Our Team

We believe in a pluralism that begins with the diversity of our staff

Meet the Team

Oded Oron, PHD 
Assistant Director

Dr. Oded Oron is an educator, activist, and passionate organizer. He grew up in Israel and serves as our Assistant Director. His responsibilities include supervision of Hillel’s Student Executive Board, leading an annual student delegation to Israel and the Palestinian Territories (Perspectives), overseeing ongoing initiatives and signature projects as well as managing the student life team and operations.


Oded is a die-hard Liverpool FC fan (YNWA!), he likes hiking, listening to KEXP, live music gigs, and traveling to new places. He speaks Hebrew, English, and Spanish and would love to meet you for coffee.

Rabbi Ari Weiss
Executive Director

Rabbi Ari Weiss is a Jewish educator, thought leader and social entrepreneur.  He has led multiple initiatives in the Jewish educational, social justice, and innovation ecosystems that engage young adults and connect them to Jewish values, ideas, and community.   

Ari is married to Dr. Sara Kranzler.  They are the proud parents of Adir and Batya. 

Susanna Cohen 
Director of Development

Susanna (Susu) is a proud Mid-Westerner and Cornell graduate ’12. As a student, she was a passionate Hillel leader, best remembered for co-founding the Big Red Bar Mitzvah. With nearly a decade of experience in development, she is thrilled to work for an organization that is so close to her heart. She loves connecting with parents and alumni and working with stakeholders to enrich Hillel’s programs and ensure the continuity of Jewish life at Cornell.


Susu enjoys visiting Ithaca while working remotely in New York City where she lives with her husband, and summer camp sweetheart, David.

Rabbi Hayley Goldstein 
BASE Rabbi

Rabbi Hayley Goldstein and her partner Lizzie run Base Ithaca. Hayley grew up outside of Minneapolis, MN and received a BA in Religious Studies from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and Rabbinic Ordination from Hebrew College in Newton, MA. She is a SVARA-trained educator and ran the first-ever Queer Talmud class in the heart of Jerusalem. Hayley can be found learning and teaching Talmud, preparing delicious chicken for Shabbos, singing complex niggunim, or ushering in Shabbat by cleaning the house to the music of Usher.

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Nikki Michaelson
Director of Jewish Experiences

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Nikki has spent almost a decade working with Jewish young adults, both in Israel and the United States. She loves pluralistic, experiential Jewish education, and  seeks to continually connect with both the communities and individuals she works with. With a Masters in Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill focusing on inclusion, she has spent the last number of years in North Carolina with the Durham JCC. Aside from work, Nikki loves reading, singing, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking and folk music. She's excited to be back up north and would love to take you out for coffee.  

Doreen Silva 
Operations Manager 

Doreen grew up in the Ithaca area where she has lived the majority of her life, with 5 years spent on the island of Maui. She worked for the University for 33 years in administration before joining the Cornell Hillel team. She loves learning about Jewish faith, Israeli culture and supporting students and staff in reaching their goals. In her free time she volunteers for hospice of Ithaca, acts as a member of the  Soup & Hope committee, and serves as a leader in her church. 

Tatiana Uklist 
IACT Coordinator.

Tatiana was raised just outside of Houston, Texas, and graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in Economics and Political Science in 2018. Tatiana helps to bring hundreds of Cornell students to Israel on Birthright and Onward summer internships. She can be seen grabbing coffee at Libe, loitering at Zeus, or telling cringe-worthy dad jokes. When Tatiana isn't connecting people to Israel, or teaching JLF, she enjoys exploring whatever city she's in, re-watching The Office, and petting all of the puppies she sees around town.

Rabbi Daniel Kasdan  
JLIC Educator

Rabbi Daniel Kasdan grew up in the Jewish hub of Teaneck, New Jersey. He graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. At Brandeis, he was the president of the Brandeis Orthodox Organization, and was a very active member of Brandeis Hillel. Rabbi Kasdan received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, and a Master’s degree in Medieval Jewish History from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies. 


On campus, Rabbi Kasdan loves teaching a variety of Jewish classes and learning with students one-on-one. In his free time, Rabbi Kasdan enjoys reading, learning Torah, playing with his daughter Shani, and watching James Bond and Star Wars movies.

Sarah Kasdan 
JLIC Educator

Sarah Kasdan was born and bred in the suburbs of Cleveland, OH. She attended Brandeis University where she majored in psychology and education. At Brandeis, Sarah was a minyan coordinator for the Orthodox minyan, an active participant in the Brandeis Hillel community, and a volunteer Girl Scout troop leader. After graduating, Sarah taught 4th grade for two years at a Jewish Day school in New Jersey. 


At Cornell, Sarah loves teaching classes, hosting Shabbat and holiday meals in her home, and coordinating the Jewish Learning Fellowship. In her free time, Sarah enjoys baking, doing Pilates, and exploring Ithaca with her husband Daniel and daughter Shani.

Dassi Kalmanofsky
Development Associate

Dassi Kalmanofsky grew up in New York City on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She graduated from the University at Buffalo with a degree in Art History, and a minor in Italian. At UB, she was an active member of her small but mighty Hillel, where she led Shabbat services weekly. During her spring 2018 semester, Dassi studied in Florence, Italy, where she traveled through Europe, saw awesome artwork, and ate plenty of gelato. Dassi is an avid lover of musical theater, a Harry Potter expert, and a lifetime Ramahnik.

Omer Perry 
 Morris J. Escoll '15 Israel Fellow

Omer is the Israel fellow for Cornell Hillel. He grew up and lived in Tel Aviv until he moved to Ithaca. He graduated from Tel Aviv University majoring in the History of the Middle East and the state of Israel. Before that he worked for the Israel scouts movement, “Zofim”, as a branch manager in Tel Aviv for 3 years. He also volunteered for an orphanage in Sri Lanka which he considers once in a lifetime meaningful experience.

In his free time, Omer likes reading, listening to music, traveling to new places and broadening his general knowledge. He speaks Hebrew, English, and Arabic. Email Omer to grab a coffee with Omer on campus to get to know him better, and learn more about Israel!

Lizzie Sivitz
Base Senior Educator

Lizzie works with her partner, Rabbi Hayley, to run Base at Cornell Hillel. Lizzie is from Bainbridge Island, WA. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. After college, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue comedy writing. Deciding that telling jokes was more fun around the Shabbat table than in the club, she moved to Tel Aviv in 2018, where she met Rabbi Hayley. Together Rabbi Hayley and Lizzie created Nireh Or, a weekly creative response to the Parsha, which you can find on Instagram and Facebook. Lizzie spends her free time traveling, drawing, painting, printmaking, and baking.