University of Arizona Hillel Staff

Who’s Who at UA Hillel?

University of Arizona Hillel Foundation
1245 E. 2nd Street
Tucson, AZ 85719
Phone: 520-624-6561
Fax: 520-

  • Michelle Blumenberg

    Executive Director
    520-624-6561 Ext. #7122

    Michelle arrived at the University of Arizona Hillel Foundation in 1992 after working for six years at the University of Michigan Hillel. She earned a BA in sociology and women’s studies and an MA in social work from the University of Michigan. She loves working with students, lay leaders and the community of Hillel (c'mon, she's been doing this for over 28 years - there must be some secrets to learn here). She is here in Tucson with her two children, Avi and Eitan. Her door is usually open and she loves when students stop by to schmooze.
  • Michael Walden

    Director of Jewish Student Life
    520-624-6561 ext. 7126

    Michael Walden is from Atlanta, Georgia and received a B.A. from Cornell College in 2011. In previous lives, Michael has run an artist residency, been a hiking guide in Alaska, published bad poetry, and moved to Israel to study Krav Maga. His free time is occupied by hiking, martial arts, and reading everything he can. He'd love to hear your story - his door is always open. Shoot him a message and he'll take you to grab coffee or whatever else you'd like to drink!


  • Deborah Jassem

    Development Director
    520-624-6561 ext 7124

    Born, raised and educated in central Connecticut, Deborah earned a BA in Spanish and Philosophy from Central Connecticut State University and an MA in Philosophy from Trinity College in Hartford. Before coming to Tucson in 1998 to assume the position of Assistant Dean for External Relations at the University of Arizona Libraries, Deborah held development positions at several colleges and non-profit institutions in Connecticut.  She then went on to spend several years at various fundraising positions at the University of Arizona Foundation and served for 5 years as the Director of Philanthropy for Tohono Chul Park. Intrigued by the desert flora and fauna, Deborah became a certified desert landscape designer and established Desert Spaces Landscape Design.  She continues to enjoy her own garden and hiking the Catalinas.  Deborah is thrilled to be back on campus and looks forward to working with students and the generous folks who support Hillel. In April of 2012, Deborah met the love of her life, her beautiful grandson, Edward.  But don’t get her started or she’ll whip out the countless photos and videos of the little guy.

  • Charae Stewart

    Operations/Office Manager
    520-624-6561 Ext. #7132

    Charae graduated from Chaparral Business School and has been a part of UA Hillel for twelve years.  She REALLY loves the Dallas Cowboys, watching Criminal Minds, reading and crafting.  Her husband, Steve has been in the military for 36 years and her step-daughter, Sophie, has followed in his footsteps.  Her position enables her to be a surrogate mom at Hillel and she loves shooting the breeze.  Stop in and say "HI"!

  • Elyse Pincus

    IACT Coordinator for Israel Engagement

    Elyse is from Tucson and is an alumna of the University of Arizona, receiving her BS in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. Elyse is excited to return to Tucson after spending a year in Israel teaching English with Masa Israel Teaching Fellows. She will be blending her love of Israel with her passion for UA. She will always have time for coffee with students, so stop by! When not drinking coffee, Elyse can be found hiking, playing cello, or two-stepping with friends. 

  • Or Maoz

    JAFI Israel Fellow

    I am highly motivated and looking forward to my service (shlichut) in Tucson to help develop strong connections among Jewish students and getting them to know and feel Israel.

    I have two main hobbies; sports and music. I turned the former (sports) into my profession. I see myself as an entrepreneur; I recently partnered with a friend to create a new fitness program which evolved into a company that is gaining increasing popularity across Israel and beyond. The program, titled Beatube (http://beatube.com/) combines rhythm, movement and interaction.

    I am also a musician - as a teenager I organized a band of musicians, both in Israel and in the US (at the age of fifteen I spent a year in Oregon).

    I was a music program supervisor in American summer camps and a commander in the IDF. In my vision, I see myself as a psychotherapist, a profession in which I can incorporate my skills and knowledge in music and sports. Drop by and say hello so I can meet you!


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Contact us or call 520.624.6561
University of Arizona Hillel
1245 E. 2nd Street
Tucson, AZ 85719

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