Banner Picture

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.

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:

  • 2020: Ally of the Year award by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
  • 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

  • Mycki Ratzan, Chair
  • Garett Grossberg, Vice Chair
  • Adam Korenfield, Treasurer
  • Robb Steinberg, Immediate Past Chair

Board of Directors:

  • Nancy Cohen
  • Karen Jusko Diamond
  • William Green
  • Simon Kaminetsky
  • Alice Lash
  • Elizabeth Leight
  • Allen Levitt
  • Naomi Nixon
  • Sidney Pertnoy
  • Noreen Sablotsky
  • Alan Serure
  • Larry Spiegelman
  • Nancy Tuchman
  • Debi Braman Wechsler
Annual Reports
Opt in to receive text messages from UM Hillel:

Want to stay in-the-know? Opt in to receive text messages from the University of Miami Hillel. Message and data rates apply. Reply STOP at any time to unsubscribe.

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.

Bio Picture

Briana Schwarz

Executive Director
Bio Picture

Rabbi Jason Cook

Campus Rabbi
Bio Picture

Gabi Cohen

Director of Operations
Bio Picture

Jordan Feinberg

Engagement Manager
Bio Picture

Jonah Snyder

IACT Israel Coordinator
Bio Picture

Shayna Kling

Social Justice Springboard Fellow
Bio Picture

Rachel Gordon

Development and Marketing Manager
Bio Picture

Carlos Gonzales

Building Manager