Andrew Getraer was born in Geneva, Switzerland and grew up in Queens, Westchester, and Greens Farms, CT. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He met his amazing wife Jean at Dartmouth and Hillel was an important part of their journey together. They live in Highland Park with their five children, Sandy, Alec, Benjy, Lindsay, and Sarah and their dog Colby. Arnold Schwarzenegger once sent him a Christmas tree in the mail.
Rabbi Esther Reed
Senior Associate Director
Rabbi Esther Reed grew up in East Brunswick, NJ. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she received both her master’s degree in Jewish Women’s Studies and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. She is a Conservative rabbi and lives in Highland Park with her husband, Mordy Schwartz, and three sons: Isaac, Sammy and Jonah.
Rabbi Victor Appell
Reform Community Rabbi & Senior Jewish Educator
Rabbi Victor Appell, a native New Yorker, received his master’s in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, from which he also received his Rabbinic Ordination. He lives in Metuchen with his husband, Colin Hogan, and their two sons, Avi and Lev. Prior to entering the rabbinate, Rabbi Appell worked in the apparel industry.
Rabbi Tzvi Wohlgelernter
Tzvi Wohlgelernter grew up in Toronto. He studied in Yeshivat Sha’alvim for two years. After which he served in the Nachal Brigade of the IDF. Then after marrying Tali, he went on to receive a BA in psychology from the Hebrew Theological College in Skokie, Illinois. He has semicha (rabbinic ordination) from Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh and Rabbi Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, and is on his way to receiving semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. Tzvi is also a certified psychotherapist from the Family Institute of Jerusalem. Over the last year and half Tzvi has served as the Interim Rabbi for Beit Knesset Ohel Ari in Ra’anana. He enjoys hockey and jamming with his guitar.
Tali Wohlgelernter grew up in Chicago. She studied at Sha’alvim for women for a year and a half. From there Tali received her BA in Judaic studies from the Anne Blitstein Teachers Institue. After moving to Israel in 2010, Tali began working as a photographer and make-up artist. Over the last 3 years Tali has been teaching in a gap year program for post high school girls, called Midreshet Torat Chessed. Additionally Tali is a certified teacher of family purity from Tzohar. The Wohlgelernters have 3 beautiful daughters, Dodi, Sophie and Atara.
Director of Jewish Student Life and Israel Engagement
Liel made Aliyah from California with her family and was raised in Efrat, Israel. She holds a BS in Expressive Arts Therapy from Lesley University and an MA in Jewish Education from Hebrew University. She is currently in the 7th cohort of the ICenter’s Masters of Concentration in Israel Education. She has extensive experience working as a formal and informal Jewish educator at summer camps, Hebrew schools, and Jewish communities across America. She is also an alumni of the Pardes summer learning program and the Brandies Collegiate Institute summer program. Liel has staffed approximately 15 Birthright trips, is a graduate of the Sudbury Democratic school system, and is the youngest theater director in Jerusalem to date.
Jewish Agency Israel Fellow
Aviv is from Tel Aviv. He served in a secret unit of the IDF Intelligent Corps. After his service, he worked as part of the security department in the US embassy. Aviv holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and International Relations and is in the process of obtaining his Masters Degree in Government and Public Policy. He also briefly interned at The Office of Congressmen Alcee Hastings on Capitol Hill. Fun fact: Aviv swing dances.
IACT Coordinator for Birthright Israel
Nikki attended the University of Michigan where she majored in history, specifically the history of the Jewish people. After graduation, she spent a year in Israel as a Masa Israel Teaching Fellow in Rishon LeZion teaching English in an elementary school and volunteering at the Holocaust Survivor Center of Rishon. Born in Okemos, Michigan, Nikki grew up in a house devoted to Detroit sports teams. When she isn’t talking to students about Birthright, you can find Nikki dreaming about Israeli falafel, finishing a book in one day, or exploring her new home of New Jersey.
Director of Development
Michael Zimmerman was born and raised in Holmdel, New Jersey. He obtains a B.A. in International Studies from Elon University and is pursuing a Master’s in Philanthropic Studies at Indiana University’s Lilly School of Philanthropy. Michael entered the Philanthropic sector as Director of Jewish National Fund’s Central New Jersey Region. After growing a successful campaign, Michael joined the Rutgers Hillel Family in March 2017 as Director of Development. Michael lives in Manhattan and is very passionate about his work with Rutgers Hillel and in philanthropy.
Barbara Josephs Cohen
Senior Development Officer
Barbara Josephs Cohen has been at Rutgers Hillel since 2003 when she orchestrated the year-long “Israel Inspires” Initiative. She lives in West Orange with her husband, Michael, whom she met when they were both freshmen at Tufts University. They are the proud parents of Jonathan and Matthew and grandparents to adorable Gavi.
Laurie Zinberg grew up in Perth Amboy, NJ. She lives in Springfield with her husband, Scott. Their daughter, Marissa, is a teacher of autistic children. Their son, Greg, a graduate of Rutgers University, is a teacher of Health and Physical Education.