Adena loves her work thinking creatively with staff, students, and stakeholders about providing GW students the tools they need to create vibrant Jewish lives in college and beyond. Prior to her career in the Hillel world, which began at NYU, she earned her Masters in Social Work as a Wexner Graduate Fellow and spent time at a non-profit organization focused on poverty in New York City. Adena loves cruising the streets of DC with her husband Josh, daughter Layla, & sons Oliver and Jack. Check out her blog, Adena the Coffee Queen, to hear more about her adventures on campus.
Director of Jewish Student Life
Sara is excited to guide our student-facing team as the Director of Jewish Student Life. Originally from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Sara grew up in an interfaith family and has thought critically about identity, pluralism, and Jewish values in various Jewish communal spaces. Sara is also well versed on all things GW; she completed her undergraduate education at The George Washington University with a major in Sociology and a double minor in Jewish Studies and Communications. In her free time, Sara loves attempting to recreate her favorite foods at home in her kitchen, watching reality TV shows, playing Jewish geography, spending time with her dog Orli, and reminiscing about her years at camp. Sara holds a Masters degree in Jewish Education from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Harvard. Sara comes to GW Hillel with a passion for developing the next generation of strong Jewish leaders and a love for the work that Hillel does in helping students develop their unique Jewish identity.
RABBI DAN EPSTEIN
Senior Jewish Educator
Dan brings a love of storytelling to GW Hillel. He graduated from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah this spring, where among his internships he spent time at Hoftstra Hillel. Dan previously worked as a financial adviser at JP Morgan, but realized his true calling was in the world of Torah; he now helps people take stock and form bonds with God and with themselves. Raised in Queens, New York (and a graduate of Queens College), Dan is enjoying his new home in Washington with his wife Odelia and his three children, Emmett, Emunah, and Ahava.
Campus Marketing & Development Manager
Hadas (Dassi) Kalmanofsky grew up in New York City on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Art History, and was an active member of her small but mighty Hillel. After graduating in 2019, Dassi spent two years with Cornell Hillel, working in development and communications. Dassi is an avid lover of musical theater, Harry Potter, and the Italian Renaissance, and she’d be more than happy to talk your ear off about any one of these things.
Assistant Director of Development | Central Development
Margot grew up in the Detroit metro area before attending GW as an undergraduate student. In that time she began her development career at GW Hillel as a development intern many years ago! Margot has worked in advancement at the Kennedy Center, National Cathedral School, and GW and is passionate about supporting Jewish life at GW through her work as a development officer.
Director of Finance & Operations
Shaw is excited to join the GW Hillel family, bringing over 15 years of non-profit finance & accounting experience to Hillel. As a mother of two college students, she strongly supports Hillel’s mission – enriching lives, so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. Both of her boys are actively involved with Hillel. “Hillel is my boys’ home away from home” said Shaw. Prior to joining GW Hillel, Shaw worked for The Arc of the US as the Finance Manager and later as the HR Director, Finance Manager for the Eno Center for Transportation and Accounting Associate for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington. Shaw received her BS in Accounting and Business Management from the University of Massachusetts.
Springboard Social Justice Fellow
Born and raised in Austin, TX, Marlee made a move north attending Indiana University - Bloomington, before heading to D.C. There she honed her passion for mental health and social services with a major in Psychology and a minor in Social Welfare and Advocacy. Her personal advocacy missions focus on supporting and empowering survivors of sexual and domestic violence, destigmatizing mental illness, learning how to become actively anti-racist, access to affordable and intersectional healthcare, and reforming the current education system. In her free time, you can find her listening to true crime podcasts, learning new recipes, staying connected with friends near and far, and giving her cat, Franklin, one-woman performances of Mamma Mia! An empath with a never-ending drive for change and deep conversation, Marlee looks forward to using her role as a Springboard Fellow to empower students to realize and actualize their missions and passions and connect them with Jewish values through the greater George Washington University and Washington D.C. communities.
Jewish Agency Israel Fellow
Sigal was born and raised in the city of Haifa, Israel. She recently received her B.A in Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at IDC Herziliya. Sigal loves to experience new things- she is very energetic and loves to travel, listen to music, and read. Sigal brings to GW her experience as a young Israeli from an Ethiopian family and how their very Zionist story impacted their lives. Sigal is an educator who believes in social justice and in the power of people to bring about change. She is very excited about the opportunity to meet young American Jews and to be part of their journey.
Mery was born and raised in El Salvador and is the proud mother of five children. She works each day to keep our Hillel home in great shape. Please thank her for her hard work - and she's always happy to help you practice your Spanish skills.