We are so excited to welcome our newest cohort of Cohen Fellows. Their experience will launch on February 3 at Hillel’s Schusterman International Center. Through the generosity of Abby and David Cohen, the David M. Cohen Fellowship guarantees that Hillel’s highest-performing and highest-potential directors are supported with tools to strengthen and sharpen their skills, resulting in greater professional excellence and increased capacity for the Hillels they lead. The 18-month fellowship includes 12 months of executive coaching, two cohort gatherings, a grant pool to support an individualized professional development plan, and much more. The Cohen Fellowship was a finalist for the 2013 Prism Award, presented each year by the Metro DC Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF), in recognition of the impact of executive coaching on organizational results and employee performance. The first cohort was completed in 2013.
Marshall Einhorn is a former software consultant, with a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from MIT. While he took a somewhat windy career path to Hillel and Jewish communal work, his time in the for-profit world both prepared him for his role and allows him to appreciate the gift of being passionate about his work each day. Marshall brings the pluralistic passion that was sparked as a student leader at Tufts Hillel to his work at Brown RISD Hillel, where he seeks to help students forge a deep and abiding relationship to Jewish life and to one another. Marshall lives in Providence with his wife, Deborah, and their three children, who firmly believe that the foosball table is the greatest thing about the Glenn and Darcy Weiner Center.
Rabbi Michelle Fisher has been Executive Director of MIT Hillel since 2009, a return to MIT in a slightly different role than her earlier graduate studies in organic chemistry. As an undergraduate at Princeton University, she majored in chemistry. She then earned her Master’s degree at MIT before being ordained by the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2002. Michelle was the Associate Rabbi of Congregation Har Shalom, Potomac, MD and the Rabbi of Congregation B’nai Shalom, Walnut Creek, CA. She also served as a Naval Chaplain Candidate, ministering to Jewish and non-Jewish sailors and Marines. Rabbi Fisher has a passion for teaching, and for helping Jews travel along the paths of their Jewish journeys. She loves the questioning and exploring that is inherent in the lives of emerging adults, and is inspired by the dream that every MIT Jew will see the work they do in science and engineering through a Jewish lens.
Ari Gauss is in his fifth year as North Carolina Hillel's Executive Director, and loves life in The Southern Side of Heaven after twelve years in the northeast. He lived in New York City for nine years, where he served as a Director of Development for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science and an Associate Director at UJA-Federation of New York, and also received Master’s degrees in non-profit management from New York University and Judaic studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He previously earned a BA in Philosophy from Pomona College. Ari has also worked for Hillel at Tufts University and Yale University. In fact, he and his wife, Hollis, met when they were both Hillel Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellows. Hollis and Ari are the proud parents of Aaron, who is Tar Heel born and bred. A native San Franciscan, Ari also lived in Jerusalem for two years, where he was the Jerusalem Little League Baseball Commissioner and coached the Israeli national baseball team for three summers.
Rachel Hall obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Communications from Clark University and then moved on to her Master’s in Cultural Studies at Simmons College, focusing her thesis on multi-racial Jewish communities. Rachel served as the Director of Teens for Tzedek, an international exchange program between Haifa, Israel and Boston at the JCC’s of Greater Boston. In 2008 she began her passionate career with Hillel, becoming the first paid staff member of Greater Portland Hillel. In 2012 she obtained her Life Coaching Certificate and is now a Certified Professional Coach who is passionate about coaching as a way towards solution oriented thinking and uses such methods with her Hillel board and staff members. Raised in the deserts of Tucson and seasoned on the East Coast, along with her husband, son and doggy she has settled into the gentle ways of Portland. She has a passion for multiculturalism and diversity. When she is not overseeing Hillel programs and enjoying the country's most endearing college students, you can find her running along the Spring Water Trail, spending time with the nine members of her extended family who live in Portland, and continuing to build upon her Yiddish vocabulary.
