Professional Staff

  • Executive Director, Ari Gauss

    Ari Gauss

    Executive Director

    Ari is entering his eighth year as NC Hillel's Executive Director, and loves life in The Southern Side of Heaven after twelve years in the northeast. He lived for nine years in New York City, where he served as a Director of Development for the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science, and also received masters degrees in non-profit management from New York University and Judaic studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary. He previously earned a BA in Philosophy from Pomona College.

    Ari has also worked for Hillel at Tufts University and Yale University. In fact, he and his wife, Hollis, met when they were both Hillel Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellows. Hollis and Ari are the proud parents of Aaron, who is a Tar Heel born and a Tar Heel bred.

    A native San Franciscan, Ari also lived in Jerusalem for two years, where he was the Jerusalem Little League Baseball Commissioner and coached the Israeli national baseball team for three summers.

  • Michelle Brownstein Horowitz

    Michelle Brownstein Horowitz

    Associate Director, UNC Chapel Hill

    Michelle Brownstein Horowitz, in her sixth year as NC Hillel's Associate Director, Chapel Hill, worked previously in a variety of positions in K-12 and higher education. Most recently, she ran an after-school program in the Durham Public Schools while completing her Master's Degree in Multicultural Education at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. During her Master's program, Michelle particularly enjoyed teaching an Introduction to Communications class for first-year students.

    Prior to living in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, Michelle spent eight years in Washington, DC, earning her B.A. in Communications, Law, Economics and Government from American University, working in political communications and running a dropout prevention program in the DC public schools.

    Michelle was also involved in the lay-led Shabbat service and social justice group Tikkun Leil Shabbat, where she served on the leadership group and met her husband, Jonathan. In her free time Michelle likes to run and make jewelry.

  • Ginny Vellani

    Ginny Vellani

    Director of Statewide Initiatives

    Ginny Vellani is excited to start her first year as the Director of Statewide Initiatives, overseeing student engagement, programs and leadership development across the state, outside of Chapel Hill. Ginny has been with Hillel for four years, most recently serving as Acting Director at Elon Hillel. At Elon, she helped to lead the community’s growth as it doubled in size, opened a permanent building on campus, and expanded to include a historically Jewish fraternity, an Israel advocacy and dialogue club, and a chapter of Challah for Hunger. Her work has emphasized immersive experiences and off-campus opportunities, including Birthright Israel, teaching a month-long Holocaust Studies course in Europe, and traveling with students to interfaith leadership conferences across the country. Ginny is a member of the Weinberg Accelerate Executive Training Program’s fourth cohort. She has a B.A. in Religious Studies from Agnes Scott College, a M.A. in Jewish-Christian Studies from Seton Hall University, and also studied at the University of Haifa’s International School. A proud native North Carolinian, she currently lives in Winston-Salem with her husband.

  • ran-laviv

    Ran Laviv

    Israel Fellow

    Ran was born and raised in Kibbutz Mashabei Sade, located in southern Israel in the vast Negev desert area (fun fact: “Mashabei Sade” means “field resources” in Hebrew). He completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology and anthropology at Ben Gurion University. In his free time, Ran enjoys sports, hiking and meeting new people.

  • Daisy Burns headshot

    Daisy Burns

    Operations Manager

    Daisy relocated to the Triangle in the summer of 2016 from Connecticut. She worked for the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford for 9 years and taught religious school for 5 years at various synagogues in the area. In her free time, she performed improv with her group Tick Tick BOOM! and enjoyed swing dancing. Before moving to the area, Daisy spent some time in Spain, Israel and Prague. Her interests include games, travel, dancing, volunteering, comics, and discovering new parks. She is very excited to join the Hillel team and embark on a new adventure!
  • Amanda Genovese

    Amanda Genovese

    Development and Communications Associate

    Amanda was born and raised in North Haven, CT. She went on to study Neuroscience, with a minor in Religious Studies, at Brandeis University. While at Brandeis, she particularly enjoyed her involvement with the Alumni Relations Reunion Program and her position as a Social Media Ambassador for the Communications Department. She also played varsity softball and was named a Division III All-American, leading the nation in stolen bases. After graduation, she participated in the 10-month Masa Israel Teaching Fellow program, teaching English at an elementary school in Rishon LeZion, Israel. She likes sports, the outdoors and cooking. 

  • Lauren Fine

    Lauren Fine

    Student Leadership Coordinator

    Lauren Fine is thrilled to start her second year as NC Hillel's Student Leadership Coordinator. She recently completed a year of service as a Repair the World fellow in Baltimore, doing direct service at an after school program and with a fruit tree organization, promoting urban orcharding in Baltimore. She graduated from Appalachian State University in 2014 with a BS in communication studies and leadership studies. During her time at App, she was involved in many university clubs and organizations including Student Government Association, the LGBT Center, Multicultural Student Development, the Women's Center, AppolCorps welcome week leaders, and more. She was honored to serve as president of Hillel at App for two years, where her passion for Jewish life on campus began.  Lauren loves baking, fruit trees, and social justice.

