UF Hillel's mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.
UF Hillel envisions a campus community where every Jewish Gator is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.
Rabbi Jonah Zinn
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Rabbi Jonah Zinn is the proud Executive Director of University of Florida Hillel. Prior to assuming this role in 2019, Rabbi Jonah was the Associate Rabbi at Congregation Shaare Emeth, the largest reform synagogue in St. Louis. During his tenure he served the diverse needs of members of all ages, with a particular focus on youth, young adult, and early childhood engagement. He came to Shaare Emeth from New York City where he received his rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in 2014. Before entering rabbinical school, Jonah served as Assistant Director of Hillel at the University of Virginia from 2005-2009, during which time he was honored as a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence. Originally from Worcester, Massachusetts, Jonah has a B.A. from The George Washington University. He is married to UF alumna, Jamie Silverstein Zinn, who took him to his first game in the Swamp shortly after they met. Jonah and Jamie are the proud parents of Jacob and Talia.
Jewish Agency Israel Fellow
Originally from the small village of Kfar Vradim in Northern Israel, Nofar Abutbul is the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to UF Hillel. She comes to UF after serving in the Israeli Navy intelligence unit and graduating with a degree in special education from Oranim College. Nofar brings experience leading Israeli youth delegations to the UK and having spent a gap year volunteering in the Jordan River Village, a year-round camp for kids with chronic illnesses. She enjoys the outdoors, cooking and baking, yoga, and exploring new places. At Hillel, she focuses on connecting UF students with Israel, including working closely with pro-Israel students groups, such as Gators for Israel and Kulanu.
Development & Communications Associate
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As the Development and Communications Associate for UF Hillel, Jenna is responsible for maintaining and cultivating relationships with the organization's donors and supporters.
Born and raised in Virginia, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University and graduated Summa Cum Laude in only 3 years with a degree in Public Relations. While attending VCU, Jenna worked as an Assistant Coordinator for Jewish Life at VCU. This is where she found her love for Hillel and everything it stands for.
With her background in event planning, Jenna brings a unique perspective to her role. Jenna is passionate about Hillel's mission and the impact it has on the Jewish community.
IACT Israel Engagement Associate
Ashley Jones is excited to be UF Hillel's IACT Israel Engagement Associate! Ashley was born and raised just outside of Chicago in Northbrook, Illinois. She has spent 9 summers at URJ Olin-Sang Ruby Union Institute (OSRUI) as both a camper and a staff member. Ashley recently graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University where she double majored in Political Science and Jewish Studies. On campus, Ashley was an active member of Phi Mu Fraternity and Rutgers Hillel. Ashley studied abroad at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem her junior year, serving as a fellow of the Nachshon Project.
Ashley is looking forward to moving to Gainesville and leaving her winter coat behind! Israel is her favorite place in the world and she cannot wait to share her love for the land with students by traveling with them on Birthright.
Springboard Intrapreneurship Fellow
Lana Kolchinsky grew up in Moorestown, New Jersey and attended URJ Camp Harlam as a camper and counselor. She moved to DeLand, Florida for college where she graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Stetson University. During her time at Stetson, she served as the president of Stetson University Hillel for two years and served on the Hillel International Student Cabinet during her senior year. She is also a Cohort 7 Nachshon Fellow. Outside of Hillel, Lana served as the president of Stetson’s Student Government Association.
In her free time, Lana enjoys reading, playing guitar, spending time with friends, and taking walks around town. Lana is looking forward to getting to know all of the wonderful students at the University of Florida and working to create meaningful Jewish experiences for all Jewish Gators.
Cara Levin is excited to help expand the Jewish Gator Nation's participation and enthusiasm at UF Hillel! She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Florida State University, along with a minor in Criminology and Sociology.
Growing up in Gainesville, she attended B'nai Israel, Temple Shir Shalom, and local Jewish day camps. She enjoys hiking, theatre, art, dance, and exploring new places around town. At UF Hillel she hopes to bring students together and offer support during exhilarating and sometimes difficult life events that make up one's college experience.
Jamie (Silverstein) Zinn is thrilled to help advance UF Hillel's mission as Chief Advancement Officer. A 2008 UF alumna, Jamie credits UF Hillel as the spark that ignited her passion for creating joyful Jewish community and pursuing a career in the non-profit sector. Following graduation, Jamie served as the Bronfman Presidential Fellow at Hillel International in Washington, DC, working alongside then president Wayne L. Firestone. She went on to serve as Director of Engagement for Hillel at The George Washington University before moving to NYC where she spent over five years at Repair the World. Prior to returning to UF in 2019, Jamie served as the Associate Director of Development at Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University in St. Louis, where she partnered with physician scientists and grateful patients to advance cancer research through philanthropy.
An alumna of Florida Blue Key, Jamie held leadership roles in student government, Dance Marathon, and Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority, where she currently volunteers as chapter advisor. She has been involved for over a decade with Sharsheret, specifically working to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, and has held numerous leadership roles in local Jewish organizations. Jamie is married to Rabbi Jonah Zinn with whom she shares their most important role of all--proud parents to Jacob and Talia.