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Edina Oestreicher

203.414.5778 |

Edina comes to UConn Hillel with over 20 years of experience serving in a variety of student affairs capacities. Passionate about engaging the Jewish community, she serves as a contracted trainer for the Anti-Defamation League where she facilitates workshops on antisemitism, bias and discrimination to youth and adults throughout Connecticut. She also served on the board of Congregation Or Shalom in Orange for over 10 years in a variety of capacities including Sisterhood co-President and Chairs of the Jewish Life and Adult Education Committees.  Edina loves working with students to help them succeed and reach their potential. She enjoys working collaboratively with students, families, faculty, staff and the greater Storrs community to create a vibrant, welcoming, and inclusive Hillel.


Edina met her husband, David, at UConn. They now live in Orange, CT and have two daughters.  In her spare time, she loves to hike, kayak, bicycle, travel and play golf.

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Danielle Bergman


Dani is a seasoned development professional with 10 years of Jewish communal fundraising experience. She has served in multiple key development roles serving the senior population in NY at both Selfhelp Community Services, Inc. and DOROT. Most recently, she served as a Development Executive at Yachad, a Jewish-focused disability inclusion agency. In these roles, Dani focused on all areas of development including individual giving, online fundraising, event planning, leadership development and grant management.

Invested in Jewish communal life, Dani sits on the Board of Trustees for GrowTorah, a non-profit that aims to cultivate a more passionate, compassionate and sustainable Jewish future driven by Torah values.


Dani graduated with a B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland in 2011, where Hillel played an important role in her college career.  She is an avid runner and serves as a running coach in her spare time.

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Jake is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, and went to the University of Kansas where he graduated with a B.S.E in Spanish Education. His passion for Jewish Education stems from attending Herzl Camp in Webster, Wisconsin, where he was a camper, staff, program supervisor, and song leader. This led Jake to join KU Hillel, where he worked in programming, development, and engagement as a student leader. He applied for the Springboard Fellowship where he matched with UConn Hillel! He is thrilled to meet with students to discuss how Judaism can differentiate between people and to help cultivate an inclusive and welcoming environment at Hillel. Outside of work, Jake likes to play Ultimate Frisbee, watch sports, and play his instruments; his favorite being the guitar.

Jake Niefeld

Springboard Fellow


Shirly Afrimi

Jewish Agency for Israel Fellow

Shirly Afrimi joins UConn Hillel as the new Jewish Agency for Israel Fellow. Shirly was born and raised in a village north of Jerusalem. After serving in the IDF as a recruit training platoon commander, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, international relations, and communications from the Open University. Shirly then coordinated advertising and marketing at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and interned as an assistant to the Ministry of Energy’s spokesperson. She was also a regular volunteer at Friday night dinners for Jerusalem’s unhoused population.


Shirly’s connection to the Jewish Agency goes back many years. Her grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, made Aliyah with Aliyat HaNo’ar, a child rescue organization of the Jewish Agency during WWII, and he often told stories about how the Agency helped children build connections to their religion and identity after the Holocaust. Shirly grew up in this atmosphere of passionate Zionism, and her deep and abiding love of Israel has always been a core value. She is excited to provide the UConn Hillel community with a broader view of Israel and Zionism and looks forward to building connections with students through Israel outreach, education, and travel to the Holy Land.

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Laurie has joined UConn Hillel after several years in the non-profit and education spaces. Laurie grew up in Connecticut and attended UConn for her undergraduate work and received her Master’s in Literature at Central Connecticut State University. Prior to UConn Hillel, Laurie worked with a non-profit organization focused on mental health services for veterans, and she continues to be passionate about mental health causes.


In her spare time, Laurie enjoys hiking, all things Peloton, reading, watching sports, and spending time with her husband, two boys, and very lively rescue dog.

Laurie Nichols

Operations and Office Manager


Arielle Schwartz

Campus Marketing & Development Manager

Arielle is a native New Orleanian and passionate member of the Jewish community. She graduated from Tulane in 2012 with a BS in Psychology with a French minor and has since worked in the non-profit world including the Creative Alliance of New Orleans, National WWII Museum, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and most recently, Tulane Hillel.


During her 5 years at Tulane Hillel, Arielle expanded her skills in fundraising, marketing, design, and brand management. Now, she is excited to bring her experience to and be a part of UConn Hillel’s community to help tell our Hillel story to incredible supporters, families, and alumni.


Outside of work, Arielle is passionate in the arts, and she enjoys reading, writing, and dabbling in cooking, baking, and crafting. She loves spending time with her family and friends, especially while taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of New Orleans!

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