  • Corie Hampton

    Corie Hampton

    Director of Student Life, Greensboro
    (336) 355-1173

    Corie Hampton is in her second year as NC Hillel's first Director of Student Life, Greensboro, serving Jewish students and helping to build Jewish community at UNC Greensboro and Guilford. She will always be ready for a cup of coffee or to help cheer on the UNCG Spartans and Guilford Quakers!  

    Corie grew up in New Jersey, attended Elon University for her undergraduate studies and received her MS in Athletic Training from East Carolina University. Since then, she has done extensive work within the Greensboro Jewish community, serving as co-chair of J Triad, the young adult Jewish group in the Triad area. For the last three years, Corie has been an athletic trainer for UNCG’s athletic department. She is currently working towards her MBA at Elon University. In her free time, Corie likes to hang out with her dog, play kickball and watch sports.

  • Julie Harris

    Julie Harris

    Assistant Director, NC State
    (919) 923-9283

    Julie Harris lives in Carrboro, NC with her husband, Etan, and two boys, Noam and Jayden. She has over twenty years of experience in the field of Jewish education.

    Julie received her joint masters degrees in Jewish Education and Non-Profit Management from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Los Angeles). She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from San Diego State University in 1991, and her multiple subject teaching credential in 1992. Last summer, Julie completed a two-week residency in painting and drawing at the Penland School of Crafts. 

    From 2010 thru 2015, Julie served as the art teacher for The Lerner Jewish Day School in Durham. One highlight was the creation of a program that focused on cultivating compassion within the larger school community, culminating with an exhibition of artwork based on the school community’s interpretation of compassion. 

    Prior to working at The Lerner School, Julie sat on the school’s board of directors in 2006, becoming president of the board in 2008. During her tenure, the school partnered with the Jewish Federation of Durham-Chapel Hill to raise money and build a preschool wing for the school and the Levin Jewish Community Center.

  • Rabbi Jenny Solomon

    Rabbi Dr. Jenny Solomon

    Senior Jewish Educator

    Rabbi Dr. Jenny Solomon is starting her first year with NC Hillel as the Senior Jewish Educator, providing students with rabbinic support, facilitating students’ meaningful Jewish experiences and playing a central role in crafting the Jewish educational vision for UNC Hillel. As a spiritual director, dynamic adult educator, and leader of creative Jewish prayer and ritual, Rabbi Dr. Jenny Solomon compassionately inspires her congregants and students as they navigate their Jewish journeys. Rabbi Solomon received her undergraduate degree from Brown University, was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, and completed a doctorate in counseling from the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. Solomon spent extensive time studying in Israel and was awarded a Wexner Fellowship. She currently serves as a rabbi at Beth Meyer Synagogue as well as the founding director of Libi Eir Awakened Heart Community Mikveh in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Rabbi Solomon has recorded two musical projects and has published numerous articles on mikveh, parenting, and Jewish contemplative practice. The proud mother of Meirav, Adi and Natan, Rabbi Solomon also loves to run, practice yoga, and cook.

  • Jamie Schecter

    Jamie Schecter Krusch

    Assistant Director, Charlotte

    Jamie is the new Assistant Director, Charlotte. Jamie grew up in Dallas, Texas before attending Indiana University, where she completed a B.A. in political science and criminal justice. As a student at Indiana, Jamie was very active with Hillel, participated on a Birthright Israel trip, and was a member of a Jewish sorority. After graduating, Jamie relocated to her new adopted hometown of Charlotte, NC, where she obtained her J.D. at the Charlotte School of Law. While in law school, Jamie restarted and revitalized the Jewish Student Law Association. After law school, she worked for a corporation and remained involved with both the Charlotte and international Jewish communities. Jamie has been active in the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, and was selected as a participant of Class 10 the Bernstein Jewish Leadership Group. She is also active with other Jewish organizations including Hadassah, AIPAC, and Save A Child’s Heart. Jamie happily resides in Charlotte with her husband, David, a Charlotte native, and their two lovable but mischievous dogs. In her free time, Jamie enjoys reading, kayaking, and making custom jewelry.

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    Tova Boehm

    Cook and Kitchen Manager

    Tova joined UNC Hillel in 2014, and enjoys working with students in all parts of preparing weekly Shabbat dinners in the kosher kitchen on campus. Tova was part of the first graduating class of the American Hebrew Academy, and went on to study weaving at Earlham College (IN), where she graduated in 2008 with a BA in Art with minors in Jewish Studies and Art History. During college, she took a semester off to be an Adamah Fellow at Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center (CT).  During that fellowship, she developed expertise in community and collaborative leadership, and sustainable agriculture.  Following the fellowship, she developed and taught a 2-credit course at Earlham College, entitled “Spirituality, the Land, & Food” and started a small bread bakery at the college food co-op.  In 2010, after several years working on sustainable farms in NC and MD, including Pearlstone Conference Center, she launched Short Winter Soups, an innovative business providing area share-holders with high-integrity soups and artisan bread on a weekly basis year round.  Tova lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, and loves contra dancing and hot chocolate.
North Carolina Hillel Foundation
210 West Cameron Avenue
Chapel Hill, NC 27516
(919) 942-4057

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