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Staff

Shalom! We are an all-star group of full-time and part-time staff from all over the country who make up the Hillel@Stanford team. Along with our amazing interns and volunteers, we love our jobs making a Jewish home for every student at Stanford. Please feel free to get in touch if you need anything.


Rabbi Jessica Kirschner

Executive Director
rabbi.kirschner@stanford.edu


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. 



Jeremy Ragent

Assistant Director
650.723.7943
jragent@stanford.edu

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.




Leah Newman

Director of Operations
lnewman1@stanford.edu

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 Assitant 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 the past 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 one year olds, Miriam and Jonah.  





Rabbi Evelyn Baz

Rabbi and Curator of Jewish Experience
ebaz@stanford.edu

 Rabbi and Curator of Jewish ExperienceRabbi Evelyn Baz is joining us from Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she has served as the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Israel. A native of Sydney, Australia, Rabbi Baz began her career as a financial analyst in New York City. Encountering a vibrant and creative Judaism for the first time, she came to see her calling lay in Jewish tradition. It wasn’t long before Rabbi Baz had tradedprivate equity in Manhattan for studying Hebrew in Jerusalem, and then rabbinic training at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies where she was a Wexner Graduate Fellow. During Rabbi Baz time in Los Angeles, she served as rabbinic intern at the Miller Introduction to Judaism program. During her tenure Rabbi Baz was instrumental in the drafting and editing of a new curriculum, now taught nationally. Committed to meaningful, musical and dynamic prayer for Jewish communities, Rabbi Baz contributed her voice for many years as a member of the davening team at Ikar in Los Angeles. Rabbi Baz (rhymes with “jazz”) is almost always accompanied by her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel “Scout”, is still a beginner surfer after years of lessons, and is a lifelong musician, playing cello, guitar, piano and more.


Nathalie Landesman
Program Director, Campus and Community Partnerships
650.723.8871
natlan@stanford.edu

Prior to Joining Hillel@Stanford, Nathalie Landesman Co-Founded Mishelanu, and 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 in both Fortune 500 and small startups. She is a mother of three, holds a Master's in Business and administration, and has been residing in the Silicon Valley for the last 15 years.



Brian Kaplan
Director of DevelopmentBrian_web[1]
650.724.2401
brian.kaplan@stanford.edu

Brian began his career in high tech and after working at Octel and Nuance Communications, he began supporting nonprofits. Most recently, Brian founded Relevant Learning, a nonprofit designed to bring relevancy and engagement into high school classrooms. Earlier, he was Vice President of Development at New Teacher Center (NTC), a national nonprofit raising the effectiveness of new teachers. Prior to NTC, Brian served as Vice President of Development and Marketing at Silicon Valley Education Foundation. He is a trained facilitator in inter-personal dynamics (touchy/feely) from the Stanford GSB and serves as a Strategic Advisor to Educate Girls Globally. Brian holds a BA from Northwestern University, an MBA from the Haas School of Business, and an MA Ed. from Stanford University. Brian has two children, lives in Palo Alto with his wife Stephanie, and loves hiking, outdoor adventures, and road cycling.



LiaNilson_squareLia Nilson  
Curator of Graduate Experience
lnilson@stanford.edu

Lia was born and raised in Sonoma County and graduated from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Northern California has always been home for Lia, specifically the Bay Area, and she truly loves it here. Over the past two years as Hillel’s

Innovation Specialist, she immersed herself in the cultures and communities on and around the Stanford campus and integrated design thinking methodology in Hillel programming to engage more students and better serve their needs. Now as the Curator of Graduate Experience, she is excited about applying the same methodology to enrich Stanford’s significant graduate student communities. She is passionate about art and gardening and believes that mindfully engaging in hands-on activities inspires opportunities for social action.




Jason Kuperberg

Springboard Fellow and Innovation Specialist
jmkuperb@stanford.edu

Originally from Rochester, NY Jason attended Syracuse University where he studied biotechnology and entrepreneurship. Though he will always be at home in Upstate New York, Jason is excited for life in California where he will be the Springboard Innovation Fellow at Hillel at Stanford. Throughout his time at Syracuse Jason immersed himself in many communities. With experiences ranging from cancer research to working with startups, including success with his own startup in local and international business competitions, he brings his passion for innovation and entrepreneurship to every project and group he is a part of. Jason is also an avid hiker, runner, and triathlete, currently working towards his goal of running a marathon in every state. Jason has spent significant time around the world, including in Israel and Australia, and he is always looking for new travels and adventures.  At Syracuse Hillel, Jason served as executive vice president of the student board, successfully contributing to events and initiatives with the goal of making Judaism more accessible for students across campus, and he looks forward to bringing his enthusiasm and experiences to Hillel at Stanford.

 



Leeya Fryder

Israel Fellow
lfryder@stanford.edu

Leeya (yes, we now have two Lia/Leeyas) is from a small town in Israel called Kfar-Yona and is excited to be joining the Hillel team. As part of her army service, she was a Hebrew teacher and officer on several bases working to incorporate new immigrants into the army and Israeli society broadly. She studied social work at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, where she focused on community organizing, therapy methods, and population-specific service. She was also active in Hillel! The essence of being an Israel Fellow, for her, is the human connection and the wish to make Israel a better place.  Leeya loves working out, meeting friends at watering holes, and going to music shows and theater.


Elana Thurston-Milgrom

Camp Kesem Director and Jewish Student Life Associate
elanatm@stanford.edu

Elana is a long-time camp person, who spent ten years attending and working at summer camps. She is a recovering academic with two MAs and the majority of a PhD to prove it. Elana is passionate about both children's mental health and camp fun! She also loves working with young adults--her favorite part of being a graduate student was mentoring and empowering college-aged students. Coming back to Stanford was a homecoming after many years away for Elana, who grew up just down the street from Hillel. She lives in Redwood City with her pitbull, Beatrice and they are both enjoying and taking full advantage being outdoors in California.  She has most recently been working as Hillel’s Operations Manager and Communications Associate.



Rich Stoner
Facilities Manager
Part-time: M-F 8-12

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!



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Hillel@Stanford
Taube Hillel House & Koret Pavilion at the Ziff Center for Jewish Life
565 Mayfield Avenue
Stanford, CA 94305-8456
(650) 723-1602
 
Hillel