Meet Our Staff

About UConn Hillel

Gary Jones

Interim Executive Director

“I am motivated by non-profit organizations that make a difference in the lives of the underserved and that improve daily living at the community level. Although the themes of social justice and respect for differences have concerned me since childhood, my enthusiasm goes beyond the issues of bigotry, prejudice and hate. It embraces quality of life issues in the areas of healthcare for the elderly and infirm, safety for children when they are in school as well as educational programs for people of all backgrounds, nationalities, beliefs, and religion.

“A new generation is quickly moving into the mainstream of our society—the millennials. They are our future and I believe that we all have a responsibility to create a society where their ideas and creativity have voice and where they can look forward to a prosperous future.”

Jacqui Schulefand

Director of Engagement & Programs

Although Jacqui has experience in the business world, she comes to us after 16 years of teaching experience at Ezra Academy, a Jewish Day School in the New Haven area. She has held a number of roles in the school such as a Hebrew and Judaic Studies teacher, leader of the Girl's Rosh Chodesh Group and Track coach. She has also been a Bar and Bat Mitzvah tutor for many years. Jacqui and her husband Dean have two daughters, one who lives in Connecticut and the other in Tel Aviv. Jacqui likes to spend every chance she gets in Israel and has volunteered in the IDF for the past 5 summers. She is very excited to be the newest staff member of UConn Hillel and can't wait to meet everyone.

Tom Barkan

Jewish Agency Israel Fellow

Tom hails from beautiful Kibbutz Merchavia, which is located in the northern part of

Israel where he was born and raised. After serving three years of combat duty in the

IDF's special paratroopers bomb squad, he became a security officer working on

maritime vessels. Tom has a Bachelor's degree in Communication from the

Yezreel Valley College, and he is currently writing his thesis on the subject of

branding terror organizations, in order to receive his Masters from the University of


Tom is very passionate about everything fitness related, especially powerlifting and

sports nutrition. He is a hardcore Bruce Springsteen fan, yet considers AC/DC as the

best band of all time. This is his first time coming to the United States, and he is very

excited to be working with Jewish-American, Israeli and non-Jewish students on what

he believes is his own personal calling, or in Hebrew – his own "Shlichut".

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Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
cilcle logo with flame and United Jewish
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford
Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
UJA Greenwich
Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford

Also supported by the Storrs-Mansfield United Jewish Communities


UConn Hillel

Trachten-Zachs Hillel House

54 N. Eagleville Road

Storrs, CT 06268

Phone: 860-429-9007

Fax: 860-429-2344




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