Hillel chooses new director

Staff Writer

Newberger Hillel, 5715 S. Woodlawn Ave., has a permanent executive director for the first time in a year.

Andrea Hoffman has been the interim executive director since September, but accepted the job permanently in March.

Hoffman has been working with the Hillel Foundation at both the national and local levels for 25 years, she said.

She spent years working at the Hillel in Milwaukee serving Jewish students from surrounding schools. She later accepted a position at the Hillel International Center in Washington, D.C. She was responsible for the Birthright Israel program, human resources and communication between campuses and executive directors, among other duties.

Rabbi Paul Saiger had been acting as interim director before he retired earlier this year.
Saiger stepped in as interim director after the members of the board and its executive director Dan Liebenson separated last year.

“It was obviously a big wound and it takes time to heal,” Hoffman said. “So part of my job was to help there be some healing and we’ve put our focus primarily on the students. Part of the healing is just letting some things just be. Not trying to fix things that aren’t ready to be fixed or [to] heal faster than is appropriate.”

Newberger Hillel has added some Shabbat programming that the student body asked for and began welcoming new students and prospective students to campus, Hoffman said.
“Our primary goal is always to serve the students and it will remain that way, and as long as we can continue to serve them effectively, we’re happy and the students are happy,” Hoffman said.