Meet the Staff


Samuel Mendales, Executive Director

Since 1985, Sam has guided the transformation of Hillel Council from an umbrella organization providing support to the large, established Hillel foundations in the immediate Boston area to a focus on fostering Jewish campus life on many small campuses throughout New England.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, The Mandel School of Social Science at Case Western Reserve University, and the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles. He has an honorary Doctor of Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College.  Sam is also a Board Member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston;  a member of Temple Isaiah, Lexington and Temple Eitz Chaim, Cambridge.

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Miriam Berkowitz Blue, Assistant DirectoR

Miriam is the Assistant Director for Hillel Council of New England as well as the Director at Simmons College Hillel. At Hillel Council, she works with our lay leadership, coordinates professional development opportunities, and assists with campus partnerships and resource development. Miriam has also been serving as the Hillel Director at Simmons College since September, 2012 and received the "Advisor of the Year" award from Simmons College in Spring, 2018. Miriam is a self-proclaimed “professional Jew”, having previously worked at New England Young Judaea, the Commission for Jewish Education (CJE) in West Palm Beach Florida, and the North Suburban Jewish Community Center (NSJCC) in Peabody, Massachusetts before joining Hillel Council. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and a Master's of Jewish Education (MJEd) as a Legacy Heritage Fellow at Hebrew College. Miriam is also active in her local Jewish community, where she is a Board member for the Epstein Hillel School (formerly Cohen Hillel Academy) and is a member of the North Shore Advisory Committee for Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). Miriam lives in Lynnfield, Massachusetts with her husband, Phil, and children, Talia and Shalev.


Jacob Freedman, Director of Student ENGAGEMENT

Jake joined Hillel Council in Fall, 2016 and manages regional student programs, including our Small Campus Birthright Israel Winter trip. He is also the Hillel Advisor at Emerson College, Wheaton College and Suffolk University. Jake previously worked at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology as the Communications Coordinator in Admissions, and has served as the Young Artist Program Manager at Maine Media Workshops + College. He received a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University at Buffalo and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Quinnipiac University where he was proud to be the president of the campus Hillel. Jake also received a Certificate in Jewish Experiential Education from M2 and Hillel International. He is extremely excited to be part of a community that combines his love of Judaism and his passion for working with students. Jacob has had a lifelong interest in media. Feel free to ask him about his favorite films.



Neill Silverman, Chief Operating Officer

Neill's portfolio includes a wide range of fiscal services to some of the largest Hillel Foundations in New England, such as Boston University, Brandeis, MIT, and Tufts University.  Additionally, Neill manages both Hillel Council's internal finances as well as the financial relationships with the small campuses we staff. Neill also provides budget oversight and management for the IACT Birthright program at Clark University. He is a licensed attorney, both in the corporate law firm and self-managed small and solo practice settings. Neill has also worked as a political consultant, including political campaign management. Neill is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School. Neill served as treasurer of Congregation Or Atid in Wayland, MA for years.

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Moshe recently joined the Hillel Council team and serves as the Jewish Chaplain and the Hillel Director at Boston College. He is entering Shana Bet (second year) at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. Moshe is originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has bounced around the East Coast for the last eight years. He is a former Summer Fellow at Yeshivat Hadar in New York City, and formerly studied at the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Before attending rabbinical school, he taught philosophy, religion, and history and ran Jewish life on campus at a boarding school in Northwest Connecticut. In 2012, he graduated magna cum laude from Yale Divinity School with a Master of Arts in Religion. Prior to that, he graduated from Linfield College in 2010 majoring in Religion with Biblical Emphasis. Moshe is an avid listener of podcasts and loves talking politics and philosophy—and talking in general. He loves starting his day with several cups of strong coffee. When not engaged in all things Jewish, he also enjoys watching films, reading, cooking, and exploring museums and bookstores with his wonderful wife.



JEFF NAROD, Clark University Hillel Director

Jeff Narod, a native of Massachusetts, grew up in Brookline and now lives in the Worcester area. As a Jewish community organizer, Jeff has been involved in the heart of the Jewish Community here in Central Massachusetts. As a current Board Member of the Jewish Federation of Central Mass, he has served as President of the Hillel Advisory Board, President of the Israel and Foreign relations committee, President of the Westborough Area JCC as well as liaison to SNEC, the consortium that connects us to our sister region Afula Gilboa. Together with his wife Judy, and children Mirka and Ilan, Jeff has assumed organizing and hosting roles with the Young Emissary program and the summer JCC Israeli Counselor program. Their Israeli family includes dozens of young emissaries who have lived in their home for periods of 2 weeks to a year. Jeff’s background and graduate work in Community Psychology and Healthcare Administration, along with his relationship with leaders, rabbis and members of all the Jewish organizations in Central Mass, affords him the ability to connect Hillel Students to the Worcester community at large in many meaningful ways. It is his goal to continue to provide the vision and resources for the amazing student led Clark University Hillel, so it is the center of their Jewish lives while at college.



Max rubenstein, Marketing and Community engagement intern

Max is Hillel Council of New England’s Marketing and Community Engagement Intern. He is in his second-year student at Northeastern University studying Marketing. Previously, Max participated in several Israel-based programs including an Onward internship in Haifa, Israel and a volunteer trip in Jerusalem and Haifa. In High School, Max founded a non-profit, Game Givers, with the goal of donating new and used video games to children’s hospitals around the world. He is excited to be a part of the team and engage Jewish students around the Boston area!