While we all strive to fill our beautiful Buffalo summers with wonderful memories, Zoe Felber, Hillel of Buffalo’s new Springboard Intrapreneurship Specialist, has taken things to another level. It will be something she will be reflecting on this week as Hillel welcomes students to campus for the fall semester, building on Hillel’s first 75 years of enhancing Jewish college life on campus in Western New York.
Zoe graduated with honors from Ohio University (Athens, Ohio) last winter, where she majored in English-Creative Writing and earned a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and a Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion. As an undergraduate, she held several internships that prepared her to join the Hillel team, including with the National Council of Jewish Women in Cleveland through the Cleveland Hillel Summer Internship Program, the Hebrew Free Loan Association in Cleveland, and at her Hillel at Ohio University via the Jewish Learning Fellowship.
In May, Zoe became engaged to Cory Bluffestone, someone she met during opening weekend at Hillel at Ohio University. Over the summer, she embraced cultural opportunities along the 90, both here in Buffalo and with her family in suburban Cleveland. Highlights included participating in a Twins Day 5K with her twin sister, Elana, attending Sir Elton John’s Farewell Tour, and embracing her new local library.
Just a month ago, Zoe moved into an apartment in the heart of the Village of Williamsville, enabling her to enjoy Music on Main, and subsequently attended the Hillel International New Professionals Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, her mother’s alma mater, joining over 40 new Springboard fellows across the Hillel movement.
“I’m so honored to have the opportunity to work at Hillel. I’ve already learned so much at the onboarding conference and from Rabbi Sara and Logan,” Zoe shared. “Since day one, everyone has been so welcoming and supportive. I’m looking forward to meeting more members of Jewish Buffalo and to kickstarting the new academic year with the students!”
In her new role, which began in July, Zoe will strive to increase student engagement by supporting students in the creation of new initiatives in their areas of academic and social interests. Additionally, she will be the lead professional for Hillel’s marketing and public relations strategy, mindful that many students first experience Hillel online. On that note, feel free to follow Hillel of Buffalo on Facebook and Instagram!
The Springboard Fellowship is a Hillel International program that recruits innovative and talented young professionals, provides hands-on training and mentorship, and deploys them to campus Hillels for two years. “We are excited and grateful to welcome Zoe to our staff team,” says Rabbi Sara Rich, Executive Director of Hillel of Buffalo. “As we have gotten to know her this summer, it is wonderful to see how well she can connect with our students and gain their trust.”
Zoe succeeds Hillel of Buffalo’s previous Springboard Fellow, Macie Clawson, who is staying in Buffalo to pursue graduate studies in Social Work at Daemen University. As part of her field work, Macie will be continuing to support student wellness at Hillel through an internship with Jewish Family Services of WNY’s Jewish Community Care initiative.
Many thanks to Ezra N. Rich, Marketing Communications Manager at Uniland Development Company, for contributing today’s Spotlight.