Hillel Council of New England Supporting & Connecting Jewish Life Across Campuses

Meet the Staff


Miriam Berkowitz BlueMiriam Berkowitz Blue, HCNE Assistant Director & Hillel Director, Simmons College  781-731-2671, [email protected]

Miriam Berkowitz Blue is the Assistant Director for Hillel Council of New England, where she works with HCNE’s lay leadership, coordinates professional development for the region, and oversees regional student programming. Miriam has also been serving as the Hillel Director at Simmons College since September, 2012.  Miriam is a self-proclaimed  “professional Jew”, having worked at New England Young Judaea, the Commission for Jewish Education in West Palm Beach Florida, and the North Suburban Jewish Community Center in Peabody, Massachusetts before joining Hillel Council. She received her B.A. from Wellesley College and a Master's of Jewish Education (MJEd) as a Legacy Heritage Fellow at Hebrew College. Miriam is also active in her local Jewish community, where she is a Board member for the Epstein Hillel School (formerly Cohen Hillel Academy) and is a member of the North Shore Advisory Committee for Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP). Miriam lives in Lynnfield, Massachusetts with her husband, Phil, and children, Talia and Shalev. 


Jennifer Dennis bio pictureJennifer Dennis, Marketing and Digital Communications Manager   508-655-4002, [email protected]

Jennifer Dennis joined HCNE in 2013 as the Website Manager. Since then, she has expanded her role to include marketing communications, social media and works closely with all of the Hillel Directors. She also serves as a liason to Program Pros, the student leadership programs, Birthright Israel and Hillel International. Jennifer also freelances in marketing for small businesses and nonprofit organizations and is on the Board of the New England Women's Leadership Institute. She enjoys cooking, gardening and skiing and lives in Wayland with her husband Paul and two teenage (yikes!) children.


Jacob Freedman bio pictureJacob Freedman, HCNE Regional Programs Coordinator, Hillel Advisor at Emerson and Wheaton Colleges, Suffolk University   617-791-1108, [email protected]

Jacob previously worked at Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology as the Communications Coordinator in Admissions, and has served as the Young Artist Program Manager at Maine Media Workshops + College. He received a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University at Buffalo and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Quinnipiac University where he was proud to be the president of the campus Hillel. He is extremely excited to be part of a community that combines his love of Judaism and his passion for working with students. Jacob has had a lifelong interest in media. Feel free to ask him about his favorite films.


Sam MendalesSam Mendales, Executive Director,  617-928-1488 X3, [email protected]

Since 1985, Sam hasguided the transformation of Hillel Council from an umbrella organization providing support to the large established Hillel foundations in the immediate Boston area to a focus on fostering Jewish campus life on ten small campuses throughout New England.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, The Mandel School of Social Science at Case Western Reserve University and the School of Jewish Communal Service at Hebrew Union College, Los Angeles. He has an honorary Doctor of Jewish Communal Service from Hebrew Union College.  Sam is also a Board Member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston; the Board of Governors of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies, a member of Temple Isaiah, Lexington and a member of the Bedford Center for The Arts.


Rachel PuttermanRachel Putterman, Hillel Director, Boston College, Rabbinic Advisor, Hillel Council of New England [email protected]

Rachel Putterman is in her third year of rabbinical school at Hebrew College. Since starting rabbinic school, Rachel has held several positions at the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute at Brandeis University, mostly recently as the Academic Advisor to the summer interns. In her prior career as a public interest attorney, Rachel started out representing tenants in NYC's housing court, and then devoted several years to representing domestic violence survivors in their family law cases. When not engaged in all things Jewish, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, yoga, reading and cooking.  Rachel is thrilled to join the Hillel Council of New England team this year.


Neill SilvermanNeill Silverman, Chief Operating Officer  617-928-1488, X4, [email protected]

Neill's portfolio includes a fiscal services program under which Hillel Council provides a wide range of fiscal services to some of the largest Hillel Foundations in New England, including those at Boston University, Brandeis University, MIT and Tufts University since 2010.  Additionally, Neill manages both Hillel Council's internal finances and financial relationships with the small campus Hillels staffed by Hillel Council.  Neill also provides budget oversight and management for the IACT birthright programs at Northeastern University, Clark University, Williams College and Amherst College.  Neill is a licensed attorney with many years of legal experience, both in the corporate law firm and self-managed small and solo practice settings.  Neill has also worked as a political consultant, including political campaign management.  Neill is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell Law School.  Neill served as treasurer of Congregation Or Atid in Wayland, MA for many years.