Hannah Sherman


Hannah Sherman joined the PDX Hillel team as Executive Director July 2018. She is so excited to continue the great work Hillel has been doing over the past 10 years, and is looking forward to forming and growing relationships with students, parents, faculty and administration, and community members.

Hannah spent the past four years working at Santa Barbara Hillel, reinventing the student leadership board as well as supervising other staff members to expand Hillel's reach into the university community. Additionally, Hannah is a participant in Hillel International's Weinberg ACCELERATE Executive Training Program, a program for select Hillel employees that prepares them to become successful Hillel directors.

Hannah grew up in the sunny suburbs of Los Angeles before spending four years as a Banana Slug at UC Santa Cruz. She then pursued her graduate studies at Brandies University's Hornstein Program, receiving a dual Master of Arts in Jewish Professional Leadership and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. She is so excited to make Portland her home and if you have suggestions on the best food cart in town, send her an email!


Hagit Ojalvo

Jewish Agency for Israel Fellow

Hagit joined PDX Hillel in August of 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. Hagit works closely with students at both Lewis & Clark and PSU, and her work focuses on Israel-related programming and education.


Elyssa Hurwitz

Jewish Experience Engagement Associate

Elyssa joined the PDX Hillel team in July of 2017, as the Jewish Experience Engagement Associate and Springboard Fellow. She is a graduate of Michigan State University (Go Green!) who created her own major in the College of Social Sciences, combining her interests (religion, anthropology, bioethics, and overall health of people in different societies) to create an interdisciplinary approach to looking at people's all-around well-being. Elyssa was very involved in Hillel as an undergraduate student, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue her commitment to enriching the lives of Jewish students and the Jewish community here in Portland.

Elyssa's role involves engaging Jewish students on both Lewis & Clark and PSU's campuses, as well as creating and implementing educational curriculum for programming and immersive experiences (like Taglit-Birthright Israel!). As a Springboard Fellow in the Ezra Jewish Experiential Education track, she has been expanding her knowledge of Jewish texts and practices as well as re-inventing Jewish ritual practices for the students she works with. In addition to attending conferences throughout the year, Elyssa also studies with a chavruta (study partner) each week and has monthly webinars with other Springboard Fellows because she believes that as Jews we should never stop learning!


Staff photo summer 2018  All photos were taken by one of our students, Cole Keister.

Staff photo summer 2018

All photos were taken by one of our students, Cole Keister.