Staff


Miriam StarkmanExecutive Director – Miriam is the long-time Executive Director of HMD.  For over 20 years she has seen students come and go, and sometimes come back again.  As an informal Jewish educator, she welcomes the opportunity to help students as they develop both Jewishly and personally.  There are few questions or comments from students that would surprise/shock her, but she encourages any student to try!

E-mail Miriam!

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Margo LazarDevelopment Director – A native Detroiter, Margo has been involved in the non-profit world for some time with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Planned Parenthood, Bookstock, ORT and Hadassah, as well as her children’s school PTOs. She is excited to be at Hillel of Metro Detroit and help make a difference in the lives of Jewish young adults in our community. She enjoys spending time with her husband Mike and her two daughters, Shaina and Brooke. She loves meeting new students so if you are in the area, stop by and say hello.

E-mail Margo!

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Illana GreenbergEndowment Campaign Director – Illana joined the HMD staff in August, 2015. She is managing HMD’s new endowment campaign that will be used to enable new and creative programming and solidify HMD’s future. Born and raised in the Detroit metropolitan area, Illana has worked for 25+ years in marketing and communications and in non-profit campaign, event and program management. She has held many community volunteer positions and currently serves on the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s marketing committee, Women’s Philanthropy board and Jewish Ensemble Theater board.  Illana lives in Franklin with her husband, Danny, and her cat, Shayna.

E-mail Illana!

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Neil A. Cantor Director of Jewish Student Life – Neil has always had a passion for working with Jewish students and young adults.  He is originally from Richmond, Virginia, and still has a true love for the South.  Neil received his Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.  Prior to joining HMD as Director of Jewish Student Life, Neil worked in state government for many years and worked with Jewish youth and students.  Since shifting his professional career, Neil does not miss having to wear a tie at work every day. He has enjoyed the opportunity to connect with students and help them embark on their Jewish journeys.  When not at work, Neil spends most of his time with his wonderful wife, Ilene, and their son Robby.

E-mail Neil!

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Rabbi Michele Faudem – RabbiRabbi Faudem joined the HMD staff in September 2015. She graduated from the Jewish Theological Seminary, earning Rabbinic Ordination and an MA in Education. Rabbi Faudem loves people, learning and teaching and looks forward to combining all three in her work at HMD. She is originally from Detroit and spent her high school years in Jerusalem, where she also completed two years of National Service. In addition to her work at HMD, Rabbi Faudem teaches adult education classes through the Florence Melton Mini-School sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. She lives in West Bloomfield with her husband and their three sons. She enjoys reading and sports, and loves road trips.

E-mail Rabbi Faudem!

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Yael Wolf – Jewish Agency Israel Program Associate  – Yael is from Rehovot, Israel and lived in Tel Aviv for the past two years. She graduated from Tel Aviv University with a B.A in Cinematography and Political Science. During the last few years Yael traveled all over Europe. She is very excited be in the U.S.A. for the first time and to be at Hillel of Metro Detroit. Yael is really interested in movies, Israeli and worldwide, and is looking forward to hearing your movie recommendations over a cup coffee.
E-mail Yael!

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Olivia Berlin – Program Associate – Olivia graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Special Education. She was an intern at Michigan State University Hillel for the Destination Detroit program. Olivia spent her summers attending and working at URJ Camp George. This past year, she participated in Masa Israel Teaching Fellows and taught English to Israeli students in Rishon Letzion. In her free time Olivia enjoys photography, cooking, and traveling. Her favorite city she visited so far was Copenhagen! Olivia is excited to be a part of HMD and help bring Jewish life to campus.

E-mail Olivia!

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Ross HernerProgram Associate – Ross graduated from Oakland University with a B.S. in Marketing and a minor in Theatre. While at Oakland University he was a part of “Gold Vibrations”, an acapella group, as well as a member of SAE. Ross loves to compose music and plays a few instruments including piano, ukulele, and guitar. In addition, he loves to be active and plays golf, tennis, and basketball in his free time. Last year Ross taught English in Ashdod, Israel and had an amazing, life-changing experience. Ross can’t wait to help students explore their Jewish identities and is looking forward to an awesome experience as a Program Associate for HMD.

E-mail Ross!

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Kyle SmithOffice Manager – Kyle is the gatekeeper of HMD.  Her background includes a dedicated involvement with Detroit non-profit community-based organizations.  Kyle has coordinated and been director of programs and initiatives which addressed the quality of life and neighborhoods for citizens of Detroit.  She is the proud mother of three adult children, Tesa, Jahshua and Kenya and one granddaughter, Star Lynx.  In her free time, Kyle loves music, reading, independent films and stimulating conversations.

E-mail Kyle!