Professional Staff and Board of Directors

 

Professional Staff

 

Sapir Basal, Jewish Agency for Israel Fellow

Sapir was born and raised in Rishon Le-Zion, Israel. She holds a BA in English Literature, Communications and Education from Ben Gurion University of the Negev and a teaching certificate from Levinsky College. Sapir participated in two Birthright journeys to Israel and accompanied Jewish Americans while they explored the beauty of Israel. After teaching and educating the younger generation in Israel, Sapir has decided to engage with Israel education in the U.S. Sapir loves music and music concerts, books and travel. As a person who grew up next to the sea, Her favorite activity is spending time at the beach with friends and family. Say Hello (when she begins her role, in September): Israelfellow@qchillel.org

 

Rabbi Brukirer and Ruchie Brukirer, OU-JLIC Torah Educators

Shlomo Brukirer grew up in Suffern, NY, and descends from over 30 generations of Jewish educators. While learning in the Mir Yeshiva in Israel, he helped cofound ZAY, a program for young adults struggling with substance abuse. He spent two years learning Halacha in Yeshivas Torah Voda’as, before marrying his wife, Ruchie. After moving to Israel, they joined the Jerusalem Kollel Rabbinical Training Program where he received smicha from Rabbi Berkovits shlita. Shlomo is always ready and willing to have a conversation or debate on classical political philosophy, ethics, and morals. He appreciates good music, experimenting in the kitchen, and getting to know people. He can be reached at rbrukirer@qchillel.org beginning August 3rd.

 

Ruchie Brukirer grew up in Monsey, NY, and is a proud mommy of two rambunctious boys. She worked with special needs adults while studying for her bachelor's degree. After marrying Shlomo and moving to Israel, she balanced being a part of the Jersualem Kollel, earning her master's degree in Speech Therapy and making Shabbos meals for the many guests they had. While in the Jerusalem Kollel, she studied topics from Rabbi Berkovits shlita such as Jewish theology, Cycle of Life, and Halacha as well as a course in training to give Kallah classes. Ruchie enjoys reading a good book, drawing, and taking a nature hike. She enjoys getting to know people over a traditional home cooked meal. She can be reached at ruchie@qchillel.org beginning August 3rd. 

Jenna Citron Schwab, Executive Director

Originally from New Jersey, Jenna has lived all over the United States from south to north Florida, Texas, Georgia and New York. Her Hillel journey began as a student leader at Hillel at FSU (Florida State), where she was a passionate leader for social justice issues.  Jenna received a Master of Public Administration and Policy from the Askew School at The Florida State University in 2012. She received a B.S. in Political Science from Florida State University in 2008. Jenna began her QC Hillel career as Director of Student Life in 2012, after spending 2 years as Jewish Student Life Coordinator at Hillel at FSU. In 2016, Jenna became the Assistant Director, and was named Executive Director of QC Hillel in 2019. Jenna was a 2014-2015 Shalom Hartman Institute Campus Fellow, a 2017-2018 UJA-Federation of NY Ruskay Fellow, Conference Co-Chair of Limmud NY 2018, a 2018 Hillel International Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award winner, and serves on the Organizational Development Team of Malkhut- a progressive Jewish community in Astoria. Jenna loves Florida State football, Walt Disney World, her husband Devon, and their cats Albus and Sir. Wadsworth. She can be reached at jenna@qchillel.org or on my cell phone 912-247-9928.

 

Liat Friedman, Springboard Fellow for Innovation

Liat Friedman grew up in White Plains, NY and recently graduated from The City College of New York with a bachelor’s degree in Art with a concentration in Digital Design. As a student, she served on the Hillel Board at City for three years. During her time at CCNY, Liat worked as a Youth Advisor for a New York area synagogue’s United Synagogue Youth Group chapter leading and organizing programs for the teens. Before college Liat spent a semester interning in Tel Aviv, Israel, and spent two years as an assistant teaching at a local Jewish Elementary school, Rockland Jewish Academy. Liat is passionate about building Jewish community. She spent ten summers working at Jewish summer camps and most recently served as the First Grade Unit Leader at Camp Twelve Trails. In her spare time, Liat can be found doing graphic design, arts and crafts, watching Netflix, singing with Hazamir or hanging out with friends. Liat is friendly, passionate, and hard working and is excited to serve as the Springboard Fellow at Queens College Hillel. She looks forward to meeting all the students. She can be reached at liat@qchillel.org beginning August 3rd, 2020.

