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Meet Our Staff

Our staff family is here to support students on any step of their Jewish journeys. Find out more about each of us, our contact info, some of the ways we can specifically help, as well as our pronouns below.

  • Jacqueline Ulin Levey
    Jacqueline Ulin Levey

    Executive Director & CEO
    jackie@washuhillel.org
    314-935-9042
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    She can help with: Overall questions about Hillel and Jewish life on campus; WashU Hillel's Board of Directors; engaging alumni, parents, faculty, and community members in advancing WashU Hillel's mission.

    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 8), her daughter Maddie (born May 2016), and their rescue dog, Barley.

  • Rabbi Jordan Gerson
    Rabbi Jordan Gerson

    Silk Foundation Campus Rabbi
    rabbijordan@washuhillel.org
    314-935-9037
    Pronouns: He/Him/His

    He can help with: Pastoral care and hospital visits; Shabbat Around WashU & Do Your Own Seder; Shabbat & Holiday programs and services; Jewish learning; involvement with Israel internships or general Israel programs.

    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
    miriam@washuhillel.org
    314-935-9044
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    She can help with: Involvement with WIPAC, Nachshon Internship, or Jew It Yourself Grants; graphic design and data entry internships; young alumni programs across the country.

    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, theater, and social justice organizations. She joined the WashU Hillel staff in July 2013 and has served as Program & Engagement Associate and Director of Programming & Engagement prior to becoming Assistant Director. On campus, Miriam heads up Hillel's program and engagement team, 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! She also cultivates WashU Hillel alumni communities outside St. Louis. In her spare time, Miriam enjoys exploring St. Louis, finding the best gluten & dairy free foods around the city, crafting and photography, volunteering, and hanging out with her cat/best friend Nugget.

  • Leah Rose Staffin
    Leah Rose Staffin

    Program & Engagement Associate - EZRA Fellow
    leah@washuhillel.org
    314-935-9045
    Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

    She can help with: Prospective student visits; Involvement with Hillel Leadership Council, First Year Students of Hillel, or J Street U and their events; connecting students to new friends; finding or creating Jewish learning opportunities.

    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
    margaret@washuhillel.org
    314-935-9045
    Pronouns: They/them/theirs or she/her/hers

    They can help with: Involvement with Challah for Hunger and any new or existing social justice programs at Hillel or on campus, Hillel's Send Love program (washuhillel.org/sendlove).

    After graduating in June 2017 from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in Political Science (Go Ducks!), Margaret was thrilled to start as the Springboard Social Justice Fellow at WashU Hillel. They were on the leadership team of the Manzil Midrash program at their alma mater, which facilitates dialogue and builds community between Jewish and Muslim students. They 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). They are looking forward to helping students continue to foster a warm, welcoming environment for all at Hillel and across campus. They love being a mama duck to all their WashU Bear cubs!

  • Leah Rothberg
    Leah Rothberg

    IACT Coordinator for Israel Engagement
    leah.rothberg@washuhillel.org
    www.washubirthright.com
    314-935-9045
    Pronouns: She/her/hers

    She can help with: Getting you on a Birthright Israel trip; involvement in Birthright Israel alumni programs; involvement in WashU Students for Israel.

    Leah graduated in May 2017 from The University of Missouri - Columbia (Mizzou) with a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing. Heavily involved in the Cornell School of Business, she held positions on the executive boards for Alpha Kappa Psi, The Cornell Leadership Conference, and the Make Me Marketable Conference. If she wasn't in the Business School, you could find her teaching climbing, high ropes, and team-building at Venture Out. Post graduation, Leah uprooted her life to go teach English in an elementary school in Israel through the MASA English Teaching Fellowship for 10 months. She has now returned to her home town in the 314 to join the WashU Hillel family! Shoot her a message on Facebook or email and she'll treat you to coffee and conversation!

  • Missy Novotny
    Missy Novotny

    Administrative Assistant
    hillel@washuhillel.org
    314-935-9040
    Pronouns: She/her/hers

    She can help with: Hillel office internships; Hillel House management and space reservations.

    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 (8) and Grace (5). 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!