Rayla is our Events and Operations Manager. She comes from a background as a producer in local news, which gives her all the right skills to make sure everything going on at Hillel runs smoothly. Rayla came to Hillel while she was studying at West Virginia University and couldn’t be more excited to be back at Hillel, this time at Michigan. She grew up in Pittsburgh, but she came to love Michigan after spending summers up north exploring the state with her fiancé Nick and German Shepard/Husky mix Orion. In her spare time, Rayla loves to hike and camp with Nick and Orion, play Dungeons and Dragons, and make crafts of various kinds.
Aviva was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI and is a recent graduate of U of M with a degree in Psychology. Since taking “Sex, Love, and Relationships” her sophomore year, Aviva has been hooked on Hillel, so she is extremely excited and grateful to now be a Hillel staff member. Aviva is always happy to talk about gender and sexuality studies, Jewish religious and cultural life, as well as anything you may be interested in. Outside of Hillel, Aviva can be found perfecting her challah recipe, working out, or relaxing with her family and cats! Contact Aviva: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison grew up in Metro Detroit before attending U of M as a Psychology and Judaic Studies major and minoring in Community Action and Social Change. After a year in Pittsburgh working at Hillel at Pitt, Allison is thrilled to be back in Ann Arbor for her 2nd year working at Michigan Hillel. In her free time, Allison loves strolling in downtown Ann Arbor, brunching with friends, and watching Michigan athletics. Allison can’t wait to bring students to Israel and take them to the best restaurants in Jerusalem (if she can decide where to go).
Contact Allison or set up a meeting!
Born and raised in a family full of Michigan alum, Hannah is so excited to be back at Hillel as a Michigan Wolverine this year! Hannah and her husband Brandon, along with their baby daughter Talia, and their adorable blue-eyed corgi Odie, live a little over a mile away from her parents in Farmington Hills. (Big family gal!) Outside of Hillel, you can find Hannah obsessively talking about her kids (2 and 4 legs), working hard at crafting handmade greeting cards, organizing her entire house in rainbow order (She’s a Joanna with a hint of Clea), singing songs from every generation but her own, and rewatching the same 5 shows she’ll insist you watch because they’re that good.
Sarah Balis grew up in Plano, Texas before attending Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University (ASU). She majored in Human Communication with minors in Religious Studies and Nonprofit Management. After college, she spent time in Jerusalem teaching English with Masa Israel Teaching Fellows. Although she still misses the shawarma and rugelach in Israel, she is excited to begin her third year at Michigan Hillel. Her Spotify wrapped usually consists of Hamilton, the Jonas Brothers, and Taylor Swift. Contact her here or schedule a time to get coffee!
Contact Sarah Balis
Emma is a California native but is learning to love the Midwest. She studied Sociology and Jewish studies at UC Davis (go ags!) and loves to talk about the bus she drove in college. Emma is always excited to cultivate meaningful relationships with all the different Jewish communities and students at Michigan. When Emma is not at Hillel, you can find her cooking or baking something delicious, petting other people’s dogs, or exploring all that Ann Arbor has to offer.
Contact Emma or set up a time to get coffee with her!
Jonathan Shepard joined Michigan Hillel as the Head Chef of the Hillel Café. Jonathan has loved cooking since he was a child, spending time with his parents making holiday meals, and learning basic culinary skills. While attending culinary school at American River college, he further pursued his desire of becoming a chef, figuring out the culinary styles he enjoys the most and how to express himself through his creations. Through his work experience, Jonathan has further discovered who he is as a chef and is excited to share his food with our Hillel. He is looking forward to students stopping by, saying hello, and joining him for a meal!
Contact Jonathan Shepard
Krin grew up near Kalamazoo, Michigan and is a proud alum of the University of Michigan (’06). While living in Chicago after graduation, she earned her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management with a focus on fundraising. After being involved with Hillel as an undergrad, Krin was really excited to join Hillel’s staff. She loves living in Ann Arbor with her husband, Etan, and their three children, Yoav, Dawson, and Dacia.
Diane is an Indiana native, though now she must be a Michigander because she’s been in Michigan many more years than Indiana. Diane is now our Hillel’s longest employee – since 1993! – has is amazing at being our Chief Financial Officer. She spends her time outside of Hillel playing soccer; baking; and chasing her son, Adam, and granddaughter, Lena.
Contact Diane Redman