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Rutgers Hillel is fortunate to have an outstanding and diverse staff.  These amazing people work day in and day out to make the Rutgers campus a wonderful place to be Jewish.  If you have any questions or wish to talk to any one of them, please email (see link at end of each bio) or call them at Hillel: 732-545-2407.


andrew at the shoreAndrew GetraerExecutive Director, was born in Geneva, Switzerland and grew up in Queens, Westchester, and Greens Farms, CT. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.  He met his amazing wife Jean at Dartmouth and Hillel was an important part of their journey together.  They have 5 children, one dog, and live in Highland Park.  Arnold Schwarzenegger once sent him a Christmas tree in the mail.  [email protected]

Rabbi Esther Reed CroppedRabbi Esther Reed, Senior Associate Director, grew up in East Brunswick, NJ.  A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she received both her master’s degree in Jewish Women’s Studies and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.  She is a Conservative rabbi and lives in Highland Park with her husband, Mordy Schwartz, and three sons: Isaac, Sammy and Jonah.  [email protected]





Rabbi Victor Appell, Reform Community Rabbi and Senior Jewish Educator, a native New Yorker, received his master’s in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, from which he also received his Rabbinic Ordination. He lives in Metuchen with his husband, Colin Hogan, and their two sons, Avi and Lev. Prior to entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Appell worked in the apparel industry.​ [email protected]



Rabbi Tzvi WohlgelernterOU-JLIC Educator, grew up in Toronto. He studied in Yeshivat Sha’alvim for two years. After which he served in the Nachal Brigade of the IDF. Then after marrying Tali, he went on to receive a BA in psychology from the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois. He has semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, and is on his way to receiving semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Tzvi is also a certified psychotherapist from the Family Institute of Jerusalem. Over the last year and half  Tzvi has served as the Interim Rabbi for Beit Knesset Ohel Ari in Ra’anana. He enjoys hockey and jamming with his guitar. [email protected]



Tali WohlgelernterOU-JLIC Educator, grew up in Chicago. She studied at Sha’alvim for women for a year and a half. From there Tali received her BA in Judaic studies from the Anne Blitstein Teachers Institue. After moving to Israel in 2010, Tali began working as a photographer and make-up artist. Over the last 3 years Tali has been teaching in a gap year program for post high school girls, called Midreshet Torat Chessed.  Additionally Tali is a certified teacher of family purity from Tzohar. The Wohlgelernters have 3 beautiful daughters, Dodi, Sophie and Atara. [email protected]



Liel Zahavi-AsaDirector of Jewish Life and Israel Engagement, made Aliyah from California with her family and was raised in Efrat, Israel. She graduated from Lesley University, where she studied Expressive Arts Therapy and served as the Hillel president. She has extensive experience working as a formal and informal Jewish educator in communities across America. Liel believes that Birthright is an essential milestone in the development of Jewish identity in the 21st century. She has directed over 10 theater productions in Jerusalem. Ask her about Peter Pan.  [email protected]




AvivAviv Ayash, Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, Aviv is from Tel Aviv. He served in a secret unit of the IDF Intelligent Corps. After his service, he worked as part of the security department in the US embassy. Aviv holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and International Relations and is in the process of obtaining his Masters Degree in Government and Public Policy. He also briefly interned at The Office of Congressmen Alcee Hastings on Capitol Hill. Fun fact: Aviv swing dances.
[email protected]


Nikki Baron, IACT Birthright Israel Coordinator, Nikki attended the University of Michigan where she majored in history, specifically the history of the Jewish people. After graduation, she spent a year in Israel as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rishon LeZion teaching English in an elementary school and volunteering at the Holocaust Survivor Center of Rishon. Born in Okemos, Michigan, Nikki grew up in a house devoted to Detroit sports teams. When she isn’t talking to students about Birthright, you can find Nikki dreaming about Israeli falafel, finishing a book in one day, or exploring her new home of New Jersey.  [email protected]



BJC photo-soloBarbara Josephs Cohen, Senior Development Officer, has been at Rutgers Hillel since 2003 when she orchestrated the year-long “Israel Inspires” Initiative. She lives in West Orange with her husband, Michael, whom she met when they were both freshmen at Tufts University. They are the proud parents of Jonathan and Matthew and grandparents to adorable Gavi. [email protected]

laurie Laurie Zinberg, Office Manager,has been working at Rutgers Hillel since 2005. She grew up in Perth Amboy, NJ and currently lives in Springfield with her husband, Scott.  Their daughter, Marissa, is a teacher of autistic children.  Their son, Greg, a graduate of Rutgers University, is a teacher of Health and Physical Education. [email protected]





Lauren Reich, Development Consultant, grew up in Middlesex County and currently resides in Monmouth County. Lauren’s volunteer and philanthropic activities began with fundraising for Solomon Schechter Day School in Marlboro, NJ. She served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Monmouth County and presently serves on their Executive Board. Lauren is the past President of Woman’s Philanthropy, Chair of Outreach, and Co-Chair of the Birthright Initiative. Presently she co-chairs the Vanguard Society for JFMC. She is a member of the Rutgers Hillel Board of Directors and a proud Lion of Judah. Lauren and her husband Nathan have been married for over 30 years, and they have three children, Daniel, Jeremy and Nicole, and a daughter-in-law, Amy. Lauren believes that when we share our work, we collaborate and communicate our best practices. [email protected]