Sunday, October 03, 2004

New Rabbi

Saturday, October 2, 2004

Who: Jason A. Miller

Where: Mandell L. Berman Center for University of Michigan Hillel

Started: Aug. 1, 2004

Age: 28

Residence: Ann Arbor

Education: Bachelor of Arts in international relations, James Madison College at Michigan State University (1998); Master of Arts in education, Jewish Theological Seminary, New York City (2004)

Job history: Rabbinic intern, Congregation Agudath Israel, Caldwell, N.J. (2002-2004); rabbi, Congregation Shaare Shalom, Leesburg, Va. (2003-04)

Family: Wife, Elissa; son, Joshua

Heroes: Joshua, the Israelite leader. "He was a phenomenal leader, able to rally the Israelites after the death of Moses."

Last books read: "Money Ball," by Michael Lewis; "Wrestling with God and Men," by Steven Greenberg

Of note: Reaching young Jews during their college years is crucial, said Miller. Students are connected to their synagogue in childhood, but after Bar or Bat Mitzvah and organized youth group activities, they sometimes drift away until it's time to register their own children at the synagogue.

Hillel location: 1429 Hill St., Ann Arbor

Phone: (734) 769-0500

Membership: Hillel estimates about 6,000 Jewish students at the U-M. "We're here for all of them," said Miller.

Average attendance: 80 to 125 students at each of three services (Orthodox, Conservative and Reform)

Worship services: Shabbat services each Friday (times vary; see Web site); Orthodox services Saturday, 9:30 a.m. (See Web site for other Hillel services.)

Special programs: The Annual Israel Conference; Conference on the Holocaust; The Golden Apple Award for teaching excellence

Hillel history: Founded in 1926

Web site:

Search committee: "We invited Jason to join our staff because he is a very bright, thoughtful and energetic young professional and a talented, senstive and well-educated rabbi," said Hillel Executive Director Michael Brooks.

Compiled by Catherine O'Donnell

© 2004 Ann Arbor News. Used with permission

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