Cornell Hillel is sending 80 students to Israel this summer on our Taglit-Birthright Israel trips. On Wednesday, May 21st, 40 of our students departed from JFK airport to be a part of what is sure to be an experience of a life time.
Follow our Cornell Summer Taglit-Birthright Israel trip blog for updates from the Holy Land!
We are excited to welcome First Year Families to campus. Please join us!
Travel to Israel for 10 days with Cornell Hillel! Trips last Dec. 22 through Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 through ...
It is our pleasure to share exciting news with you about Shabbat Dinner at 104 West! for this ...
October 30, 2014
October 23, 2014
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G-34 Anabel Taylor Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
Cornell Hillel has a talented team of professionals who work to impact the lives of Jewish students, alumni, parents, and the University. Our team of ten is based out of Anabel Taylor Hall, and always around campus. Libe Cafe is one of our favorite spots! Stop by to say hi or reach out via phone or e-mail. Our contact info and biographies are below.
Hal Ossman earned his bachelor’s degree in History and Judaic Studies at the University of Arizona ‘98 and a Master’s of Management from the Heller School for Social Policy ‘01 and a Master’s of Jewish Communal Service at the Hornstein School of Jewish Communal Service at Brandeis University ‘01. 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.
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. He grew Hillel’s annual budget by 65 percent, and expanded the professional staff from three to six. 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 and Campus Entrepreneur Initiatives.
Hal Ossman started as the Executive Director of Cornell Hillel in 2011. He lives in Ithaca with his wife Rachel and two daughters. The family are members of Temple Beth El synagogue in Ithaca.
Yevgeniy Averbukh, Israel Fellow (607) 255-9772 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rabbi Jeremy Fierstien, Assistant Director, Religious Life & Education (607) 255-6159 email@example.com
Jeremy grew up in Bradley Beach, NJ and spent his early years exploring the beaches of the Jersey Shore. He received a BS in Family Studies from the University of Maryland and Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Before joining the Cornell Hillel team he worked as the Director of Secondary Education and Youth Engagement at a synagogue in Gaithersburg, MD. Jeremy enjoys exploring the outdoors, surfing, fishing, cooking, and many other activities. Please feel free come by the Hillel offices in Anabel Taylor Hall, stop him on the street, or give a call to introduce yourself and grab a cup of coffee. Jeremy lives in Ithaca with his wife, son, and puppy.
Rabbi Finson was born in Queens, NY, and although he left at the age of ten, he remains a lifelong Yankees fan. His family made Aliyahin 1995 and settled in Jerusalem, where they have lived ever since.
After graduating high school, Chaim attended Yeshivat Har Etzion (the Gush) as a student in hesder. In 2006, he was drafted into the IDF, where he trained as a tank gunner and ultimately served as a combat medic in the Armored Corps. Following his army service, he returned to the Gush, where he studied for another few years and received semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. During that time he worked in the overseas program at the yeshiva, running achabura for overseas students and helping students one-on-one during night seder. In parallel, Chaim studied psychology and philosophy at the Open University and completed a teaching certificate at Herzog teachers’ college.
Shira Finson was born in Syracuse, NY, and soon afterward her family moved to Detroit, where she learned a thing or two about harsh winters.
When she was 12, her family made Aliyah and moved to the community of Chashmonaim.After she graduated high school, Shira completed two years of national service – one year working with terror victims and their families at One Family Fund and a second year in the Aliyah department of the Jewish Agency. She then went on to study linguistics at Bar-Ilan University and later earned an MA in Translation and Interpreting Studies. She worked as a freelance editor, translator and interpreter and learned part-time at the Matan beit midrash for women, where she studied to become a certified madrichat kallot [teacher and premarital counselor for brides]. She has recently completed the training program for women in education and communal leadership at the Claudia Cohen Women Educators Institute.
