November 1, 2018: Executive Director Daniel Bennett announced that Hillel of Colorado has hired new staff leaders for the University of Denver Hillel and the Colorado State University Hillel in Fort Collins.
DU Hillel Director of Jewish Student Life, Simeon (Simi) Adler, grew up in Boulder where his family attended Congregation Bonai Shalom; later, Simi graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in Psychology. His connection to the Jewish community didn’t end with graduation: his first job after college was a three-year stint as the Youth Director at Congregation Har HaShem in Boulder.
Simi’s grasp of leadership development, informal education, and Jewish programming led him to work in Jewish summer camps where Jewish identities are often formed, enhanced and honed – first as a Head Counselor and Unit Head at Wilshire Boulevard Temple Camp in Malibu, CA, and later as Assistant Director at Denver’s Temple Emanuel Maurice B. Shwayder Camp above Idaho Springs, CO.
Simi is based in Denver, but spends as much time as possible in the Colorado mountains volunteering with the National Center for the Disabled in Winter Park. He is also an avid skier. Simi plans to bring his excitement for the outdoors to programming at DU Hillel, and stresses his love of informal education and relationship-building as keys to success. He has staffed a summer Birthright Israel trip, and lived in Tel Aviv for a year teaching English, leading recreational activities for children and adults with special needs, and writing grants for a nonprofit. He is excited to bring the full range of his passion and skills to work with college-age young adults at Hillel.
CSU Hillel Director of Jewish Student Life, Mariah (Kornberg) DeGear, credits her Hillel experience – first as a student at Emerson College Hillel in Boston, MA, and later when she was growing up in Boulder and her family attended events at CU Boulder Hillel – as one of many keys to her spiritual journey. Later, as a young adult, Mariah lived on Kibbutz Beit Hashita in Israel, and has returned to Israel many times to travel and visit friends and family.
Mariah brings her extensive business, marketing and entrepreneurial experience to Hillel, having managed and led businesses and nonprofits in Boulder, Fort Collins, and Ouray, CO. She most recently owned a boutique near the CSU campus that offered health and healing through aromatics, nature-inspired candles, handcrafted jewelry, Judaica, and holistic health education; her shop was open to all, but geared especially to college-age young adults seeking a welcoming and empowered spiritual life. Both Mariah’s business background and her strong belief that happiness is a huge part of health – and that “we all need a place to be uplifted…to inspire our spirit” – will serve Hillel students well.
Mariah’s family has deep roots at Temple Emanuel in Denver and Congregation Har Hashem in Boulder. She, her husband and their two daughters love being a part of the Fort Collins community where Mariah looks forward to mentoring Jewish students and connecting them with community mentors and nonprofit networks in Northern Colorado.