Our Mission

JLIC’s mission is to create a movement of vibrant Jewish life among emerging adults aged 18 to 30 through transformative leadership development, innovative educational programming, and meaningful engagement opportunities. We empower the next generation of leaders who will inspire and strengthen the Jewish community worldwide.



THE JEWISH LEARNING INITIATIVE ON CAMPUS (JLIC)  tailors its activities to the particular needs and culture of each local campus – accentuating the unique strengths and talents of the couple living and working there. As a result, key aspects of our program, may differ greatly from campus to campus. However, the target population, events and classes, and student/educator may differ, each JLIC couple utilizes the same overall techniques and approach. There are five “hallmarks” of JLIC’s educational methodology that are adapted and applied within each local campus’ unique context.


Rather than rely solely on programs or classes as the primary means of impacting students, JLIC stresses the need for a personalized and individual approach. JLIC directors cultivate informal relationships with students, creating a trusting, comfortable environment for students to explore their needs, challenges and issues. Additionally, JLIC recognizes that important values are often communicated non-verbally – through interaction and one-on-one relationships. JLIC directors are encouraged to make themselves a “constant presence” within the Hillel, and to interact with students in informal settings, most notably, meals eaten in the kosher dining halls. JLIC couples also offer opportunities for one-on-one or personalized learning sessions with students. One director utilizes the slogan, “any text, any time” as a means of advertising his approachability. Individualized, personal learning enable the directors to engage students on their own terms, focusing on a topic that is of particular interest to the individual student, affording the flexibility and intimacy needed to encourage and nurture personal growth for each student.


JLIC couples coordinate and/or offer a wide range of activities that promote Jewish awareness, love of Israel and learning. Every couple offers a diverse menu of regular Jewish learning classes, often uniquely targeting even the smallest demographic within their midst, such as a weekly Torah class focusing on Jewish ideals of health and wellness to students who work out in the gym. Other activities center on Israel, Jewish holidays and religious observance, such as a Friday night oneg, or women’s rosh chodesh group; these activities often emerge in response to the particular interests or requests from Jewish students on campus. In addition to their scheduled classes, JLIC directors offer special events/activities throughout each semester. These events range from one-time or short-run classes, renown speakers and shabbatonim, to holiday activities and Jewish music concerts. Recognizing that many Jewish students are not prepared to commit to attending weekly classes, these activities offer couples the opportunity to relate to a larger number of students, reaching a wider and varied target population, and engage the students in a community-wide setting.


The third hallmark of JLIC is the creation and/or support of an infrastructure that promotes or makes it easier for students to lead an observant lifestyle while on campus. JLIC directors often influence the campus-based life in critical and subtle ways. Some of the often unnoticed effects of having JLIC directors on a campus may include: developing an appealing Friday night meal at the Hillel; providing support for various prayer services; developing Shabbat afternoon programming; providing holiday food such as matzah in all the dining halls; creating new and unique kosher food options on campus; advocating to the university regarding religious sensitivity and generally enhancing the quality of the environment or fundraising efforts for new books or other student needs.


JLIC recognizes that an important vehicle for communicating values and ideals is through modeling and setting the right kind of example. JLIC couples present a positive face toward Judaism, Israel and religious observance through their engaging, enthusiastic and welcoming attitudes and perspective. It’s been defined by one Hillel professional as related to the national director of JLIC through his testimonial that “JLIC is the “heart” of his Hillel”. It is important to note that both the male and female director positions are considered paramount and are provided separate salaries. JLIC feels that it is critical to provide not just male role models, but strong female ones as well. The unique partnership of a married couple strengthens the message we are striving for. The presence of a Jewish family on campus also helps to expand the students’ focus and incorporate it in the hierarchy of values that they develop each day. Often, the couples are most visible as a family on campus during Shabbat and holidays. On many campuses, the JLIC directors and their children share meals with students at the local Hillel. On other campuses, JLIC directors invite students into their homes for meals.


The culture of campuses, especially within the context of Hillel, is often geared toward the independence and empowerment of students to plan for and provide their own programming and community development. JLIC strives to engage naturally in this environment by working collaboratively with students rather than simply providing top-down programming. Students are often involved in planning and implementing JLIC educational experiences. The balance of JLIC directors’ proactive programming goals and student initiative and involvement is very much an art rather than a science, but one that is crucial to the success of the program on campus. In addition, student empowerment is often a key factor in developing young leaders and a sense of communal responsibility among students, bearing important educational and life lessons in its own right.

Our Staff

Rabbi Josh Ross Executive Director
Rabbi Pinny Rosenthal Director of Development
Rabbi Shmuli Zema Senior Director of Development
Atara Neuer Marketing Development Director
Eliana Steinreich Associate Director of Data and Development
Gracie Newmark Associate Director of Yavneh
Yonina (Silverman) Rosenthal Director of Summer Programs
Hani Lowenstein Associate Director of Community Projects
Yossi Katz Director of Marketing & Communications
Rabbi Joe Wolfson National Chessed Coordinator
Dr. Caroline Peyser-Bollag Mental Health Consultant
Sascha Bazerman Development Associate
Nate Goldstein Accounting Associate
Jocelyn Cohn Yavneh YP Coordinator