After a vigorous search that included candidates from across North America, the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation is pleased to announce that Kelsey Jannerson will be joining as its incoming Assistant Director. In that role, she will put mission at the heart of her work to lead programming and student life, helping to advance a bold vision and strategic plan for Jewish life on campus.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to work with students across campus to host a wonderful slate of programming,” says Kelsey. “Bringing together my Jewish communal experience, my years of work on a college campus, and my teaching skills is a dream.”
Kelsey spent the last five years working for Tulane University, most recently as a program manager for the school of social work. She also has significant experience in teaching and immersive education. She was deeply involved in the New Orleans Jewish community, including as an NCJW fellow, religious school teacher, and JPride NOLA committee member. She and her partner relocated to Tucson in summer of 2022 after spending the last seven years in New Orleans, where she studied natural disasters, worked with students, administrators, and faculty at Tulane, ate a lot of southern food, and took in a tremendous amount of experimental theater. Prior to her time in New Orleans, she attended Mount Holyoke College where she completed her degree in Middle Eastern Studies and had the chance to spend meaningful time in Israel.
“We cannot wait for Kelsey to dig in,” says Jessica Emerson McCormick, Executive Director of the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation. “Our organization is at a major point of inflection, and Kelsey has the skills and bone-deep desire to help us dramatically expand our student outreach, and create diverse access points for the 5,000 Jewish–and Jewish-adjacent–students on this campus.”
Kelsey succeeds Abbii Cook. Abbii recently joined the Tucson JCC as the Director of the Weintraub Israel Center, after helping the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation nearly double its student engagement.
Also joining the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation team this summer is Karen Cordova Flores, a talented UArizona alum who will bring her passion and deep knowledge to the organization’s operations. With experience ranging from HR to project management to event production, Karen will help build significant capacity by overseeing everything related to plant and finances. Both Kelsey and Karen start in late June, joining a staff that also includes Springboard Social Justice Fellow and Tucson native Claire Naiman. A new Israel Fellow is expected to join in early August, after an interview process in June.
“I am extremely grateful to the student committees, existing staff, and other stakeholders who helped us identify these incredible new team members,” says Jessica.
The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation’s mission is to help students build a vibrant, diverse, meaningful, and empowered Jewish community at UArizona. The organization is a beneficiary of Jewish Philanthropies of Southern Arizona and an affiliate and beneficiary of Hillel International. The University of Arizona Hillel Foundation is at a critical inflection point, with robust goals to double staff, triple revenue, and quintuple student engagement over the next five years. The foundation just launched a Minyan Campaign to significantly increase major donors; you can read more about it here.