 

Lynn Grossman, Director of Operations

Lynn was born and raised in New York. She and her husband live 10 minutes away from our campus and are proud parents and grandparents of 3 children and grandchildren. Lynn attended yeshivot on Long Island and received her B.A. in Economics from Stern College and continued her education at Baruch College in Computer Programming. Upon completion, she was hired as a business analyst in the Wall Street financial district until her department relocated to Florida and Lynn politely declined the job relocation offer. For the past several years, Lynn has enjoyed working at QC Hillel so much that her 3 children attended Queens College. Lynn enjoys swimming, Zumba and cooking for her family and Shabbat guests (& eating!). You can meet Lynn anytime (almost) at QC Hillel. She can be reached at lynng@qchillel.org

 

Larry Ginsburg, Director of Leadership and Engagement

Larry was born and raised in Albany, NY among lots of snow, incredible mountain ranges, and a community built upon meaningful Jewish practice; here his love for experiential Jewish engagement was developed. Over the years he has been fortunate to work with thousands of individuals- from camps to youth groups and college campuses- uplifting and unraveling the many faces of Jewish identity. After receiving a B.A. in Anthropology from the University at Albany, Larry went on to NYU’s Dual MPA/MA program, where he earned an MPA in Nonprofit Management, as well as an MA in Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Additionally, Larry has held various academic and educational fellowships throughout the years, with such institutions as the iCenter for Israel Education, and The JCC Association’s Departments of Jewish Life & Learning and Camps. Larry sits on the Board of Directors for The University at Albany Hillel, and serves as an educational consultant with the BBYO youth movement. When not at Hillel, Larry loves to go camping, watch Yankees games, and cook. He is always down for a great conversation about what it means to be Jewish, and is looking forward to uplifting and unraveling Jewish identity at QC Hillel! He can be reached at larry@qchillel.org

 Photo coming soon!

Karen Klein, Career Counselor (CUNY Career Connect)

The purpose of the CUNY Hillel Career Connect Program is to support the college and career success of Jewish undergraduate students through professional development and networking opportunities to help them launch successful careers after graduation. Karen is available to students once per week in the Ellen Koppelman Lounge. While the Student Union is closed, you can schedule a time to meet with Karen via email: kklein@commonpointqueens.org

 

 

Rav Sara Zacharia, Senior Jewish Educator

Rabbi Sara Zacharia (Rav Sara) was born and raised in an Ultra-Orthodox home, in Brooklyn, NY. After studying Speech Pathology and Audiology at Brooklyn College, her journey led her to becoming a member of the first class ordained in Los Angeles at The Zeigler School for Rabbinic Studies in 1999. Rav Sara has been deeply involved in creating and directing all aspects of supplemental education, adult learning, and informal youth engagement at numerous Reform and Conservative synagogues in San Diego and Los Angeles. She has also served in several pluralistic communities in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. Her love of teaching torah permeates all she does. Rav Sara’s facility with Jewish text has sparked several innovative learning opportunities throughout the City. She also teaches Jewish mindfulness through study, meditation, prayer and eating practices, and serves as a spiritual guide and mentor. She is a member of the 2017 PresenTense NYC Fellowship to incubate, cultivate and grow her start-up: The Bet Art Midrash Project. She is also a member of the Women in Faith Fellowship 2020, Cohort 4. She loves to take long walks, read, and dance and has an eclectic taste in music. She is a single mom to her daughter, Sasha. Rav Sara is thrilled to be at QC Hillel as its first Senior Jewish Educator. She can be reached at ravsara@qchillel.org.

Board of Directors

Howard Wallick, President* Nikki Kornbluth
Muriel Goldberg, Vice President* Joan Loren*
Erika Witover, Vice President* Professor Arnold Franklin
Steve Schwager, Vice President* Paul Kronish z"l
Ilene Eder, Secretary* Dani Shulman
Daniel Tavakoli, Treasurer * Ariel Tavor
Zohar Bachiry Geiger Yasmin Pinkhasov Malaev
Ellen Koppelman* Shaanan Miller, Student President 
Bobi Klotz* Joshua Frankel
Lily Sommer * Member of Executive Committee

 

© 2018 Queens College Hillel