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Executive Director

Pronouns: she/her/hers

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.  

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Program & Engagement Associate

Pronouns: they/them/theirs

Alma mater: Appalachian State University, '19 (BA Philosophy, minor in Political Science)

Favorite Shabbat Activity: making challah while talking to friends

Superpower: infusing Judaism everywhere

Contact Marisa about: innovative ways to connect with Judaism, LGBTQ+ education and activism, the disability rights movement, and leadership development

Reach out to Marisa by emailing them at or schedule something with them by going to!

Marisa Fernandez joined the HOW Team in the summer of 2019 and hails from the South. During their undergrad years, Marisa was active in the Hillel at Appalachian State which is part of the North Carolina Hillel system and they were also a part of the Hillel International movement as a student board of directors member. During their free time, Marisa enjoys exploring New York City, being outdoors in any way possible, writing poetry, and creating new recipes. Marisa lives in Stamford, CT. 

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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.


(914) 251-6498

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