Hal Ossman earned his Bachelor’s degree in History and Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona in 1998 and a Master’s of Management from the Heller School for Social Policy in 2001 and a Master’s of Jewish Communal Service at the Hornstein School of Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis University in 2001. He returned to the University of Arizona in 2001 to serve as Hillel Assistant Director for three years. After serving as Young Leadership Division Director of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix, he became the Associate Director of the University of Wisconsin Hillel Foundation from 2005 to 2007. As Executive Director of the University of Delaware Hillel Foundation from 2007 to 2011, Ossman helped Hillel keep pace with the university’s growing Jewish student population, strengthening its student program, budget, professional staff and governance. Delaware Hillel was one of only ten Hillels to be awarded a four‐year grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation for Hillel’s Senior Jewish Educator Initiative. Hal Ossman started as the Executive Director of Cornell Hillel in 2011. He lives in Ithaca with his wife Rachel and two daughters Sage and Erin.
Rabbi Debbie Pine has been the Executive Director of Johns Hopkins University Hillel since 2009. In 2006, Debbie joined Hillel as the Executive Director of New Orleans Hillel after serving as the Rabbi and Educator at Congregation Rodef Shalom in Philadelphia. In 2008, she took on a new role at New Orleans Hillel as the Capital Campaign Director. Recently, Debbie has served as faculty at Goldman Union Camp, URJ Camp Harlam, and URJ Jacobs Camp.
Rabbi Jake Rubin is originally from Richmond, Virginia, and holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. In 2009, he received his rabbinic ordination from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College (RRC), from which he also graduated with a Master's of Arts in Hebrew Letters. While a student at RRC, Jake served as the Jewish Student Advisor at Swarthmore College, an affiliate of Hillel of Greater Philadelphia. He also worked as a chaplain for Jewish Family and Children's Service of Greater Philadelphia and as an educator and student rabbi for a number of congregations during his time at RRC. Prior to rabbinical school, Jake was a fellow for PANIM: The Institute for Jewish Leadership and Values. Jake lives in Charlottesville with his wife Lindsay and their children Sophie and Jonah.
Alexander Shlimak was born in 1968 in St. Petersburg. After making aliya in 1990 he studied biochemistry in Tel Aviv University and served in the IDF. From 2001-2003, Alexander served as a Consul of the State of Israel in Azerbaijan and Belarus. In 2006, he relocated to Moscow as the representative of Keren Ha-Yesod (United Israel Appeal) in Russia. In 2008, Alexander was appointed to the position of the CEO of the Russian Jewish Congress, and in 2009 he became the CEO of Hillel Russia.
Rebecca Simons is in her eleventh year with Hillel and currently serves as the Director for Jewish Life at Duke. Rebecca served as the Chair of the Directors Cabinet for Hillel from 2010-2012 and was the co-chair for the Hillel Directors Symposium in December of 2009. Rebecca is also a licensed physical therapist and a graduate of Washington University in St Louis. She holds a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine and a Master’s of Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Rebecca grew up in suburban Maryland and currently lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband Jason, her son Jake and her dog Henry. Highlights of her time at Duke have included traveling with students to Israel, Prague and six U.S. states, hanging out with Dr. Ruth Westheimer and touring the country talking with parents, students and alumni about Jewish life on campus.
Rabbi Mike Uram is the Director and Campus Rabbi for the Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania. He has spent time in all of the different denominations of Judaism and is most passionate about breaking down the personal, spiritual, and intellectual boundaries that prevent people from having full self-actualized spiritual identities. Mike helped to create a new, grass-roots student organization called the Jewish Renaissance Project (JRP) that reaches thousands of students on the Jewish periphery with cutting-edge methods for building alternative Jewish communities and delivering content rich Jewish experiences. He has consulted and written on the changing nature of American Jewish community and new models that can help promote thriving Jewish life in this new period. Mike was named to the 2012 Forward 50 Jewish leaders Jews who made the most significant impact on the news in the past year. In the winter of 2007, Mike received Hillel’s highest award for professional achievement, the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence. This past spring, Mike also received the Ally of the Year from AIPAC for his campus work during the Penn BDS Conference. Mike has taught at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Rabbinical Assembly Conference, LimmudNY, and Hillel’s International Staff Conference and New Professionals Conference. He serves as a Jewish educator for the Philadelphia Federation’s Men’s Cabinet and Round Table. Mike holds a BA in History and Religious Studies from Washington University in St. Louis and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Mike lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his wife Leora and his children Avital and Benjamin.