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 return 'home' both to Hillel and the Bay Area.  She went to 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 two year olds, Miriam and Jonah.  

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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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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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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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Israel Fellow

Leeya Fryder

Leeya graduated from her social work studies at Ben Gurion University in Israel and moved to California in August 2018 to be the Israel Fellow at the Hillel at Stanford. Her experience working with different communities in Israel fuels her passion for sharing the Israel story around the world and she was amazed to see how diverse and rich Jewish life can be around the world. Leeya enjoys hiking, watching movies (they get extra points if they are based on a real story) and going to any live music event opportunity. She misses real hummus but is grateful for a whole-year-long avocado season.

Cooperman Family Springboard Tzedek Fellow

Sarah Tibbitts

Sarah Tibbitts is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and a recent graduate of THE Ohio State University, where she studied public policy and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, specifically concentrating in race, sexualities, and social justice.  Sarah spent a semester in Cape Town, South Africa studying multiculturalism and human rights, and found an unexpected home in the local Jewish community there.  She is excited to bring this global lens to the Springboard social justice fellowship! While at Ohio State, Sarah spent much of her time leading dialogue groups and events around issues of social identity, equity, and community building.  She also focused on these topics in her jobs at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.  She is a lover of politics and civic engagement, yoga and travel, and all things related to cheesy pasta.  While a little jittery about being a newcomer to the Bay Area, she is SO excited to explore all that it has to offer—and most importantly, to be a resource for social justice advocacy and Jewish community building for all of Stanford’s students!

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).

Marketing and Development Manager

Alisa Koyrakh

Alisa Koyrakh is excited to join Hillel at Stanford as the Marketing and Development Manager. In this role, she will help us build online community and execute fundraising campaigns. Previously, Alisa worked in development at North Carolina Hillel. She especially enjoys finding creative ways to share our story with new audiences online. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU and a BA in Russian and English Comparative Literature from Barnard. She also spent six months at Nishmat, the Jeanie Schottenstein Center for Advanced Torah Study, in Jerusalem. She loves hiking, reading old books, and eating ice cream, preferably all in one day.