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Ollie Benn Executive Director
Ollie joined San Francisco Hillel's professional staff in June 2014 after previously serving on its Board of Directors as governance chair. Since assuming the role of Executive Director, Ollie has spearheaded Hillel's efforts to create vibrant Jewish life at USF, UC Hastings and across San Francisco, while maintaining our traditionally strong base at SF State. Ollie is very active in the Bay Area Jewish community, where he recently sat on the Jewish Community Federation's Board of Directors as a board observer, served in the Federation's Fed Fellows program, and served on the Jewish Community Relations Council's metropolitan council. Professionally, Ollie worked for many years as a lawyer (primarily at the international law firm Duane Morris) representing corporate and technology clients, before founding and running a medical device company. In his free time he loves soccer, yoga and skiing.
Office: (415) 333-4922 ext. 16
Rachel Nilson Assistant Director of Jewish Student Life
Rachel Nilson grew up in Sonoma County, where her Jewish experiences revolved around her synagogue. As a student at San Francisco State University, where she majored in History and minored in Jewish studies, she was active with SF Hillel's student board, Israel Coalition, and as a Koret Israel Intern. Jewish campus life opened up a whole new focus for her, and now as the Assistant Director of Jewish Student Life she is passionate about working with students to sustain a welcoming, fun, and diverse Jewish community. Outside of Hillel Rachel enjoys participating in projects such as Abraham's Vision, visiting museums, hiking, and travel.
Office: (415) 333-4922 ext. 14
Omer Zohar Israel Fellow
Born and raised in Israel, Omer is extremely excited to share her roots with the San Francisco Hillel community. She recently graduated from IDC Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, where she earned her degree in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, specializing in Counter-terrorism and Diplomacy. During her time here at San Francisco Hillel she has worked extensively with students to build a welcoming Jewish community around Israel. She has led some incredible Israel focused programs here including, Food for Thought, Resetting the Table, The David Project, beginner and advanced Hebrew lessons, I-Team and Michaelanu. Her focus is on building coalitions and bringing together the many diverse communities on campus. When not in office, Omer enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures and talking about Israel! Omer looks forward to another wonderful school year here at SF Hillel!
Office: (415) 333-4922 ext.15
Samantha Leveston Operations and Special Projects Associate
Sam spent most of her life on the east coast but always had dreams of moving west. She attended the University of Vermont where she was involved with her Hillel as a Peer-Network Engagement Intern. Sam spent her first year after college in D.C. as a participant in AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps -- a program that places Jewish young adults in jobs that work to fight urban poverty. While in D.C. she worked for an affordable housing non-profit. Additionally she’s spent time on a Jewish farm and previously worked at the Yiddish Book Center in Massachusetts. She is so excited to finally make her way over to the west coast and combine all her passions into the position of Operations and Special Projects Associate at SF Hillel. Sam is a big dog lover too!
Office: (415) 333-4922 ext. 10
Koret Student Fellows 2013 - 2014
The Koret Student Fellowship empowers students to take ownership of their Jewish campus community and enhance professional skills and experience. The fellowship consists of a cohort of 5 - 6 students, each charged with a different area of responsibility, who alongside our staff, collectively co-design and implement San Francisco Hillel's strategy for engagement, programming, education, development, and community relations.
Student Engagement Fellow: Danielle Karta
Student Engagment Fellow: Karen Erlich
Campus Liaison Fellow: Shira Kattan
Israel Education Fellow: Jason Steckler
Social Media and Public Relations Fellow: Melody Rainville
Community Relations Fellow: Matan Geller
Shabbat Intern: Jessica Raytselsky
The Peer-Network Engagement Internship is designed to enhance Jewish life on campus. The
internship establishes a cohort of 3 - 5 student interns charged with
building relationships with their uninvolved peers and connecting them
with Jewish resources and opportunities on campus.