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Alumni Spotlight

Rachel Weiss-Berger

Bachelor of Arts in History and Organization Studies, Minor in Judaic Studies, 2001

Vice President for Advancement at Hillel International

Describe your job responsibilities:

I currently serve as Vice President for Advancement at Hillel International. I implement fundraising strategies and campaigns to maximize Hillel International’s development effectiveness, increase revenue and efficiencies. I also oversee and implement Advancement Field Services, which works directly with our local Hillels on fundraising strategies, training and local fundraising campaigns. I am excited to begin to work on Hillel’s Centennial, which will be in two years’ time.  


What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The people  -- I have the opportunity to work across all Hillel International departments as well as with the local Hillels. I enjoy problem solving with smaller Hillels about how to increase their fundraising potential as well as larger campuses about how to work towards sustainability.


Tell us about studying at the Frankel Center:

I think back to my time at Michigan and I believe that the Frankel Center was still in the Freize building. I remember taking my Hebrew classes freshman year in that building and stumbling upon the Frankel Center. I think I just really enjoyed my classes. I did not necessarily think I was going to get one of my degrees in Judaic Studies; rather it fell into my lap. All of the really interesting and engaging classes, and the professors I wanted to learn with, were associated with the Frankel Center. The caliber of classes from literature to politics allowed me to explore different aspects of Judaism that I had not yet had the opportunity to do in high school. 


How did your education prepare you for your current job?

The writing. All the classes that I look through the Frankel Center centered on writing and critical thinking. These have probably been the two most consistent and important requirements of my work over the past 20 years.


What advice would you give to students who are considering studying Judaic studies?

What makes Judaic studies so unique is that it overlaps with almost all divisions within the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. I was able to take Yiddish literature classes, political science classes, history classes - all of which counted towards my degree.