Since 1985, Sam has guided the transformation of Hillel Council of New England from an umbrella organization providing support to the large, established Hillel foundations in the immediate Boston area to one that fosters Jewish campus life on ten small campuses throughout New England. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, The Mandel School of Social Science at Case Western Reserve University and the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles, and he has an honorary doctorate of Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College. Sam is also a Board Member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and the Board of Governors of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies. He is also a member of Temple Isaiah, Lexington and of the Bedford Center for The Arts. He is married to Judy Rakowsky and is the father of Benjamin of Tel Aviv, Jacob of Panama City (Panama) and Ezra, a sophomore at the University of Toronto.
Office: Usdan 52
Originally from Newton MA, Cindy is beginning her 18th year with Hillel at Brandeis. On her Grand Tour of American Universities, she has earned degrees in Psychology and Higher Education Administration and gone to such places as Amherst, MA Bloomington, IN, Stony Brook, NY, and scenic Storrs, CT (there’s not much to do there, but it is scenic). As Associate Director, Cindy serves as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Program Officer for Hillel at Brandeis. Most days you can find her in Usdan, hangin’ out in the Hillel Lounge, keeping the chaos somewhat contained. She enjoys a really good café au lait and pretty much anything on the ice cream menu at Cabot’s.
Office: Usdan 152
The Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) is a program of the Orthodox Union in partnership with Hillel. Rabbi David Pardo received his BA from UCLA and his ordination from Yeshiva University, with supplementary education from the Isralight Institute and Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future. Most importantly, David learned from following around some really interesting people. A native Angelino with no known conflicting or career-threatening team affiliations, Rabbi Pardo realized as an undergrad that working on a college campus was the place to be, and JLIC was the greatest way to do it. He’s lived in different corners of the world, working with different populations of young adults to build supercharged Jewish communities. Rabbi Pardo loves learning meaningful things, schmoozing about interesting things, eating (and making) spicy things, biking, fine tea brewing and parenting with his awesome wife Ariel. For more information about JLIC at Brandeis, please click here.
Office: Usdan 144
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The Heshe and Harriet Seif Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) is a program of the Orthodox Union in partnership with Hillel. Ariel Pardo was born and bred in sunny Los Angeles. She attended YULA high school and went to UCLA, graduating cum laude with a degree in Anthropology. Ariel attended Nishmat’s Alisa Flatow program for post-college students. While on Yeshiva University’s Gruss Campus in Israel, Ariel completed a certificate program from Machon Puah’s Women’s Health Training, learned Hilchot Taharat Mishpacha under the guidance of Yoetzet Leora Bednarsh and completed extended studies in YU’s Midrashiya program. She met David at UCLA while participating together in JLIC programs and has traveled the globe in search of great tea (and Jewish things, too). Ariel enjoys learning Tanach, viewing American musicals, drinking fine tea, chilling out with students, and adoring her daughters. For more information about JLIC at Brandeis, please click here.
Office: Usdan 143
Harry is a native of Natick Massachusetts and joins the Hillel at Brandeis Staff this year. He recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neurobiology from the University of Connecticut where he was involved both in the Hillel there and Alpha Phi Omega, the National Co-Ed Community Service Fraternity. Harry rediscovered his love for Jewish life through his trip to Israel on Birthright and his involvement with Hillel and ever since has been driven to help others do the same. In his free time Harry writes, plays guitar and sings. He loves going into Boston and seeing musicals and stand up comics. So if you want to grab a coffee and talk about Jewish Life on Brandeis campus come on by!
Office: Usdan 150
Tamar Brendzel comes from the cold and snowy land of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She received her Bachelor’s from Indiana University Bloomington, and chose to go into Jewish work after spending a year in Israel teaching English. Tamar staffs the Brandeis Birthright Israel trip, and is always on hand to answer questions about Birthright Israel and Israel programming on campus. In her free time, she enjoys running, writing (slightly depressing) short stories, and reading books. She’s always available to grab a coffee and chat about Israel, or anything else you might want to talk about!
Office: Usdan 145
Described in an article in the Brandeis Hoot newspaper as “the heart and soul of the Chaplaincy,” Ellie Afienko has served as Department Administrator for Hillel at Brandeis and the Chaplaincy at Brandeis University for more than 30 years. In that time, she has mentored countless students and served as colleague, counselor, and friend to all Hillel staff and Brandeis chaplains. Ellie’s job involves all elements of administrative matters, from departmental budgets to managing day-to-day communications, from greeting new students to helping student leaders with financial reporting. Ellie is a proud parent and grandparent, and she lives in Millis.
Office: Usdan 51
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Eliana is a senior majoring in Psychology with a minor in English. Born in Massachusetts, she has also lived in Denver CO, Houston TX, and currently lives in New Jersey. Having recently returned from a semester abroad in London, Eliana is excited get back to work reserving rooms, answering questions, and bringing laughter to the Hillel lounge. When not at Hillel, Eliana can be found baking/eating muffins, cheerleading, or straight up hanging with her peeps.
Office: Hillel Lounge
Julia Brown is a sophomore from Baltimore, MD and is majoring in Health, Science, Society, and Policy, and possible other majors/minors yet to be determined. This is her second semester working for Hillel and she is excited to master the art of reserving rooms and continue to be the self-appointed source of entertainment for the office. When not organizing her desk at Hillel, Julia can be found singing a cappella, doing zumba, or eating ice cream by the pint.
Office: Hillel Lounge
We have an opening for a student worker! If interested please contact Associate Director Cindy Spungin at email@example.com
Office: Hillel Lounge