BRIAN FREEDMAN (He/Him)
Brian grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio and Brian attended The Ohio State University. He has worked at Hillel at The Ohio State University as the Director of Engagement in Columbus, Ohio as well as the Program Director for Hillel at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Most recently, Brian had been working for Northern Hills Synagogue in Cincinnati, Ohio as their Executive Director and Director of Lifelong Learning.
In his free time, Brian earned a Dual Masters degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies from Hebrew College.
When Brian is not working, he enjoys drinking copious amounts of coffee, baking bread and desserts, playing bass guitar, and reading. He moved to Binghamton with his Doodle mix, Scarlett, and is looking forward to hiking and exploring upstate New York with her.
JENNIFER STONE (She/Her)
Jennifer Stone grew up in Peabody, Massachusetts, right outside Boston. She attended Lesley University where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Expressive Arts Therapy, and then spent a wonderful, and warm, two years down in Tallahassee, Florida where she earned her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration. Jennifer had been working in a variety of settings within higher education. She then decided to take her passion for Judaism, college students, Israel, and bagels; bundle it all together and turn it into a career! She began her time with Hillel as the Director of Student Life at the Santa Barbara Hillel and is now thrilled to join the Hillel at Binghamton team as the Assistant Director.
Jennifer enjoys traveling, (she has been to 23 countries and keeps that list growing) all things Harry Potter, kickboxing, reading on the beach, creating and experimenting with new art techniques, trying out new recipes she finds from tasty videos and the "Great British Bake Off", jamming out to the Maccabeats on repeat in her car, re-watching all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls, and tries to get to NYC at least once a year to see a Broadway show! With her love of Judaism and the collegiate student experience, Jennifer hopes to continue to bring passion, creativity, innovation and fun into the Hillel at Binghamton community on this new adventure.
Mickey Benson (They/Them)
Springboard Ezra Jewish Education Specialist
Mickey grew up in Portland, Oregon but picked up a midwestern accent after spending college in Albion, Michigan. While in Albion, Mickey received a degree in Religious Studies with a concentration in Public Policy and a minor in history from Albion College. Outside of school, Mickey was president of three campus clubs: Hillel, Knitting Club, and a group of Medievalists. They are passionate about useless trivia, making art, community placemaking, and creative Jewish learning. Mickey is extremely excited to be joining Hillel at Binghamton University as an Ezra Jewish Education Fellow so that they can have creative, humorous, and introspective conversations with students!
Alex Haskel (He/Him)
Israel Engagement Coordinator
Alex grew up in Dallas Texas, and attended the University of North Texas, where he majored in Religion. As an undergraduate student, he spent his days at Hillel working as an engagement intern, and found a home with UNT’s chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi. After college Alex spent a few months in Israel as an intern at the Israel Innovation Fund, through an Onward Israel program. His involvement in both Hillel and AEPi, building UNT’s small Jewish community, and his time in Israel - led Alex to the Hillel movement. Alex is excited to be joining the Hillel at Binghamton staff as the new Israel Engagement Coordinator! When he’s not learning about the history, politics and cultural nuances of the modern state of Israel, Alex can be found reading, writing, doodling, playing guitar, and spitting hot rhymes.
Rabbi Ben Menora (He/Him)
Rav Ben made Aliya from Chicago, IL. He served 3 years in IDF’s Golani brigade, learned in Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh (KBY) both before and after his army service, then earned an LL.B. at Bar-Ilan University, while splitting his time between the law library and the BIU Kollel. After 2 years at a corporate law firm, Ben joined the Kollel at Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush) and received a teacher’s certificate from Herzog College. Ben enjoys trail running, jamming (guitar), researching genealogy, solving puzzles and playing team sports.
Ellie Menora (She/Her)
Ellie was born in London and lived there until making Aliya with her parents and five siblings. She started training in gymnastics and swimming at the age of 5 and is a certified instructor in both. Ellie studied at Midreshet Tehilla, earned her BSN at Machon Tal in Jerusalem, and trained with Rabanit Shani Taragin to become a Kallah teacher. She is an ER nurse in Shaarei Tsedek hospital, volunteers as a medic for Magen David Adom, and loves being able to help people day and night. Ellie thoroughly enjoys hiking, running, swimming, a good cup of coffee, spending quality time with her family and friends, and hosting meals on Shabbat and Chag.
CANTOR ABBE LYONS (She/Her)
Cantor Abbe Lyons is thrilled to continue with Hillel at Binghamton as Business Manager. She also serves as Jewish Chaplain and Business Manager for Hillel at Ithaca College. She grew up on Long Island but fell in love with upstate NY in her teens, and graduated from Ithaca College with a major in voice performance in 1987. She is adjunct faculty at ALEPH Ordination Programs where she received cantorial smicha in 2010. She lives in Ithaca with her wife, son, mother-in-law and 2 cats. Fun fact: Abbe was certified as an auto mechanic in brakes and front end for 2 years in the early '80s.
LILLI SHVARTSMANN (She/Her)
JTS Rabbinic Fellow
A first-year rabbinical student, Lilli Shvartsmann has always found outlets for her passion for Jewish education. Between her summers as a division leader for USY on Wheels and a teacher at Camp Ramah, she spends much of her free time creating and executing individualized lessons to prepare students to become Bar/Bat Mitzvah. When not teaching or learning, Lilli loves to spend her days baking cookies and challah, or searching for the best plate of pasta in NYC.
Lilli graduated from California State University Northridge with Bachelors degrees in child development and Jewish studies. Having moved to New York in 2017, Lilli spent one year as a fellow in the Avodah Jewish Service Corps, and one year as a fellow at Yeshivat Hadar.