The Open Hillel Steering Committee consists of student and young alumni leaders elected every semester. Learn more about the Fall 2016 Steering Committee below!
Chair: Sonya Levine
Sonya is a senior at Wesleyan University majoring in history and dance. She attended Jewish day school and summer camp and had her bat mitzvah at a Conservative synagogue. Sonya serves at the First Year Engagement Kesher in the Wesleyan Jewish Community, where she plans programming and acts as a sounding board for Jewish freshmen transitioning to life in college. In her spare time, she can be found dancing, doing crossword puzzles, reading, and cooking. Sonya is honored to continue to work for the Open Hillel campaign to promote personal questioning, listening, and learning, particularly from people with whom one might disagree.
Lara is a senior at Duke studying Political Science and Religious studies. She is a proud member of her campus Hillel and is involved in her local shul, where she teaches Hebrew School. She spends her time organizing with Jewish Voice for Peace and Duke Students and Workers in Solidarity, listening to podcasts, and making fancy oatmeal.
Ben Pakman is an undergraduate student at Hunter College. He grew up in the reform movement in Washington Heights, NYC and participated in the gap-year program, Kivunim. Kivunim afforded Ben the privilege to study for a year in Jerusalem and travel to a dozen countries and explore the rich histories of the Jewish Diaspora. He frequents the Hunter College Hillel which serves as a bustling hub of Jewish life due to the diverse community it houses and Hunter's nature as a commuter-school. He is a co-chair of the college's J Street U chapter. He hopes to use his studies in the humanities (double-major in literature and history) in order to develop meaningful film and television as a screenwriter.
Anna Fox is a Sophomore at Wesleyan University, where she is in the College of Social Studies. Anna grew up outside of Chicago, IL. She attended URJ OSRUI for six summers and had her bat mitzvah at a Reform synagogue. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunities that Wesleyan's Open Hillel provides, and when she isn't engaging in dialogue about Israel and Palestine, she can be found working in the theater, cooking with her friends, or curled up with a good book. She is inspired and invigorated by Open Hillel's mission and looks forward to helping make open Jewish spaces accessible to students all over the country.
Hadas grew up in Israel and spent her secondary-school years in Sunnyvale, California, where she was a participant and councilor in the Israeli Scouts (Tzofim.) She received her B.A. in History from Oberlin College, Ohio, where she studied modern Jewish history and literature, and co-founded Oberlin's JStreetU chapter. She is committed to enhancing Jewish learning in the US, and has worked as Coordinator of Student Learning at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, Ohio, and as a Hebrew language instructor in the Cleveland community. This is her first year with Open Hillel, and she is excited to bring the rigor and curiosity she experiences in Jewish Studies to students' communal Jewish spaces.
She is currently a Masters student at the Faculty of Information in the University of Toronto, specializing in archives and records management and museum studies.