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
Executive Director & CEO
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
Silk Foundation Campus Rabbi
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, getting you on a Birthright Israel trip; involvement in Birthright Israel alumni programs; involvement in WashU Students for Israel.
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.
Tony J. Westbrook, Jr.
Tony J. Westbrook, Jr. is a Jewish African-American, activist and community leader originally from St. Louis working to address issues of racial inequality, discrimination, diversity, and inclusion throughout the St. Louis community. He received his B.A. in Communication from Fontbonne University. He feels called to serve Jewish communities and non-Jewish communities in holy and meaningful ways. He made aliyah in 2016 and studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, graduating in May 2019 with a Certificate in Jewish Studies and a Certificate in Jewish Experiential Education. His personal and professional mission in life is to help Jews of all ages and affiliations to make new, meaningful, and sustainable connections to their Judaism. When he’s not working, you can find him singing or in the kitchen making delicious kosher treats.
Gina Ceisler Shapiro
Chief Development Officer
Born and raised in Washington, PA, a small town in southwestern Pa, Gina knows the importance of having a strong Jewish identity. She graduated from University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and received her MBA from University of Pittsburgh. After a career as a business consultant she changed gears and became a development professional. Beginning in higher education, she eventually worked for Penn Hillel and then served as a fundraising consultant for Hillel International, working with Hillels throughout the country where she witnessed the tremendous impact Hillel has on the life of Jewish students and a college campus. Gina is thrilled to be joining the WashU Hillel team and connecting families, alumni and community members to the Hillel mission. Gina and her husband, Stuart, are avid travelers and entertainers and have two children - Nolan, who attends Middlebury College, and Carly, who is pursuing a dual masters in social work and public health at WashU’s Brown School.
Avery Lyla Friedman
Program & Engagement Associate
Avery Lyla Friedman is a proud Marylander who graduated from Christopher Newport University in Virginia in 2015 with a degree in psychology and a minor in business administration. While there she was heavily involved at her local JCC, where she organized kids’ programs and taught both Hebrew school and preschool. After finishing school she spent a year in Netanya, Israel teaching English with MASA Israel Teaching Fellows. She fell hopelessly in love with Israel, made aliyah and spent the next few years working at a high-tech start-up in Tel Aviv and earning a master’s degree in Jewish Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She’s recently returned to the US, and is excited to bring her love of Israel and passion for informal and experiential Jewish education to WashU! In her free time, Avery loves browsing used bookstores, hiking, trying out new gluten-free recipes, and watching re-runs of The Office for the millionth time.
IACT Coordinator for Israel Engagement
Born and raised in St. Louis, Allison Frieze is excited to start work back in her hometown with the WashU Hillel team. She just recently graduated from Missouri State University with her Master’s degree in Global Studies with a focus in National Security. She also received a graduate certificate through Homeland Security and Defense. During her time in school, Allison studied abroad in Spain as well as participated in a Birthright Israel trip. Her passion for both travel and Israel has led her to her new position as an IACT Coordinator for WashU Hillel. She is excited to share her love for Israel with the students at WashU and help them experience everything this amazing country has to offer! Some of her favorite memories from her time in Israel were seeing the sunrise on the back of a camel, visiting the Western Wall, hiking Mount Arbel, and floating in the Dead Sea. When Allison isn’t traveling to Israel, she is either watching her favorite hockey team (Go Blues), eating an enormous amount of French fries, hiking with her dog Rory, or trying out a new recipe!
Springboard Social Justice Fellow
Abby graduated in 2018 from American University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in public administration and policy. She was especially involved in her sorority, AEPhi, while in college. She spent a year on the executive board of her chapter as VP Recruitment. Outside of AEPhi, Abby worked as a religious school teacher at a local synagogue. She loved teaching about Jewish values and presenting them in fun and innovative ways. After graduating, Abby spent a year working for AEPhi as a Traveling Educational Consultant. She traveled the country to various universities and their AEPhi chapters’ providing support and resources. She loved every minute of it! Abby is extremely passionate about making a difference in the lives of others, particularly women, children, and families, and using the values of tzedekah (justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) to do so. Abby is originally from Los Angeles, CA, and she is a huge Lakers and Dodgers fan. She is fueled by coffee and sushi, however, not at the same time. Abby is excited to begin exploring St. Louis and foster the relationship of WashU students to Hillel!
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 (2009) and Grace (2012). They also have 2 rescue cats, 1 rescue dog, and 15(ish) chickens. Yes, chickens! Missy is the administrative assistant, which involves maintaining student and donor databases, creating newsletters and communications, assisting with 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!