June 23, 2024
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Rutgers Hillel Welcomes Two New Hires

(Courtesy of Rutgers Hillel) Samantha Schnurman, a Jewish professional from Rockaway, New Jersey, has joined Rutgers Hillel as the IACT coordinator. In this role, she will strive to increase recruitment for Rutgers Birthright Israel trips while promoting Israel on campus. IACT (Inspired, Active, Committed, Transformed) is a comprehensive strategy that leverages Birthright Israel to transform Jewish life on campus.

Schnurman brings four years of experience in leadership roles from her time as an undergraduate student at Penn State, with an emphasis on Israel engagement and education. During her undergraduate years, she was heavily involved in the Jewish community on campus.

“I am so delighted to get to know all the amazing students at Rutgers Hillel,” said Schnurman. “I’m even more excited to share with them my love for Israel and to continue to ensure that Rutgers is and will always be a great place to be Jewish.”

Schnurman graduated from Penn State University in May 2020. Some of her fondest memories involve her time as a student advocate for the David Project and her summer spent in Israel, where she was fortunate enough to be a part of the ACT.il team, helping to facilitate training workshops on how to recognize and combat antisemitism on college campuses.

Rabbi Jason Cook has also joined Rutgers Hillel, as the senior Jewish educator. He brings to Rutgers 10 years of experience in Jewish communal and education work.

For the past five years, Cook has served the Cincinnati Jewish community in a variety of capacities. In his role at Rutgers, he will leverage creative education opportunities to bolster the already-vibrant Jewish community at Rutgers.

“Rutgers Hillel is a great place to be Jewish, and I cannot wait to work with our amazing students and faculty to continue that legacy and help push our engagement opportunities to new heights,” said Cook.

Rabbi Cook earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations from American University before working in teen engagement at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County in Florida. He also pursued a master’s concentration in Israel education with the iCenter and received the Ferdinand M. Isserman Prize for Community Relations.

“Rabbi Cook and Sam Schnurman make great additions to our team. Now that Rutgers is bringing students back in person for the fall, we are excited to have the right people in place to ensure that Rutgers continues to be a great place to be Jewish,” said Rutgers Hillel Interim Executive Director Rabbi Esther Reed.

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