About

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The History of UM Hillel

The first mention of a Hillel at the University of Miami is in December 1940 and the first B’nai B’rith Hillel Foundation at UM was started in 1941. Originally located in a storefront on Ponce de Leon Blvd in downtown Coral Gables, the original Hillel Building was built in 1953.

Six decades later, in 2015 a brand new Braman Miller Center for Jewish Student Life opened its doors doubling the footprint of the original building.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have a great team that are committed to supporting UM’s Jewish students and strengthening Jewish engagement in Miami.”

- Igor Khokhlov, Executive Director -

The University of Miami Hillel strives to provide the best possible Jewish education to students and community members, in doing so, it engaged the most talented professionals and lay leaders to serve on the Board of Directors and in professional capacities.

Awards and Honors

Our commitment to the highest standards of quality did not go unnoticed, and we were honored to receive:

  • 2019: Best of Coral Gables Awards - Religious Organization
  • 2019: Ally of the Year award by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
  • 2018: The Outstanding Campus Award by Hillel International - the highest award among 550 Hillels around the Globe.
  • 2016: Exemplar of Excellence Award presented to Karem Sandgarten, Director of Finance and Operations
  • 2015: Outstanding Restoration project Award by the City of Coral Gables
Our Mission and the Way We Think

UM Hillel is committed to students at the University of Miami. Everything we do as an organization is aimed at providing meaningful Jewish life to students, and the larger Miami community.

Our vision is to inspire every Jewish student to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel.

Board of Directors

Officers of the Board of Directors

  • Debi Wechsler, Chair
  • Robb Steinberg, Vice Chair
  • Garett Grossberg, Treasurer
  • Allen Levitt, Secretary
  • Larry Spiegelman, Immediate Past Chair

Board of Directors:

  • Nancy Cohen
  • Brian Gitlin
  • Alice Lash
  • Elizabeth Leight
  • Naomi Nixon
  • Adam Korenfield
  • Sidney Pertnoy
  • Mycki Ratzan
  • Joan Rozansky
  • Noreen Sablotsky
  • Diane Schilit
  • Adam Schwartz
  • Alan Serure
  • Nancy Tuchman
  • Simon Kaminetsky

UM Hillel Staff

We are fortunate to have assembled the best team of professionals to serve at UM Hillel. We represent a diverse, highly educated and experienced team, that brings together their expertise and vision to achieve the mission of the University of Miami Hillel.

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Igor Khokhlov

Executive Director
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Karem Sandgarten

Director of Finance and Operations
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Rabbi Lyle Rothman

Campus Rabbi and Jewish Chaplain
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Robin Agronin

Director of Development
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Carly Greenspan

Director of Leadership Development and Global Experiences
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Rachel Sasiene

IACT Israel Engagement Coordinator
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David Weitzman

Springboard Innovation Fellow
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Rabbi Adam Gindea

Base Miami Rabbi
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Jessie Gindea

Base Miami Educator