Lisa Buchsbaum Pollack joined Hunter College Hillel as Executive Director in 2007. Lisa received her B.A. Cum Laude from Barnard College and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. Before joining Hunter Hillel, Lisa practiced law for more than fifteen years, specializing in the areas of litigation and bankruptcy/corporate law. Lisa also clerked for a Federal Judge. She served as the Executive Vice President of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Suffolk County and of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Glen Cove and sat on both Boards for many years. Lisa served as the Director of Admissions at the Solomon Schechter Day School of Suffolk County. She served as a Vice President of the Board of the Melillo Center For Mental Health and continues to be a member of their Board. Lisa has continued throughout her career to lend her professional expertise to clergy and secular and community based not-for profits on Long Island.
You can find Lisa at Room 1317A Hunter East.
Before joining Hunter Hillel, Debra was a camp and congregational school educator and guitar-playing song leader for 8 years. She specializes in theater and "bibliodrama," and pluralistic/interfaith dialogue. Debra remains involved in the youth and young adult programming for Congregation Romemu as well as the Interfaith Community education programs in northern NJ and Westchester.
Sam Englender is currently studying at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School and has a B.A. from Michigan State University in International Studies. After college, Sam lived in Israel for three years where he worked for the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and as an account manager for an Israeli start-up.
Sam also has been active in inter-faith and inter-denominational work throughout his time in rabbinical school, participating in Hartford Seminary’s Building Abrahamic Partnerships Program and Rabbis Without Borders programs.
Sam has a deep love of Jewish text and how it can teach and inspire contemporary Jews ,He has also spent time studying Jewish text intensively for a year at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and summers at Yeshivat Hadar, and the Center for Modern Torah Leadership.
Sam can be found in the Hillel student lounge on Thursdays and at the dorms Tuesday nights. He looks forward to getting to know students and is always up for a conversation or game of basketball.
Karen Klein is a career counselor and Director of Youth Employment Programs at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills. She has been managing college internship programs for 8 years, providing career guidance, internship placement and educational workshops to undergraduate and graduate students. She has also worked with people returning to employment from public assistance, assessing their strengths, finding internships and helping them to develop the skills needed to remain in the work force. Karen also worked in publishing, and she spent 3 years in Israel, living on Kibbutz and working in a community center in Jaffa. Karen also teaches 1st grade Religious School at Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan. Karen has an MA in Clinical and Health Psychology from MCP Hahnemann University and a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Karen will be in the Hillel lounge once a week to provide individual career guidance related to job search, internships and graduate school, and will lead monthly career workshops.
You can find her in the lounge on Mondays from 10:30am – 5:30pm.
Sam Schachter is the new Community Engagement and Career Development Coordinator at The Samuel Field Y. He will be responsible for working alongside Karen to help in connecting students with the many programs and career opportunities provided by the CUNY Hillels initiative. Before joining SFY, Sam spent three years as the Director of Engagement and Programming at Hunter College Hillel. During his tenure he was responsible for creating interfaith dialogue on campus between Christians, Jews and Muslims, a city wide arts fellowship, and connecting students with career and internship opportunities. After Hillel, Sam spent time at Amplify, an ed-tech company changing the way teachers teach and students learn through technological developments on tablets and software to be used in the classroom. Sam currently resides in Astoria, Queens and can be found riding his bike around the neighborhood to potluck shabbat dinners hosted through Wandering Jews of Astoria, on the softball diamond with his team the Isotopes, or in civic action meetings trying to improve the community. He is excited to start this new chapter at Sam Field Y and working alongside the CUNY Hillels to improve relations between our organizations and strengthening Jewish communities throughout New York City.