Muhlenberg College Hillel
Jeremy assumed the role of Interim Hillel Director and Jewish Chaplain in July 2013. A resident of Philadelphia, Jeremy
has a long and distinguished background as a Hillel professional. He served as
the Director at Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania for 23 years, and
following his retirement in 2010, he served as Interim Director at the
University of Washington Hillel in Seattle.
With experience at other campuses
that total 37 years, Jeremy has achieved a reputation as one who empowers
student leadership, ably mentors staff, and nurtures Jewish identities. He has
strong experience navigating the challenges and opportunities of pluralistic
Jewish communities. He is known for collaborating with colleagues across campus.
Jeremy served as a national
coordinator of the Jewish Campus Service Corps, was a founding director of
Tzedek Hillel (a national social justice program), and has led many student
service and educational trips to Israel, the Soviet Union, Germany, New Orleans,
and to the American South. He was awarded the Martin Luther King community
involvement award from the University of Pennsylvania and the Exemplar of
Excellence Award from Hillel: the Foundation for Campus Life.
Jeremy received a B.A. in
Sociology from the University of Minnesota, and an M.A. in Contemporary Jewish
Studies from Brandeis University. In addition, he has studied at Hebrew
University, Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies, and the Reconstructionist
Rabbinical College. He is an avid bicyclist who last summer rode from Seattle to
Minneapolis as part of a cross country ride.
Jeremy is married to Rabbi Reena Spicehandler. They have two grown children: Ari, who is a human rights lawyer in Mae Sot, Thailand and Elana, who does public health research in Boston.
Jaimie is a recent graduate of the University of Florida in Gainesville. At Florida she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned a degree in both Political Science and Jewish Studies. Jaimie spent a semester studying at the University of Haifa in Israel. During her time in Israel she was a teacher for Ethiopian women and children in the Haifa area. She is a native of Chicago but has lived in Florida and Virginia, which explains her occasional slip into a Southern “twang.” Jaimie spends her free time hiking and enjoys studying languages. Her passion for all things Jewish permeates every aspect of her life, from her favorite books to read to her favorite foods to eat. Jaimie has also done significant work around advocacy for human rights. She is looking forward to playing an active role in Hillel’s continuing success and fostering the students’ spiritual, professional, academic, and social development!"
The number one thing in April’s life is her family. In addition to her husband and two children, she also has two dogs; Fenway, a Boston terrier and Savannah, a Boxer. April loves to travel anywhere she can. Her favorite getaway is Key West because of its tropical beaches, delicious food, and unique places to visit. April also loves to garden, cook and likes anything spicy.
Benji Kornbluth ’14 from Englewood, NJ, attended Ramaz High School in Manhattan, NY and is thrilled to be a part of the Hillel team as the Program Assistant through Muhlenberg’s Presidential Assistant program. Benji has been an active member of the Hillel community since the beginning of his freshman year, and had an amazing experience traveling to Israel partaking in community service projects as part of one of Muhlenberg Hillel’s Alternative Spring Breaks. As the Program Assistant, Benji is looking forward to helping create opportunities for his peers to explore their Jewish identity and foster the welcoming community that initially attracted him to Hillel.
Outside of his work at Hillel, Benji is an active member of the Muhlenberg community as a brother of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and as the student coordinator for Community Bike Works in downtown Allentown. During his Junior year, Benji spent a semester abroad in Ghana, West Africa on a cultural immersion program, which culminated in Benji performing a month of individual research on Ghanaian Hebrew Israelite communities. Benji is passionate about playing the drums, sports, travel, simply being outdoors and is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology and Jewish Studies.
Cheryl Garcia is a member of the housekeeping staff at Muhlenberg and is the daytime housekeeper for the Hillel House. Cheryl joined Muhlenberg College in 2002 and enjoys working here. She says: "I like to clean" and "I really am happy in my job here at Muhlenberg."
She was born and raised in Allentown where she still lives with her husband and children. Cheryl’s husband is also a housekeeper at Muhlenberg, working in the library. Their son Luis is member of the Class of 2015 at the College and a student leader in Multicultural Life.
Cheryl loves to go camping and travel as much as possible. She has traveled to Florida and Puerto Rico to visit family. She describes her dream vacation as a Hawaiian getaway – somewhere she has never been but would love to go.
Lisa is a member of the Housekeeping staff at Muhlenberg and is the overnight housekeeper for the Hillel House. Lisa joined Muhlenberg in September of 2010 and loves working here. She says, “It’s a completely awesome job. Everyone here is super nice and I encounter zero stress. I don’t know what more I could ask for.” Lisa lives in Allentown with her two daughters Lashea, age 9 and Laurel, age 7 and their four year old pit-bull, Onyx. She loves spending time with her kids, enjoying all that the city has to offer, from watching the sunset on the rooftops to walking and relaxing in the city’s parks. She dreams of going to Guatemala to study the land and help people in need there.