Our Staff

Shalom! We love our jobs making a Jewish home for every student at Stanford. Please feel free to get in touch if you need anything!

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Executive Director

Rabbi Jessica Kirschner

Rabbi Jessica Kirschner is a Bay Area native. She has deep roots in the synagogues, summer camps, and youth organizations of the Union for Reform Judaism. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she had been a student leader at Hillel and studied at the Hebrew University. After five years of rabbinical school in Jerusalem and Los Angeles, she was ordained by Hebrew Union College in 2007. She served for seven years as a Rabbi at Temple Sinai in Washington DC, and as a board member of Jews United for Justice, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and the Washington Interfaith Network. Upon moving back to San Francisco in 2014, she worked for the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism as a community organizer and leader of their state-wide legislative work. 

She and her husband live in San Carlos and have two daughters, Hannah and Maya

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Assistant Director

Jeremy Ragent

Jeremy Ragent, a Bay Area native, has learned that a little humor goes a long way. After studying history at UCLA, he spent a year living and volunteering in Israel doing a program called Otzma (z”l). He began his career at Hillel@Stanford taking Jewish Stanford students out to coffee, hearing their stories, and working with them to make Jewish life happen. After some fun in LA getting an MA in Jewish Nonprofit Management and Public Administration from HUC and USC, doing development work for a Jewish public interest law firm called Bet Tzedek and a synagogue’s free summer literacy program called Wise Freedom School, he is delighted to be back on campus working with those same energetic, passionate, and fun students (and Hillel’s fantastic professional and lay team) to enrich Jewish life on campus. Jeremy loves learning and speaking Hebrew (it brings out his chutzpah), singing and playing music, exploring nature, and spending time with his friends and family. 

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Director of Operations

Leah Newman

Leah is excited to be 'home' both in Hillel and the Bay Area.  She attended UCSD where she loved being involved with the Hillel on campus.  From there she worked at the Hillel at the University of Maryland and then returned to California to work at the Hillel of San Diego, where she was the Assistant Director.  While there she completed a Masters degree in Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the University of San Diego. Leah then moved with her husband to Los Angeles where she worked at BBYO for five years, most recently as an Area Director overseeing three BBYO regions encompassing California, Nevada, and Arizona.  Leah loves reading, talking, eating, and spending time with her twin four year olds, Miriam and Jonah.  

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Development Director

Shira Podhorzer

Shira was born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel. Following two years in Boston, she moved to the bay area with her husband Jonatan and daughter Ella. Shira has a diverse background working in the Israeli for-profit and nonprofit sectors. When arriving in Boston in 2021, she started working as Assistant Director for Constituency and Development at the American Jewish Committee. She also graduated with a certificate in Social Impact Management from Tufts University. Shira is passionate about creating relationships with people who share mutual values and is excited to be moving to the Bay area and getting to know the nature of Jewish life on campus.

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Program Director, Campus and Community Partnerships

Nathalie Landesman

Prior to Joining Hillel@Stanford, Nathalie Landesman Co-Founded Mishelanu, an educational program for Israeli American College Students, and was its former national Director at the Israeli-American Council (IAC). Nathalie held positions in training and strategic directorship both in Pharmaceuticals and HighTech industries and has over 16 years of experience in project management for both Fortune 500 companies and small startups. She is a mother of three (and the proud parent of Mocha, a labradoodle), holds a Master's in Business and Administration, and has been residing in the Silicon Valley for the last 17 years.

She practices secular Judaism and feels fortunate combining her passion for travel and love for students, in exploring Jewish stories, identities and practices around the globe.

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Facilities Manager

Rich Stoner

Rich is our rock-star Facilities Manager. He works hard in the wee hours of the morning to keep the Taube Hillel House and Koret Pavilion in tip top shape. If you happen to be here that early (maybe you're pulling an all-night study session in the Kopa Cafe), be sure to say hello!  He happens to be the coolest dude you've ever met.  

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Curator of Graduate Experience

Ben Zeiger

A NorCal native, Ben is thrilled to be a part of the Hillel at Stanford team. Over the course of his childhood and young adult life, Ben participated in as many Jewish activities as possible: Jewish summer camp, youth group, Birthright, AEPi, a semester abroad at Tel Aviv University, and leadership at UC San Diego Hillel. He also shared his family's passion for public service, studying political science at UC San Diego and working as a field representative for a state assembly member for two years following graduation. Ben left state government to return to his roots within the Jewish community and received graduate degrees in Jewish Education and Jewish Nonprofit Management from the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Hillel at Stanford, Ben worked for two years as the Director of Jewish Student Life for Hillel 818, serving the students of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley region. Ben is passionate about helping others find an active and personally meaningful place within the Jewish community, and enjoys accompanying young adults on the twists and turns of their individual Jewish journeys 

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Cooperman Family Springboard Tzedek Fellow

Kate Frimet

Kate’s a recent graduate of our very own Stanford University, where she did her undergrad studies in Political Science with a focus on elections, representation, and government, and her co-term in Sociology. She’s originally from Washingtonville, New York, and while she will continue to miss good bagels and pizza, she’s thrilled to spend a few more years at Stanford. In transitioning to her role on Hillel’s professional staff, she’s excited give back to the Stanford Jewish community that was so important to her throughout her college experience. Hit her up about poetry, cooking, ice hockey, and, of course, anything and everything politics and social justice (or whatever else you’d like to chat about — she’s a very good listener)!

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Israeli@Stanford Community Engagement Manager

Rotem Saar

Rotem, born and raised in Moshav Beit-Elazari (in the center of Israel) moved from Israel to the Bay area in 2015 with husband Ron and 2 children Yoav and Tomer. Rotem studied industrial design at Israel’s finest design school - Shenkar College and worked as a program developer in non-profit educational programs. Rotem established the Israelis@Stanford community - a platform offering support and social interactions to Israeli students and postdocs at Stanford. Rotem aims to create a warm home-away-from-home for the Israeli students and their families by forming several Israeli community traditions. Rotem is also an experienced SCUBA instructor, a passionate photographer and a skilled carpenter (give her a call if you need a new table).

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Israel Fellow

Yonatan Eyov

Yonatan is 29 years old, was born in Ethiopia and raised in Israel.  He joined the IDF and served as a criminal investigator for three years.  After the army, he earned a BA in communication from IDC Hertzeliya.  In his free time, he likes to go to the gym, hangout with friends, dance and read articles and books.

He's very excited to come to Stanford and meet you all! Hit him up for a coffee or boba. 

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SHEFA Program Director of Student Health and Well-being

Yael Moskowitz

Yael was born in Los Angeles and raised in the Bay Area. She has been active personally and professionally in the Jewish community including leadership roles at synagogues, Camp Ramah, and USY. Yael graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and subsequently moved to Los Angeles where she worked at UCLA Health. She recently returned from spending six months in Israel. Outside of work, Yael loves spending time with friends and family, enjoying the beautiful outdoors, trying out new recipes, and hanging out with her dog. She is passionate about the field of health and wellness and is so excited to be back in her hometown of Palo Alto to work with and support students at Stanford.

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Campus Development and Marketing Manager

Maddie Schaeffer

Maddie is the Marketing and Development Manager on the Hillel at Stanford team. Maddie works with the Hillel International fundraising team to build and execute grassroots campaigns for Stanford, Berkeley, and the University of Arizona Hillel. Before coming to Hillel International, Maddie spent three years as the Development Associate for Oregon Hillel. Originally from the East Coast, Maddie now holds a passion for exploring the West Coast and all the outdoor adventures it has to offer. Maddie is so excited to be a part of this team and do some great work!