Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

51° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Hillel narrows list in hunt for new executive director

Currently conducting interviews, officials at Northwestern’s Fiedler Hillel Center are inching closer to hiring a new executive director.

In October after Rabbi Michael Mishkin — who served as both executive director and rabbi — announced his resignation, officials decided to restructure the organization by separating the positions of executive director and head rabbi into two jobs.

Mishkin cited the difficulty of simultaneously fulfilling administrative duties and acting as rabbi as a major reason for his departure.

A committee of students, professors, board members and community members was formed to search for an executive director, who will be in charge of hiring a new rabbi.

Hillel officials have received about 30 applications and have conducted phone interviews with their top four candidates, according to Zach Galin, a Weinberg sophomore who serves as Hillel Cultural Life president.

Officials recently selected an applicant for executive director to speak to the committee.

Now, the governing board is evaluating the committee members’ comments about that candidate.

“We want to find somebody with good management skills, who interacts well, speaks well, connects well with students, and has some knowledge of the Jewish faith,” Galin said.

Galin said the executive director will manage operations, will interact with the university, and will deal with organizational and functional issues.

The campus rabbi will work mainly with the members of NU’s Jewish community.

Galin said there is no official time frame for completing the transition.

“We hope to be able to find (a director) as soon as possible, but we want to find the best person possible,” he said.

Committee member Adam Riff said the committee is primarily interested in benefitting Hillel and students, not adhering to a time frame.

“The people on the committee and the folks at JUF (Jewish United Fund) are pretty committed to finding qualified applicants and holding out until the best person comes along,” said Riff, a Weinberg senior.

McCormick sophomore Jess Schein, who also is a member of the search committee, said she looks forward to seeking the best candidate.

“I am optimistic,” Schein said. “The committee as a whole was very impressed with what the candidates brought to the table.”

— Kristyn Schiavone

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Hillel narrows list in hunt for new executive director