The Team

Vancouver Hillel’s Staff Team
Vancouver Hillel has a team of dynamic and passionate staff who are driven to provide outstanding Jewish student programming and services on campuses across British Columbia.

Vancouver Hillel is excited about our new team of professionals for 2012-13. Some of our professionals are returning friends you know and love. And we look forward to welcoming some new faces. 

 

Michael Silbert, Executive Director

Michael Silbert is thrilled to begin a new life on the West Coast as Executive Director of Vancouver Hillel. Michael is a newly minted rabbi, having received his smichah (ordination) as a rabbi from the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College, in Newton, Massachusetts just this summer. He also holds Master’s degrees from Brandeis University’s Hornstein Program in Jewish Communal Service and from its Heller School of Public Policy. His undergraduate degree, in Hebrew Literature and Judaic Studies, is from the University of Cape Town, in his native South Africa.

Vancouver is not Michael’s first role with Hillel, as he has served as the Director of Development and Marketing for Boston University Hillel. However, his passion for working directly with intellectually curious and socially engaged students, and for the richness of Jewish life and learning, inspired him to find a new path in the Hillel world.

He has been a professional photographer and continues to enjoy photography, capturing the West Coast scenery and his family’s new life in British Columbia through his lens. He is married to Rachel and they have two boys, Elie (5) and Nadav (almost 2). Their bearded collie, Molly, will be joining them from Boston in October.

Michael is a person who loves asking questions, from “Is there a God and if so, what does She want from me?” to “When exactly do clothes become laundry? When they first get dirty, when one takes them off, when they hit the basket, or when they get tossed into the machine?”

He is excited about the opportunity to meet students, to learn from their questions, to just talk with them, and to eating chocolate together with them.

Contact Michael.

Orit Goldfarb, Assistant Executive Director

Originally from Israel, Orit joined Vancouver Hillel in the fall of 2006 as the Executive Office Manager and guided the organization as Acting Executive Director during the 2012 transition to new leadership. She has a Bachelor of Social Work from Bar Ilan University and a Diploma in Organizational Consulting from Haifa University. As Assistant Executive Director, Orit is integral in all Hillel operations. Contact Orit.

 

Maggie Yonash, Special Events Coordinator

The longest-serving member of the Vancouver Hillel mishpachah, Maggie has been working for and volunteering with Vancouver Hillel for more than 15 years. She is originally from Israel and served two years in the required military service in the Israel Defence Forces before completing additional comprehensive training and serving an additional two years as an officer. Among other things, Maggie organizes Hillel’s annual Gala, oversees maintenance of the Diamond Foundation Centre for Jewish Campus Life and is a crucial support for everything Hillel does. She is also a warm, welcoming friend to all who walk through the doors at UBC. Contact Maggie.

 

Pat Johnson, Director of Communications 

Pat grew up in Vancouver and graduated from McGill University, where he first encountered Hillel. After working as a journalist, consultant and hack writer for many years, Pat joined Vancouver Hillel in 2006 as Director of Development and Communications. In the past five years he has served as Hillel director at Simon Fraser University, Managing Director of Programming and now assists in all communications for the organization. Contact Pat.

 

Jeff Greenberg, UBC Program Director

Jeff Greenberg was born and raised in Toronto, and graduated with an honours degree in arts and sciences from the University of Guelph, specializing in biology and psychology. As a student, Jeff was involved in Hillel at both the local Guelph level and in national Jewish student communities. He served two years as a national board member of the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students. Jeff has many different interests, but especially loves to travel, explore the city by bike, play music and sports, and meet new people. Jeff is beginning his second year as program director and is “extremely excited to be a part of such a vibrant and proud Hillel community!” Contact Jeff.

 

Jordana Bregman, UBC Program Director

Jordana is delighted to be back home in Vancouver. Born and raised here, Jordana left the city after high school to study at the University of Oregon where she obtained her B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Art History. She then moved to Tel Aviv and spent the following four years teaching English in Israeli public schools and eating a lot of hummus. As a teacher, she was fortunate to interact with a broad spectrum of Israeli students including Muslims, Christians and Jews. While in Israel, Jordana received her MA in Curriculum Studies/Teaching English as a Second Language from Bar Ilan University. As someone who enjoys working with students of all ages in both formal and informal settings, Jordana is excited to join the Hillel team. Contact Jordana.

 

Moises Lemor, Jewish Agency Israel Fellow

Moises (Moi) has recently arrived in British Columbia as the Israel Fellow to Vancouver Hillel, an emissary of the Jewish Agency for Israel. Moi served in the Israel Defence Forces as a non-commissioned officer in the Foreign Relations unit and worked as a counselor for Birthright groups. He was born and raised in Lima, Peru, made Aliyah in 2005 and is fluent in Hebrew, English, Spanish and Portuguese. Moi holds a B.A. in Business Administration and Latin American Studies from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and, during his studies, worked for the Israel Student Authority and as an educator and counselor for the Begin Heritage Center’s Junior Knesset program. He has also volunteered as an advisor for Lone Soldiers. Moi looks forward to bringing Israel to the student community in British Columbia by sharing his experiences as an immigrant (oleh) and as an Israeli, always keeping in mind that the best way of learning is to encourage an open dialogue and to get to know both sides of the story. Contact Moi.

 

Rotem Tal, Hillel Director at Simon Fraser University

Rotem Tal is working toward a BA in business at S.F.U, while also serving as the new Hillel Director at SFU. Last year, Rotem was Outreach Director, working primarily at Hillel at UBC. Rotem was born and raised in Israel; but lived in Toronto for a time between the ages of five and 10, where he lost his innocence and Israeli accent, and gained Canadian citizenship. Rotem speaks Hebrew and English and enjoys bike-riding, snowboarding, and anything outdoors. Rotem served in the Israel Defence Forces for three years, after which he did “the whole Israeli nomad thing for a while” visiting Thailand, living in Australia for a year, backpacking through India and finally running out of money and returning to reality. When he saw his pockets emptying, Rotem went to the United States, where he worked at random Israeli-owned beach stores in Florida and then found odd jobs in malls across the USA. After travelling satiated his sense of adventure, Rotem decided to settle in Vancouver in 2008. He is a founding resident of Vancouver’s first Moishe House. As a new member of the young Vancouver Jewish community, Rotem is ready to share his passion with students on all three Vancouver Hillel campuses. Contact Rotem.

 

Samantha Jeroff, Hillel Director at the University of Victoria

Sam is a Vancouver native and a recent graduate of the University of Victoria, receiving a degree in Hispanic Studies and Psychology. Having been involved in the Jewish community as a child, she wanted to continue her involvement in Victoria and so became involved in Hillel, where she was a pivotal student leader during her studies. She now looks forward to continuing her involvement with Vancouver Hillel as a professional. Aside from her Hillel activities, she is an avid reader, loves going to the theatre, and learning new languages. As well, she loves to travel and aims to set foot on every continent. Contact Samantha.

 

For general information, call 604-224-4748.