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.
Program & Engagement Director
Megan McLean (she/her/hers) is originally from Colorado, where she earned a BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder in International Relations, Political Science and French. She then moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where she worked or volunteered in every Jewish organization in the area while also earning an MPA (Masters of Public Administration) from the University of New Mexico. After becoming involved in Hillel as a graduate student, Megan moved to Lexington, Virginia to serve as the Director of Hillel at Washington & Lee University. As an active member of the Young Professional Jewish Community of Albuquerque, Megan was often encouraged to go on a Birthright trip and she finally did in 2008. Her interest in Israel was piqued and she returned in 2009 for a 6-month Masa program in Jerusalem to study Peace and Social Justice and intern with multi-faith organizations. After returning to Israel a few more times as a madricha (trip leader) for Birthright, Megan decided to make Aliyah (immigrate to Israel) in 2016. She lived in Beer Sheva, the capital of Southern Israel’s Negev Desert, and worked as the Director of Resource Development for Israeli NGO Dream Doctors. After being abroad for three years, Megan is excited to return to the Hillel Family and start a new adventure in New York! She is most looking forward to connecting with the HOW community through Israeli music, Jewish food, social justice, Hebrew slang, Jewish humor, and by building new traditions for celebrating Shabbat and Jewish holidays together. In her spare time you can find Megan enjoying the outdoors, at a concert, drag show or musical, exploring new places, cooking, baking, swimming, or having a spa day at home. She is the proud mother of 2 Israeli street cats, Milo and Charlie, who probably don’t know they live in New York now but seem to enjoy it nonetheless.
Program & Engagement Associate
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, disability inclusion, leadership development
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, and creating new recipes. Marisa lives in Stamford, and though they have no pets they are more than happy to be a surrogate parent to Rachel's fur babies.
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.