Ari IsraelExecutive Director
Rabbi Ari Israel is in his twenty second year as a Hillel Executive Director in College Park. In addition to Rabbinic ordination, Ari has Masters Degrees in Medieval Jewish History as well as Secondary Education. Ari is an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, teaching Jewish Leadership, and also teaches for the Acharai Jewish Leadership Institute in Baltimore. He is married to Suzy and their six children reside in Silver Spring, MD. He is also an amateur photographer trying to pick up golf to avert a mid-life crisis.
Bennet BramsonIsrael Coordinator and Engagement
Originally from D.C., Bennett attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, MD before going to the University of Michigan for undergrad where he studied public policy. Bennett went to Ramah for summer camp and was very active at the Michigan Hillel, becoming the president of Wolverine for Israel and taking on a variety of other leadership roles in the community. Bennett was also involved in the political scene on campus and was a junior editor in the sports section of the Michigan Daily.
As the Israel coordinator, Bennett hopes to bring students with a variety of beliefs and opinions together and facilitate meaningful dialogue. He hopes to use his year+ of experience living in Israel to help educate students and guide their conversations. Bennett works closely with Hillel’s Israel organizations and looks forward to meeting more interested students.
Dawn SavageAssistant Director, Student Life
Dawn is a newcomer to Maryland Hillel and is excited to bring her experience in student leadership and development to UMD! She received her BS in Psychology from James Madison University and her MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs from the University of Connecticut. Dawn’s role as the Assistant Director is to lead the engagement team in meaningful programming and experiences for all students at Hillel. When she’s not having coffee dates with students, you can find her cuddling with her cat Roxy, cross-stitching on her couch, or preparing for her next hiking adventure!
Rabbi Josh LehmanOU-JLIC
Rabbi Josh Lehman
Rabbi Josh Lehman grew up in Monsey, New York but has spent most of the last decade living in Israel. After studying in Yeshivat Hakotel for 2 years and serving as a combat soldier in the IDF, Josh continued on to study Computer Science at the Jerusalem College of Technology. He then received Rabbinic Ordination from the Mizrachi Musmachim Program while serving as a Jewish educator at various institutions around Israel.
In addition to playing guitar, running, and enjoying a good football game, Josh loves to spread his passion for Judaism with a warm yet sophisticated lens. He loves to build full and meaningful relationships with everyone he meets and never gets tired from a long shmooze.
Liz DonaldsonOffice Manager
Liz Donaldson has served as the Office Manager since 2007. She handles the administrative and financial needs of the office. Liz has been working within the Jewish Community since 1999. Prior to working at Maryland Hillel, she was the Office Manager at the Bernice Rabovsky Religious School at Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, MD. Liz grew up in Maryland and went to UMUC. She looks forward to helping and interacting with parents, students and staff. Students enjoy her positive personality and friendly demeanor. In her free time, Liz enjoys quality time with her husband Jason, their two children and two adorable dogs.
Maddie FriedmanOperations and Communications Associate
Maddie is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘Em), where she received her B.S. in Public Relations with a Business Minor. Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, she spent her time involved in the local Jewish community, as well as her summers at URJ OSRUI. Maddie is excited to be joining the team at Maryland Hillel as the Special Events and Catering Coordinator. Maddie previously served as a Public Relations Intern at Beck Media & Marketing, working with technology clients on media outreach and awards nominations. In her free time you can find Maddie in the aisles of Trader Joe’s, front row at a country concert, or looking up plane fares for her next big adventure. Maddie looks forward to becoming a part of the Maryland Hillel community, and cannot wait to see what being a Terp is all about!
Mal GoldenbergIACT Coordinator
Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Mallory is a 2020 graduate from The University of Georgia where she studied Communications and Public Policy and is currently pursuing a masters degree virtually in Jewish Education from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Mallory spent the year after graduation living in Rishon Lezion, Israel where she taught English in an elementary school and is happy to be back stateside to join the Maryland Hillel team. As the IACT Coordinator, Mallory’s role is to recruit and staff our Birthright trips each Summer and Winter and she hopes to bring her love for all things Israel to the Jewish student body at Maryland.
Olivia HazlettSpringboard Social Justice Fellow
Born and raised in Marblehead, Massachusetts, Olivia is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, where she double majored in Political Science and Sociology and minored in American Culture. While on campus, Olivia took an active role in a variety of communities: serving as the Director of Programming for her sorority, Secretary of Wolverines for Israel, and member of the mental health organization, Wolverine Support Network. Additionally, Olivia has found a passion for connecting with and advising students through her experiences both as an Academic Peer Advisor during Michigan’s New Student Orientation as well as Campus Day Representative for visiting prospective students.
Olivia is a firm believer in the power of experiential education and has been fortunate enough to travel extensively while learning and teaching about civil rights and social justice, including a unique study abroad experience aboard Semester at Sea. Although she will always be a Wolverine at heart, Olivia is thrilled to move within the Big 10 and serve as Maryland Hillel’s Social Justice Fellow.
Rikki Lehman grew up in Miami Beach, Florida. She studied for a year and a half in Sha’alvim for Women in Jerusalem, and went on to study in Stern College for Women, where she majored in psychology. During her college years, Rikki was involved in informal education, as an NCSY advisor during the year and on summer programs such as Michlelet and TJJ. The summer after graduating Stern, Rikki moved to Israel and worked as a counselor and part-time teacher in a Seminary. She worked as an Admissions Coordinator for Yeshiva University in Israel, and taught classes on various Jewish topics.
Rikki is a big coffee lover and enjoys road tripping with family and friends. She is passionate about teaching and learning from people of all different backgrounds, and creating lasting relationships with those around her.
Shawn LaingDirector of Finance and Operations
Shawn is making his return to Hillel after a 15 year hiatus living in South Florida, working with different Jewish organizations. Shawn graduated with a degree in Finance from Syracuse University and received his MBA from Nova Southeastern in South Florida. In his free time, you can find Shawn watching and/or playing sports, cooking, trying to grow a garden and raising his 2 kids with his wife Miriam and dog Cocoa.
Ana LevyCampus Marketing and Development Manager
Anasazi (she/her) is excited to return to the Hillel movement, after starting her career as a Springboard Fellow in the Gimel cohort. As an innovation fellow at GW Hillel, Ana crafted a new digital media strategy, served as the project lead for the inaugural Global Giving Week, and mentored more than 360 GW students. One of the many highlights of her Springboard experience was traveling to Georgia and Azerbaijan with JDC Entwine. Ana spent the last year working with Repair the World to launch the Service Corps program, which mobilized hundreds of young adults to serve in their communities as a response to the pandemic. Ana lives in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where she can be found cooking vegan meals or heading to a yoga class. Ana will be working with Maryland Hillel to share stories of Jewish Terps, with a focus on giving days and special campaigns.