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Alumni Spotlight

Henry Mondschein is a 1985 UConn CLAS graduate and the immediate past President of the UConn Hillel Board of Directors. He is the son of Holocaust survivors and grew up on a chicken farm in Danielson, CT. Henry's career began in banking and he is now in the financial services industry. He is currently an advisor with MW Financial. He has always placed an importance on volunteerism and has led many different organizations during his career. 

 

From a young age, Judaism and Israel have been very important to him. Henry's dedication to UConn Hillel stems from the belief that, "with what is transpiring in the Middle East and on College campuses everywhere, it is important to have a strong Hillel to get the proper message of Israel out to our students. Also, it is great

to bond with those you have something in common with in order to make your college days well worth remembering."

Jeremy and Leslie Broverman ('96 and '98, respectively)

reflect fondly at their time at UConn Hillel. In fact, it is where the met!

Jeremy recalls, "Leslie was helping to cook a Shabbat dinner and I

was schmoozing and welcoming the students when she asked me

out. And now we just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary!" They

were both very active in Hillel with Jeremy serving as the Student

President his senior year and Leslie being involved in Israel advocacy.

 

They live in Pittsburgh, PA and have two young boys. Jeremy works as

a project manager for the Bank of New York Mellon and Leslie has

mostly been a stay at home mom, but is both a Registered Dietitian as

well as a Registered Nurse. They are both still active in the Jewish

community in Pittsburgh.

Josh Squire is a recent UConn grad having completed his Bachelor of Arts in 2015 with a degree in Political Science.

 

While Josh greatly enjoyed his studies and continues to utilize the knowledge he obtained in the classroom in his everyday life, he believes that the greatest educational impact for him happened outside the classroom, and much of it within the walls of the UConn Hillel.

 

Josh explored his passion for politics and leadership development by becoming a co-founder of the UConn Political Action Committee, which advocated for a strong USA-Israel relationship. This catalyzed Josh's involvement in Hillel, which led him to become the student board president and later a development intern. The mentorship and leadership training Josh had access to in Hillel helped him become a founding father of Sigma Alpha Mu - Epsilon Nu Fraternity, holding key positions with recruitment and community relations. All of these experiences solidified Josh's desire to be a Jewish professional. 

 

Since graduation, Josh has been a Development Associate for the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven with a focus on young adult Jewish engagement, Israel partnership, and providing community members opportunities to be engaged, as well as express their philanthropy to support their community. Josh also is a BBYO advisor in Woodbridge, CT and he serves on the UConn Hillel Board of Directors.

Melissa Lovitz is a research study coordinator at the Brazelton

Touchpoints Center at Boston Children's Hospital. She works on

projects related to family engagement in early childhood education,

and evaluating community level, federally funded grants aimed at

promoting and enhancing healthy family and child development.

Melissa holds a Master's degree from Brown University in Urban

Education Policy, and a Bachelor's degree in Human Development

& Family Studies from the University of Connecticut. 

 

While at UConn, she was an active participant in Hillel programs as

well as the UConn Marching Band, Alpha Phi Omega National

Coeducational Service Fraternity, and the Honors Program. A common

theme across her involvement was the strong sense of community,

and commitment to shared values and goals. Within Hillel specifically, this sense of community was most prominent at Shabbat. Many students will describe Hillel as their "home away from home", and that's what it was for her. 

 

Melissa described her Hillel experience by stating, "I could always rely on Hillel to be a space where I could find friendship, a challenging conversation, connection Judaism, and contagious ruach - especially on Friday nights! UConn taught me the value of appreciating your niche and investing in your community. That value still resonates strongly with me through my involvement in the Greater Boston 20's and 30's Jewish community or in my professional endeavors and networks."

                                                   Nathan Schachter is a graduate of UConn CLAS, having                                                                              completed his Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2019.

 

                                                              On move-in day, Nathan's first stop out of the dorms was Hillel and                                                                  he never left. He barely spent time in his dorm - and even less in the                                                                formal classroom! Much of his UConn experience, both social and                                                                    professional development, came from his time at Hillel.

 

                                                              Already as a freshman, Nathan was elected to the Student Board                                                                      and served for two consecutive years as Shabbat & Holidays                                                                            Coordinator and Vice President of Marketing, respectively. During                                                                    this time, he created such programmatic initiatives such as Matzah                                                                  Ball Late Night and ChallahHomies (baking Challah every week for                                                                  Shabbat dinner) and hosted a Kristallnacht film-screening featuring                                                                  the film director and producer. He also worked to rebrand the                                                                            organization across campus and the wider community including                                                                      designing a new website and app, and increasing social media                                                                        following by 10%. In his senior year, Nathan sat on the Hillel                                                                              International Student Cabinet, helping lay and professional                  leadership benefit from the advice, opinions and perspectives of Jewish college students from throughout the world.

 

In addition, Nathan was a proud member of Huskies for Israel. During his first month at UConn, together with other first-year friends, he organized a campus-wide Vigil for Victims of Terror during a wave of attacks in 2015. He also brought the local Connecticut Young Emissaries to campus each year for a Shabbaton with students, which has continued to this day even in his absence because of its success.

 

As part of his accomplishments at Hillel, Nathan was an integral part of initiating and strengthening relationships between other faith organizations, including the first-ever Interfaith BBQ, and the Rainbow Center, including LGBT-themed Shabbats and obtaining signage for two gender neutral bathrooms at Hillel. An anti-Semitic attack, of which he was the target, served as an opportunity to promote dialogue and discussion on this issue across campus, through a viral social media campaign, The Daily Campus op-eds, and in the classroom. As such, Nathan was awarded both the UConn Building Community Award and the Cohen Student Leadership Scholarship for Enhancing Community.

 

In November 2018, as part of UConn Hillel's 85th Anniversary Celebration, Nathan was awarded an "Outstanding Student Leadership" award. Because of all of the opportunities he was given to grow and explore at Hillel, Nathan decided to continue his career as a Jewish professional. After making Aliyah in August 2019, he currently works as a Donor Relations Manager at The Jewish Agency for Israel. In his current position, he acts as liaison between the Financial Resource Development Unit and various programs, developing and strategizing fundraising efforts with donors in North America. What he loves about his work is creating organization-wide relationships, as well as helping to create an impact on a global scale. Nathan currently lives in Jerusalem.

 

"Hillel was my everything at UConn; for me the two are synonymous. I met my closest friends at Hillel and on Birthright, and I've made memories and friendships with them that will last a lifetime. I will always carry a piece of UConn Hillel with me wherever I go."