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.”
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.
Our commitment to the highest standards of quality did not go unnoticed, and we were honored to receive:
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.
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.
Igor Alterman (née Khokhlov) is the award-winning Hillel Director, known for his entrepreneurial approach to organizational and leadership development. Igor received two Master degrees at Hebrew Union College. For the last decade, Igor has worked for the Hillel movement, and was involved as a volunteer in Russia and Israel. Prior to joining the University of Miami Hillel in 2015, Igor worked at Cornell and Ithaca College Hillels. He is a Wexner Fellow, and a member of the Schusterman ROI community. Igor resides in Miami, with his wife Olga, and two children.
Originally from Cordoba, Argentina, Karem moved to Miami in 2013 and joined the Hillel team. She has a background in Jewish youth movements in Argentina and she is a certified accountant. In addition to Karem’s financial oversight, she also advises UM Hillel’s student group for Latin Americans called “Hola Hillel”.
Rabbi Lyle comes to Miami with seven years of Hillel experience. During rabbinical school he served as a rabbinic intern at Columbia/Barnard Hillel and most recently as the Director of Jewish Life and Learning at Hofstra University Hillel. Rabbi Lyle was ordained and received a MA in Religious Education from Hebrew Union College-JIR in May 2012. He earned an undergraduate degree from Hofstra University in 2004 and graduated with a B.A. in Jewish Studies and a double minor in Philosophy and Religion.
Rachel is in her second year as IACT Coordinator. After graduating in 2018 with degrees in Jewish Studies and History from the University of Texas in Austin, she moved to Bat Yam Israel to teach English with MASA Israel Teaching Fellows. She is an avid Israel supporter and can’t wait to take our next group of students on Birthright Israel. Besides the Jewish state, Rachel loves dogs, reading and exercising. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she’s very excited to continue working in the Jewish world here in Miami.
David was born and raised in Harrisburg, PA and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University majoring in Advertising and minoring in Business and Sociology.
While at Penn State, David was involved with Hillel and served as a Campus Engagement Intern and Marketing Intern. In the summer 2018, David participated in the Onward Israel Internship program in Tel Aviv, Israel and worked as a social media and event planning intern at The Israel Innovation Fund.
David is in charge of of some key engagement initiatives o campus - such as Freshmen Leadership Council, Campus Engagement Internship, and Challah for Hunger to name a few.
After growing up in the Five Towns of Long Island and studying in a yeshiva day school, Adam continued his Jewish education receiving a B.A. in Bible from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. in Religion from Columbia University. With a love of and dedication to learning, teaching, and experiencing Jewish texts, rituals, and life, Adam continued on to receive a Certificate of Jewish education at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. While living in Israel, Adam received rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Pirchei Shoshanim and studied Safrut (scribal arts) under the tutelage of Rabbi David Gottesman. Adam worked as an experiential Jewish educator and classroom teacher designing his own curricula and courses at a Schechter school in New Jersey. After a short time owning and operating a kosher BBQ food truck, R’ Adam and Jessie designed, implemented, and grew Base Miami to what it is today. R’ Adam is also currently training as a Spiritual Director.
Jessie grew up in Skokie, IL with a deep love of overnight camp. Since the age of 11, whether she realized it or not, she was destined to be involved in experiential Jewish Education forever. Jessie has taught in a myriad of different settings, including Day Schools, Hebrew schools, day camps, overnight camps, shabbatonim, leadership seminars, and on Israel trips. Jessie earned a Master’s degree in Jewish education and a Certificate of Advanced Jewish Studies from the Pardes Educators Program in Jerusalem as well as a Certificate in Jewish Day School Education from Hebrew College of Boston. Prior to receiving her M.A., Jessie received a B.A. in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University. Outside of Base, Jessie is the Associate Director: Abroad Experiences for KAHAL: Your Jewish Home Abroad. Jessie works with students traveling abroad for the semester and Jewish community contacts all over the world. Through both Base and KAHAL, she has been able to help form a cohesive global Jewish community, and is grateful to be developing her role as professional connector.