THE HOW TEAM
RACHEL E. KLEIN, MSW
Alma mater(s): University of Pennsylvania, '03 (MSW), University of Delaware, '01 (BA Sociology, Concentration in Social Welfare)
Favorite Shabbat Activity: the moments of silence after lighting the candles.
Superpower: creating space for others.
Contact Rachel about: travel guidance for your Jewish journey, social justice, volunteerism, universal inclusion, Israel, and leadership development.
Reach out to Rachel by emailing her at
Rachel joined the HOW team in 2014. Prior to her time in the Hillel family, Rachel served as a Reform synagogue director in New Jersey, youth group advisor, and teacher. She began her social work career in 2003 as a direct-practice social worker in mental health and substance abuse. Her journey from clinical social work to Hillel professional brought her to serve as an Assistant Child Advocate with the State of New Jersey for nearly a decade, where she focused on anti-bullying efforts, childhood lead poisoning, legislative oversight and individual advocacy. She is an award winning hobby winemaker and currently lives in Stamford, Connecticut with her fiance, Brian, English Bulldog, Lucy, and (master of the house) cat, Ollie.
Jewish Life Coordinator
Alma mater: Appalachian State University, '19 (BA Philosophy, minor in Political Science)
Favorite Shabbat Activity: spending time in the sun with a good book
Superpower: infusing Judaism everywhere
Contact Marisa about: innovative ways to connect with Judaism, the Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF), LGBTQ+ education and activism, the disability rights movement, storytelling, vegan biscuits & gravy, and leadership & career development
Reach out to Marisa by emailing them at
Marisa Fernandez joined the HOW Team in the summer of 2019. They hail from the southeastern United States, where they grew up in metro Atlanta and attended school at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Marisa's main goal at Hillels of Westchester is to help every student tell the story of their own authentic Jewish journey. In their free time, Marisa can be found exploring farmers' markets with their partner, brainstorming new creative projects, and browsing bookstores for radical queer, disabled, and Jewish texts.
Programming and Engagement Coordinator
Alma mater(s): The City University of New York, Baruch College, Bachelor of Business Administration and Marketing, 2018
Favorite Shabbat Activity: Intense Rummykub games.
Superpower: Helping anyone around her feel calm and collected
Contact Gal if you’re interested in: Learning about Israel or Hebrew, feeling heard, or/and starting a new program
Reach out to Gal by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gal joined the HOW team in the summer of 2020. Beforehand, Gal focused on Engagement and Israel at the Baruch College Hillel for two years after graduating as an involved Hillel student. Following the passion of community building, empowering Jewish young adults, and caring for students, Gal decided she wants to continue making an impact. In her free time Gal enjoys traveling and exploring new places, cooking, being silly with friends, and going back to Haifa, her hometown in Israel.
Social Justice Springboard Fellow
Alma mater: University of Maryland '19 (BS Community Health, BS Business Management)
Favorite Shabbat Activity: Losing track of time with friends
Superpower: Finding meaning in the mundane
Contact Hannah about: where we fit in this big wide world, how Judaism is a great tool kit for every project, social justice & action, the mind-body connection, baking, and comedy
Reach out to Hannah by emailing her at email@example.com
Hannah joined HOW in the summer of 2020 after graduating from the University of Maryland. Throughout her undergraduate experience she took on roles involved in promoting health education and peer engagement. She has returned to the county where she grew up in pursuit of fostering a space for college students to discover what tikkun olam (repairing the world) means to them. Hannah lives in Westchester with her raised bed garden that she is very proud of. She is also passionate about being present in the moment and can be found hiking, dreaming about traveling, exercising, and baking.
Celebrating her 10 year anniversary with HOW in 2019, Linda is the longest serving staff member. She is the proud Jewish mom of Ben and Sam, alumni of SUNY Binghamton University.