Rabbi Scott Fox, Reform Campus Rabbi (607) 255-9721 firstname.lastname@example.org
Born and raised in San Diego, California, Rabbi Scott Fox attended the San Diego Jewish Academy through High School. For college, he attended the University of California, Santa Cruz where he worked for the Jewish Studies Program and taught as a Teaching Assistant for Jewish Studies in Modern Literature. While at the University of California, Rabbi Fox co-founded the Student Coalition for Unity, a dialog group for Muslims and Jews. Rabbi Fox graduated highest honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Modern Jewish Fiction, as well as receiving an award for a paper given on Jewish diversity and identity.
Rabbi Fox continued on to the rabbinical program at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion along with scholarship for his studies from the Haas/Koshland Memorial Award of the San Francisco Jewish Federation, the Rubenstein Family Scholarship, the Rose Biller Scholarship and was elected as the San Diego County Jewish Student Scholar. He received his Master’s Degree in Hebrew Literature and rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He wrote his thesis on the effect the 2008 Great Recession had on American Jews in their 20s and 30s.
Rabbi Fox has served as the Pastoral Care Rabbinic Intern for DOROT USA, serving as the sole rabbinic presence for their thousands of Manhattan seniors. In 2012, Rabbi Fox created and directed Camp Tikvah, a social action oriented day camp for Jewish Middle School students. Rabbi Fox has also served as a chaplain intern at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, and as Rabbinic Intern at Temple Sinai in Atlanta, Georgia, Fairmount Temple in Cleveland, Ohio and at Kolot Chayeinu in Brooklyn, New York.
Rabbi Fox is Cornell's Reform Campus Rabbi. Rabbi Fox has a passion for learning, a commitment to the environment and great love of literature. Rabbi Fox also enjoys playing guitar, Mexican food, going to concerts, and spending time with Dori, his partner of 7 years.
Michal arrived in Ithaca in August of 2010 after having worked in Israel as a marketing assistant, global corporate services coordinator, and more. She was a student at Tel Aviv University and earned an MBA after a BS and MS in Geophysics, Atmospheric and Planetary Science where she supervised a unique atmospheric experiment. At Cornell Hillel she is our office coordinator and at the hub of making Jewish life accessible for all. She is also very involved with the Israeli Student Association, one of our grads’ group, organizing gathering to other Israeli grad students in Ithaca. You can find her in Hillel’s main office, Anabel Aaylor Hall G34.
Joining Michal in Ithaca is her husband Eyal, earning a PhD in Computational Biology and Medicine, and their young son Oren.
Rachel began her Hillel career in 2002. She has worked at the Johns Hopkins University Hillel, Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, and the University of Delaware. She received her Masters Degree in Higher Education Administration from New York University and her BA from Rutgers University. Outside of work she can often be found running as the sunrises, crocheting & knitting, or catching up on the many hours of "junk" TV waiting on the DVR. Rachel lives in Ithaca with her husband and her two daughters.
Jodi was born and raised in South Florida, though she considers URJ Camp Coleman her second childhood home. She was heavily involved in NFTY (Reform Jewish youth group) throughout high school, before moving to Atlanta, where she majored in creative writing and minored in Jewish studies at Emory University. She fell in love with Israel during a Hillel-led birthright trip her senior year, and after graduation, moved to Jerusalem for a 5-month internship as a broadcast journalist.
In addition to Tel Aviv and Haifa, Jodi considers college campuses to be her very favorite places, as she adores working with students. She was an Emory tour guide and sorority leader, and recently earned her master’s degree in college student affairs from Nova Southeastern University, where she was the student newspaper’s graduate assistant and editor-in-chief. She also spent summer 2013 supervising orientation leaders and overseeing parent orientation at Temple University.
Jodi invites students to stop by Anabel Taylor Hall to learn about the latest programming and volunteer opportunities or to hear her gush over any of her TV obsessions.
Jessica grew up in Phoenix, Ariz., before spending seven years in Charlotte, N.C. She earned a bachelor's in criminal justice from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she worked as an administrative assistant to two associate deans in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences after graduation.
Jessica later pursued her master’s degree in criminal justice at the same university and served as a graduate assistant to the Department of Criminal Justice, working closely with students as a mentor and, occasionally, as a teacher. Jessica also has experience advising Zeta Beta Tau, a Jewish fraternity, and she was heavily involved with Hillel as an undergraduate. She has a passion for relationship building and living life with students.