Lisa Armony is the Executive Director of Hillel Foundation of Orange County. A proud New Jersey native, she graduated Magan cum Laude from Cornell University (Go Big Red!) and holds an M.A. in Political Science and Master of Philosophy from Yale University. She also studied at Tel Aviv University’s Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East Studies and lived in Israel for two years. Lisa began her professional career in Toronto, Canada, where she was Director of the B’nai Brith Canada’s Institute for International Affairs and Communications Director for the Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Region. After moving to Los Angeles with her family in 2002, she became a freelance writer, reporter, and public relations professional and won awards for her work in journalism and marketing. In 2012, she became Director of the Rose Project of Jewish Federation & Family Services (JFFS), a position she continues to hold through to a strategic partnership between Hillel of OC and JFFS. Married with three children, she loves sharing Jewish and Israel experiences with people of all ages and is committed to providing an fun, safe and inclusive environment for students to pursue their Jewish journeys.
Director of Programs, Chapman University
Rachel Opatowsky is the Campus Director for Hillel at Chapman University. Rachel graduated with honors from California State University, Northridge with a double major in Modern Jewish Studies and Religious Studies. She then earned her M.A. in education with a concentration in Judaic Studies from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. She served as the Hillel secretary and president during her time at CSUN and founded the First Year Students at Hillel program at Northridge. Rachel was a resident advisor at both CSUN and AJU, and has worked for over six years in higher education. She is excited to be working with students to create vibrant Jewish life on the Chapman campus.
Israel Fellow and Director of Programs, California State University, Fullerton
Lihi Gordon is the Israel Fellow at all three Orange County campuses and the Director of Programs for Hillel at California State University, Fullerton. She grew up in Hadera, Israel. She holds an M.A. in Diplomacy from Tel-Aviv University and a B.A. in Communications from Netanya Academic College. Prior to coming to Orange County, she was employed at Baumann Ber Rivnay Saatchi & Saatchi, an advertising agency in Tel Aviv. She has volunteered in Israel for the TAU Buddy System and participated in Birthright as a soldier and in NITZAN, an Israeli association for children and adults with learning disabilities.
Social Engagement Coordinator, Orange County Hillel
Lauren Kramer is the Social Engagement Coordinator for all three Orange County campuses. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a B.A. in Entertainment Management and a minor in Cultural Studies. Lauren loved her involvement in Metro Chicago Hillel, serving as the Columbia College Hillel President her for two years. Once graduated, she started her professional career with The Walt Disney Company, where she continues to work part time as a Disney Performing Arts Coordinator. One of her biggest passions is traveling, and she has spent time overseas and in Israel. Lauren is excited to create a fun and welcoming Jewish space at each campus, while getting to know her students and reaching out to those who don’t know about this awesome community.
Director of Programming, University of California, Irvine
Shelby is thrilled to be the director of programming at the University of California, Irvine – her Alma Mater! She holds a Bachelors in History focusing in European Studies. At UCI, she was part of Alpha Epsilon Phi, Sorority where she was the Vice President of Recruitment, President, and Philanthropy Chair. During that time she was also part of the Hillel student leadership board, where she was the Outreach Chair and President. From those experiences, she knew that working for Hillel full-time was her true calling. She is excited to be working with her fellow Anteaters to build an amazing Jewish community on campus.