Rabbi Dave Siegel grew up in Massapequa, New York in Long Island. As a teenager, he was an active member and officer of METNY United Synagogue Youth (USY). After graduating Massapequa High School, he received his BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Law/History from Binghamton University and has received masters degrees from both New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the Jewish Theological Seminary's William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. Before attending JTS, Dave worked as the Director of Special Projects at the 92nd Street Y. During his time in Rabbinical School Dave focused on leadership and professional development in the Jewish community. He has also served in leadership positions at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and United Synagogue Youth. Dave is currently the Executive Director of Hofstra University Hillel and lives on Long Island with his family.
A native Houstonian and proud alum of the University of Texas, Rabbi Meir (“Rabs”) continues to be an enthusiastic Longhorns fan.
He loves hiking in the national parks out west and taking lots of pictures of their mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and wildlife. Rabbi Meir also enjoys tossing a Frisbee around, playing volleyball and guitar, and shmoozing with students.
He earned his M.S. in Education, Masters of Social Work, and rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University and was recently honored with the Advisor of the Year Award by Hofstra’s Student Government Association.
Tamara Russo grew up in South Florida. Graduating in 2015 from Hofstra University, Tamara studied Psychology with a concentration in Cognitive Science. Tamara served as an Ask Big Questions fellow for Hofstra Hillel which sparked her passion for Jewish life and learning. As the Wohl Director of Operations and Special Projects, Tamara staffs Israel immersion trips, manages program logistics, and works directly with student leaders. This past summer, Tamara studied at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, and is currently learning in the Kaplan Supervisory Leadership Program!
Leora Y. Cohen, has joined the Hofstra Hillel team with more than 15 years of professional experience in the not for profit sector. Leora’s skill in leadership development, strategic planning and fund development combined with her passion for building organizational infrastructure positions her well for her role as Director of Leadership and Planning at Hofstra Hillel.
Prior to her joining Hofstra Hillel, Leora worked at DRG, an executive search firm where she specialized in search for the Jewish, not-for-profit sector. Leora worked in various positions at UJA-Federation of New York, Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven and Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.
Leora earned a master’s degree in Social Work and a degree in Jewish Communal Studies from University of Pennsylvania and Gratz College and is a graduate of Douglass College, Rutgers University. Leora lives on Long Island with her husband, Rabbi Joel Levenson and their family.
Eric Garfinkel is a current second year student at the William Davidson School for Jewish Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary, pursuing an MA in Educational Leadership. Originally from New Rochelle, NY, he is an alumnus of Hofstra University, Class of 2015, graduating with a degree in History and Jewish Studies. He is also a former member of Hofstra Hillel. As a member of Hofstra Hillel, Eric served on the Student Executive Board of Hofstra Hillel as Vice-President and President and as the chair of the Athletic Committee. He is excited to return to Hofstra Hillel as the Community Educator, aiding in programming for both Hofstra Hillel students and the Jewish community at large! In his spare time he is a musician and loves to play the guitar, cello, and piano. He is also a huge sports-enthusiast.
Alex was born and raised in NYC. A recent graduate of Muhlenberg College, Alex studied dance, Jewish studies and media and communications. As a student, Alex held the position of Hillel Program and Engagement Associate at Muhlenberg, where she coordinated programs and engaged students through Jewish learning and one-on-one conversations. Before attending Muhlenberg, Alex took a gap year in Israel that inspired her to seek leadership opportunities within Jewish life on campus and ultimately a career as a Jewish professional. At Hofstra Hillel as the Springboard Innovation Fellow, Alex is engaging with student leaders, building Hillel JD and MD programs for grad students and revamping our student engagement tracking systems. Alex is thrilled to be a part of the Hofstra team and is excited to continue to learn and grow from her fellow staff and students!