Rhonda Kruschen


Rhonda began August 1, 2016 as the Director of Greater Portland Hillel, serving PSU, Lewis & Clark and other local colleges. In this role, she  partners with the Board of Directors, students on the major Portland college campuses, as well as the larger Jewish community to fulfill Hillel's mission of enriching the lives of Jewish students - both on the undergraduate and graduate level. She brings a sense of humor and contagious warm energy in her tool kit.

Hailing from Los Angeles and a graduate of Pitzer College, Rhonda is passionate about building community. She spent the last few years fundraising for a major Jewish old age home, managing and leading hundreds of young professionals in event execution and community involvement, and most recently driving East Coast sales for a consulting start-up focused on partnering with female corporate executives on professional growth. Her return to Jewish communal life feels a lot like coming home.


Elyssa Hurwitz

Jewish Experience Engagement Associate (Ezra Fellow)

Elyssa joined the PDX Hillel team on July 31, 2017, as the new Jewish Experience Engagement Associate. She is a recent graduate of Michigan State University (Go Green!) who built her own major in the College of Sciences, focusing on her passions: religion, anthropology, and people's health and wellbeing. Elyssa was very involved in Hillel as an undergraduate and is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her commitment in the Jewish community here in Portland. 

Elyssa's role involves engaging Jewish students on both Lewis & Clark and PSU's campuses. As an Ezra Fellow, she has the chance to expand her knowledge of Jewish texts and practices. In addition to attending conferences throughout the year, Elyssa will also study with a chevruta study partner each week. As the Jewish Experience Engagement Fellow and Ezra Fellow, she will be well-suited to engage Jewish students on both campuses. 

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Hagit Ojalvo

Jewish Agency Israel Fellow

Hagit joined PDX Hillel on August 2, 2017, as the Israel Fellow through the Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI). She was born and raised in a small town outside of Haifa, and graduated in 2017 with her Bachelor's degree in Special Education and Hearing Disabilities. Hagit decided to join this team not only for the great new adventure, but also to build a bridge between the Portland Jewish community and Israel.