and shaped her Jewish life. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, going on road trips, and being active. She is excited to be a part of the Hillel International team, where she knows she will meet amazing people and gain experience!

Annie Fingersh

Annie Fingersh (she/her) is from Kansas City, and is an incoming second-year student at Northwestern University. She is currently pursuing a major in learning and organizational change, a minor in psychology, and an integrated marketing and communications certificate. On campus, she has been involved in Hillel, participating in a Jewish Learning Fellowship. She is also involved in various campus activities and clubs like Menstrual Equity Activists, Spoon Editorial Team, Delta Gamma, and TAMID Consulting. Outside of school, she loves cooking, watching movies, and playing with her dogs. This summer, she is eager to grow both personally and professionally as a part of the alumni marketing team!

Zack Goldstein

Zack Goldstein (he/him) is a rising sophomore at the University of Georgia, majoring in operations and supply chain management, with a minor in disaster management. He hails from Marietta, Georgia, where he has spent over three years working in various roles within the events industry. On campus, Zack is involved in Hillel, Chabad, the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity, and competes on the UGA Club Swim team. As an intern for the conferences and events team, Zack is very excited to deepen his experience with an organization that he cares so deeply about!

Emily Gross (she/her) is a rising senior at the University of Southern California, studying sociology and business. Hillel has been a significant part of her college experience since freshman year when she joined the boards of USC Hillel’s Communications and Wellness Teams. In addition, she served as an Innovation Lab Intern during her sophomore year, and increased Hillel’s engagement through one-on-one coffee chats with students. She also had the most amazing 10 days during USC Hillel’s Birthright last summer with her new best friends. Lastly, she is proud to have co-led Freshfest last year, a retreat for incoming Jewish Trojans, and looks forward to being an FEF this summer!

Alex Kamras

Alex Kamras (she/her) is a rising sophomore at UC Berkeley, studying environmental economics and policy. In high school, she held leadership positions in the Jewish Youth Climate Movement, and worked with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Youth Council for Climate Action. Her Jewish and climate activist identities are inextricably interlinked, and she cannot wait to continue immersing herself in Jewish environmental spaces this summer! In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, reading, making art, and hiking.

Emily Kesser

Emily Kesser (she/her) from Norfolk, Virginia, is a rising fourth-year student at The University of Virginia. She is majoring in cognitive science with a concentration in cognitive psychology, and complementing her studies with a minor in Jewish religious studies. Her career aspiration is to become a licensed professional counselor specializing in children’s mental health. Beyond academics, Emily enjoys live music, painting, and hanging out with her friends. She actively participates in UVA’s campus Hillel community, where she recently served as a third-year engagement intern. Hillel has played a significant role in shaping her undergraduate experience, and she is eagerly looking forward to taking on the position of student leadership intern with Hillel International!

Max Khurgel

Max Khurgel (he/him) currently attends Loyola University Maryland. He is a rising senior with a passion for tennis, football, and snowboarding. He also attended a Birthright Israel trip through Hillel. Talk to him about restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area – all of his friends know he is a foodie!

Olivia Leonard

Olivia Leonard (she/her) is a rising junior at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and originally from New Jersey. She is majoring in public relations and minoring in graphic design. She also is a member of many organizations, including Hillel, Kappa Delta, and PRSSA. She is incredibly excited to integrate her passions for Judaism and social media during her internship!

Anna Levine

Anna Levine (she/her) hails from Northern Virginia. Anna is a graduate of Syracuse University, where she studied psychology and public health. She is currently entering her second year as a Master of Social Work candidate at Columbia University. During her undergraduate years, she developed a passion for research, solving organizational problems, and supporting others’ general well-being. She was very involved in Syracuse’s Hillel and looks forward to being a part of the Strategic HR team this summer!

Hannah Smuckler

Hannah Smuckler (she/her) is a rising senior at the University of Kansas. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in Spanish. Hannah spent her last semester studying in Salamanca, Spain. She has been involved with her campus Hillel since her freshman year, and is very excited to join the Hillel International marketing team as an intern.

Alyssa Wallack

Alyssa Wallack (she/her) is blending marketing expertise with a passion for Jewish life as Hillel’s new student marketing Intern. A USC student majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing, Alyssa is president of the Chabad Student Board, and advocates for Israel through Hasbara Fellowships and as a CAMERA on Campus Fellow. She has previously staffed Birthright trips, and is skilled at igniting Jewish pride. With her communications talents, bubbly personality, and drive to educate her peers, Alyssa is enthusiastic about connecting the next generation with enriching Jewish experiences at Hillel.