Cornell Hillel Names Rabbi Ari Weiss Executive Director
Cornell Hillelâ€™s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Rabbi Ari Weiss to be the Executive Director of Cornell Hillel effective July 1, 2016. Weiss is an exceptional professional who brings vast experience and executive leadership to Cornellâ€™s Jewish community.
â€œAri has the vision and leadership skills to work with our student leaders to help transform an already excellent Hillel at Cornell into one that engages an even broader cross-section of our students,â€ said Marc Schlussel, Chair of the Executive Director Search Committee.
Weiss is a Jewish educator, thought leader and social entrepreneur. He has led multiple initiatives in the Jewish educational, social justice, and innovation ecosystems that engage young adults and connect them to Jewish values, ideas, and community.
"I'm excited to lead the Cornell Hillel team to activate Jewish students and create a space for them to grow and find community during their time at Cornell," Weiss said.
Weiss recently served as the Interim Managing Director and Senior Director of Jewish Education at NEXT: A Division of the Birthright Israel Foundation. At NEXT, his work focused on training Jewish professionals across the country on best practices in engaging Birthright alumni and Jewish young adults.
Prior to joining NEXT, Weiss was the Executive Director of Uri Lâ€™Tzedek, an Orthodox social justice organization, and grew it to engage tens of thousands of people in 15 cities. He spearheaded multiple innovative programs designed to create change and transform the intellectual conversation within Jewish communities and promote the pluralistic Jewish social justice agenda. During his tenure, Slingshot Guide selected Uri Lâ€™Tzedek as one of the 50 most innovative and impactful organizations in the country for five consecutive years.
Weiss is a former Joshua Venture Group fellow for Jewish leaders engaged in social change and social entrepreneurship, and a former Neta Fellow with the American Jewish World Service for rabbis working toward creating a just world. In 2012, The Jewish Week selected him as one of â€œ36 under 36â€ young Jewish visionaries who are reimagining Jewish life.
Weiss received his rabbinical ordination from YCT Rabbinical School. He has studied philosophy and Jewish studies at graduate schools in New York and Jerusalem and received his B.A. from Yeshiva College where he studied Philosophy and Religion. Weiss studied Advanced Talmud at Yeshivat Har Etzion and Beit Morasha of Jerusalem. Weiss, his wife Sara, and their young son will move to Ithaca this spring.
Established on-campus in 1929, Cornell Hillel has been an intrinsic part of the Cornell University since its founding. For the past decade, Cornell Hillel has achieved a period of sustained growth, garnering numerous awards for excellence and becoming a flagship Hillel in the movement. Its extraordinary student leadership and talented professional staff will continue to engage Jewish students at Cornell and build vibrant Jewish life on the Hill through 250 student leadership positions, over 30 different Jewish students groups, and hundreds of successful programs and initiatives on campus each year. Cornell Hillel is poised to continue to grow to great heights.
Cornell Hillel is affiliated with Hillel International. Hillel International enriches the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world, and envisions a world where every student is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.