Meet Our Staff

  • Jacqueline Ulin Levey
    Jacqueline Ulin Levey

    Executive Director & CEO

    Originally from Buffalo, NY (go Bills!), Jackie moved to St. Louis to attend Washington University. During college, she interned at Hillel, co-founded a group called “Black Women/Jewish Women” and was President of Student Union, WashU’s student government. Jackie loved St. Louis and WashU, and after a fellowship and political campaign work in Washington, DC, she returned to WashU for law school. After 8 years practicing law in St. Louis, it was time to return to the campus that she loves and help foster one of the most vibrant campus Jewish communities in the country. She still can’t believe she’s been given this opportunity to work with such amazing students each day, helping to cultivate the next generation of Jewish leaders during one of the most important times in our history. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and spending time with her husband Jim, son Asher (age 7), her daughter Maddie (born May 2016), and their rescue dog, Barley.

  • Rabbi Jordan Gerson
    Rabbi Jordan Gerson

    Silk Foundation Campus Rabbi

    Rabbi Jordan Gerson was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies in Los Angeles in 2011. RJ, as students call him, worked in congregational life for 3 years before returning to his hometown of St. Louis to work with Hillel in August 2014. He earned his BA from Binghamton University in Jewish Studies with a focus in Jewish History and holds a MA in Rabbinic Literature from the American Jewish University. Today, RJ is happy to be back in St. Louis with his wife, Becky, and their three daughters, Daliya, Ashira, and Nessa. RJ loves introducing students to the rich compendium of knowledge that Judaism has to offer in new and innovative ways and with a modern lens. When he’s not in the office, Rabbi Jordan loves going to the zoo with his kids and reading and watching movies.

  • Miriam Ross-Hirsch
    Miriam Ross-Hirsch

    Assistant Director

    After growing up in a small town in southern New York and going to school in Boston, Miriam has been enjoying St. Louis and the Midwest. She graduated from Tufts University in 2013 with a degree in sociology and studio art, where she was also very involved with Hillel. She joined the WashU Hillel staff in July 2013 and is thrilled to be starting her new position as Assistant Director. Miriam heads up Hillel's program staff, who work to help students “do Jewish” in whatever ways they find most meaningful. Whether that means religious services, Jewish learning, community service, purely social events, or just hanging out with other Jews at the Hillel house, her and her team are here to help you figure out how to make your Jewish college experience as awesome as possible! Miriam also runs our Birthright Israel program, which has taken hundreds of WashU students to Israel for a trip of a lifetime, and Hillel's internship programs. When she’s not at Hillel, you can find her with an SLR camera in one hand, a recipe for gluten-free goodies in the other, an art museum ticket stub in her pocket, and a book in her purse.

  • Leah Rose Staffin
    Leah Rose Staffin

    Program & Engagement Associate - EZRA Fellow

    Before joining the WashU Hillel staff in July 2017, Leah worked as an educator and youth group advisor at a synagogue in Wayland, MA, and as an education justice fellow at Repair the World in Philadelphia, PA after graduating from Brandeis University in 2015 with a degree in Social Justice Studies & Education. Her passions for Jewish life are heavily influenced by music, tikkun olam (social justice) work, learning, and community building. She is so excited to share this passion for Jewish life with WashU students; to meet up for coffee, tea, or smoothies; and to see all the wonderful things students will bring to and do at Hillel! Her goals are to enhance programming capabilities and engage students in Jewish life in ways that are meaningful to them. She is also working this year to expand Jewish learning offerings, creating new spaces and interactive methods of learning to together study our community’s texts and histories.

  • Margaret Butler
    Margaret Butler

    Springboard Social Justice Fellow

    After graduating in June 2017 from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Political Science (Go Ducks!), Margaret is thrilled to be the new Springboard Social Justice Fellow at WashU Hillel. She was on the leadership team of the Manzil Midrash program at her Alma matter, which facilitates dialogue and builds community between Jewish and Muslim students. She also served as president of University of Oregon’s local Jewish sorority Sigma Mu Omega for two years. These leadership roles, along with involvement in other programs and communities at Oregon, fueled a passion for helping others make a greater impact in the world. One of Margaret’s key goals is to help each student connect their Jewish identity to the greater meanings of Jewish concepts such as tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedekah (justice/charity). She is looking forward to helping students continue to foster a warm, welcoming environment for all at Hillel and across campus. She loves being a mama duck to all her WashU Bear cubs!

  • Missy Novotny
    Missy Novotny

    Administrative Assistant

    Missy was born and raised in St. Louis. She graduated in 2001 from the University of Missouri St. Louis with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English. Completely unrelated to the degree, she spent many years in the Printing Industry as a Quality, Safety and Environmental Manager before leaving her full-time career behind in favor of more time with her family. Married to Lee, who works at Union Pacific Railroad, since 2007, they have two gorgeous, smart, sassy daughters, Ellie (7) and Grace (4). Missy is the administrative assistant, which involves maintaining student and donor databases, creating newsletters and communications, assisting appeals and mailings, and taking care of building rentals and whatever other odds and ends that arise. Connecting with such eager, intelligent, friendly and involved students provides an awesome working environment! Ellie and Grace love Hillel, too. Don’t be surprised if you come to Hillel and find them sprawled on the couch. They’re shy, but they’ll be happy to color you a picture!