The University of Connecticut Hillel announces the election of a new Board President, Josh Squire, and four new members to its Board of Directors. The new board members are Rabbi Felipe Goodman, Micah Grossman, Lawrence Handler and Avi Smith-Rapaport.
Executive Director of UCONN Hillel, Scott Selig, says, “I am proud to welcome our new Board members, particularly during this auspicious year as we embark on Hillel’s 85th anniversary and rededicate ourselves to fulfilling our potential by helping others to reach theirs. Together we will continue our legacy of creating strong Jewish leaders and an even stronger Jewish community. Hillel takes pride in celebrating Jewish learning and living, pursuing social justice, and enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.”
This marks the first time that a recent Hillel alumni has taken the reigns as Board President. Josh Squire’s appointment has special significance because of Hillel’s role in shaping philanthropic-oriented Jewish leaders who play a key role in supporting and shaping the Jewish community.
Josh Squire, Board President, resides in Manhattan where he serves as Regional Advisor for NFTY New York Area Region. He has served as a member of the UConn Hillel Board of Directors since 2014. Josh received a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Connecticut in 2015 and served as the Hillel Student Board President from 2013-2014. Josh credits Hillel with helping him to further develop his Jewish identity as well as introducing him to mentors who have supported his personal and professional growth. Hillel was the nexus for his passion for building Jewish community and leadership development. “I am honored to serve as President of the UConn Hillel Board of Directors, says Josh Squire. UConn Hillel was my home away from home during college and I am excited to work together with the UConn Hillel professional team to reach new heights of service, support, and engagement to enrich the lives of every Jewish student at UConn. Being one of the first young alumni to serve as President in the Hillel movement is a humbling experience. I hope that all of our Jewish institutions will invest in younger Jews looking to make a real impact in our community.”
Felipe Goodman lives in Las Vegas where he has been the rabbi of Conservative Congregation, Temple Beth Sholom, for 15 years. A native of Mexico City, Felipe grew up as an ardent Zionist and an active Jewish student leader. He is currently a member of the Executive Council of The Rabbinical Assembly and is working on the completion of his book: Torah From Sin City!
Micah Grossmanis the Vice President of Global Wholesale & Hospitality for the design company Jonathan Adler Enterprises, which has over 25 retail stores worldwide and whose products are sold in thousands of stores globally. During his 16-year career, Micah has lead growth at such companies as Theory,Vince, and Jack Spade. In addition to his role at Jonathan Adler, he consults for new brands looking to break into the apparel industry. Micah received his BA from the University of Connecticut. He was born in Germany, and later lived in Los Angeles. He presently resides in Brooklyn with his wife Mariel and daughter Eletta.
Lawrence Handler, CPA, has worked with various companies including Arthur Andersen & Co., Dairy Mart Convenience Stores, Inc. and most recently, Remington Products Company, L.L.C. where he was President of the Retail Division. He has held numerous board positions with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Connecticut Society of CPA’s, Connecticut Food Stores Association, and Emanuel Synagogue. Lawrence has an MBA from New York University, where he was also honored with the Haskins & Sells Outstanding Faculty Award and served on the faculty at the University of Hartford-Barney School of Business. He has won a myriad of educational awards, such as the School of Business Hall of Fame, the Beta Gamma Sigma National Business Honor Society and the Business Law Award.
Avi Smith-Rapaport is the Founder of We Care Computers, LLC, which provides high-quality computer service to businesses throughout Connecticut and western Massachusetts. Avi is an active local business owner who sponsors charity events with organizations including FoodShare and Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. He is also a member of Hartford-area chambers of commerce, the Hartford Metro Alliance and the Connecticut Better Business Bureau. Avi serves on the Board of the West Hartford Chamber of Commerce. He graduated from the University of Connecticut with a BA in International Business Management. He resides in West Hartford with his wife Erica, and sons Samm and Maxx.
Perry Trachten is a landscape architectural designer for major civil engineer firm, Bohler Engineering in Boston. He received his Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Connecticut’s School of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources in 2017. His grandfather, Morris Trachten, played a major role in the founding of UCONN Hillel, and he is honored to continue his legacy.
Photo Caption: Josh Squire, UConn Hillel President