In addition to welcoming Lee Dranikoff to the role of Chair of Hillel International’s Board of Directors, we also added four inspiring leaders to our Board. Read more to get to know them and learn why they are so invested in Hillel.
Why Hillel? “I believe in Lord Rabbi Sacks’s z”l idea that we are each a letter in the scroll that tells the story of the Jewish people. I am motivated to continue my family’s tradition of writing our people’s story. Being a part of Hillel allows me to help students and young people around the world find their place in our story. I am proud to play my part.”
Tamar is the founder and president of The Palm Collective, a private community of individuals involved in leadership-level Jewish and Israel giving. Additionally, Tamar serves as Senior Advisor to the Harold Grinspoon Foundation, offering strategic guidance to the Grinspoon family and Foundation leadership. Prior to holding a professional role in philanthropy, Tamar worked in startup e-commerce. She received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from New York University (NYU). Tamar lives in New York City, though you will regularly find her at Shabbat dinner tables around the world.
Why Hillel? “I am deeply passionate about encouraging young Jewish adults to explore and foster their love of Judaism, and to build their personal relationship to Israel. I find it deeply meaningful to be part of organizations that foster global Jewish peoplehood and the special connection we have as Jewish people. Hillel is at the center of critically important work on the college campuses, where some of the most fulfilling and most challenging issues in the Jewish world are playing out. It is a privilege to be part of these efforts.”
Laurie serves as the Global Chair of Birthright Israel Excel and is a past Vice Chair of the Birthright Israel Foundation, of which she was a founding member. She is also a board member of Moishe House, HaShomer HaChadash (New Guardians of Israel), the North American Advisory Committee for TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers), the Advisory Board of Our Common Destiny and she just completed her board term at BBYO International. She serves on the board of UJA-Federation of New York, where she co-chairs the Center for Youth Philanthropy. Laurie graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in European History and International Relations and received an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. She retired from McKinsey & Company, where she was a partner in the media and entertainment and healthcare practices. Laurie lives in NYC with her husband, Sam, and their three children.
Why Hillel? “When I came to college, I knew I needed to check out Hillel, but I never imagined I would love it as much as I do today. Hillel is a place where I know I can be myself, while also continuing to grow into my best self. Through opportunities with Brandeis Hillel and the Hillel International Student Cabinet, I’ve found incredible mentors and friends who push me to grow as a leader, as a Jew, and as a person. Being a part of such a dynamic, pluralistic, and passionate community has made me who I am today, and I am so grateful for everyone who has been a part of the Hillel journey for the last 100 years.“
Samantha is a senior at Brandeis University majoring in Education Studies and Near Eastern & Judaic Studies with minors in Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies and Religious Studies. She served as the 2022 President of Brandeis Hillel and is an active member of Masorti, the Conservative Jewish community on campus. She spent a gap year on the Nativ College Leadership Program in Israel and has worked with several organizations to enhance pluralism and Israel education, including as a Hillel summer intern. Samantha is passionate about Jewish education, leadership development, pluralism, and accessibility.
Why Hillel? “Hillel holds a special place in my heart as it was the first space that welcomed me when I immigrated to the U.S. My experience with Hillel serves as a powerful reminder that the Jewish community transcends geographical boundaries, forming a global network of support. At the University of Florida Hillel , and through my involvement with the Student Cabinet and the Israel Leadership Network, I discovered my closest friends who share my passion for Jewish life and culture. It’s a place where I can truly be myself, embrace my Jewish identity, and feel like I belong.“
Gali is a senior at the University of Florida pursuing a B.A. in sustainability studies with a minor in communications. She is originally from Mexico City, but now lives in South Florida. She is an active member of the University of Florida Hillel, Israel Leadership Network, Birthright Israel Excel, and Alpha Epsilon Phi. As a member of the Hillel International Student Cabinet, Gali created a sustainability guide with Hillel International’s social impact team to improve the organization’s environmental practices. Her passions include sustainability, Jewish activism, social justice, and tikkun olam.