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Rebecca Joseph named new director of Elon Hillel

An ordained rabbi and founder of an award-winning seasonal and organic kosher catering company in San Francisco, Joseph comes to Elon University with deep experience in community building and fostering multi-faith leadership.

Rabbi Rebecca Joseph

Rabbi Rebecca Joseph has been named Elon University’s new director of Elon Hillel and associate chaplain for Jewish Life. She takes over in mid July for outgoing Hillel director Nancy Luberoff.

In her role, Joseph will lead a vibrant Jewish Life program that has grown exponentially in recent years with the addition of the Sklut Hillel Center, the creation of multiple Hillel service trips and activities, and the introduction of Jewish tradition programming held on campus.

“Becky is a wonderful and wise person, with all the skills to build on and sustain what Nancy has so ably begun,” said the Rev. Jan Fuller, Elon University’s chaplain and director of the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. “I am thrilled to welcome her to Elon, to have her as a colleague in religious and spiritual life, and to count on her deep and broad experience as we build an inclusive multi-religious campus community.”

Joseph has a strong record of achievement in Jewish young adult engagement, community building and multi-faith leadership. With a doctorate in anthropology, she is the founder and current president of 12 Tribes Kosher Foods, an award–winning seasonal and organic kosher catering company in San Francisco. Her values-based business provides expert coaching and group training on kosher food and lifestyle to business owners, event planners and chefs.

She previously worked in San Francisco for the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund, where she was responsible for planning and program development for Jewish education. Joseph oversaw similar grant application and management responsibilities with the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City prior to moving to California.

It was in New York City that she served as a volunteer spiritual care chaplain with the American Red Cross during several mass disasters, including Ground Zero following the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center, the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 and the 2003 Northeast blackout.

Joseph spent her early career working with the National Park Service as a regional programs manager. She established short- and long-term strategic goals for more than 80 parks, monuments and historic sites in 12 states from Virginia to Maine. Part of her responsibilities included the initiation and management of cooperative agreements with higher education institutions.

Joseph holds degrees from Jewish Theological Seminary, University of California – San Diego, and Swarthmore College.

Eric Townsend,
6/2/2014 10:30 AM