Rabbi Joe directs the Hillel Foundation, supervises programming staff, works with Board of Directors, represents the Jewish community to the University administration, chairs the Interfaith Center and serves as a chaplain, serves on University committees, directs Jewish religious life, works on large scale programs, teaches University courses and study groups, and is the Jewish Chaplain at the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook Medicine.
Rabbi Joe is beginning his 40th year as a Hillel Director this fall, and his 37th year at Stony Brook. He loves working on the campus, shmoozing with students, telling stories and jokes, and teaching Torah. He has a BA in Humanities/Judaic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in Contemporary Jewish Studies and Jewish Communal Service from Brandeis University, and Rabbinic Ordination from the Academy for Jewish Religion. Rabbi Joe's area of academic interest is American Jewish military history, a subject on which he has lectured and published extensively. He has lectured for the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, the Jewish Museum, the New York Jewish Historical Society, and many others. His wife, Susan Remick Topek, is a retired Early Childhood Education specialist at the Jewish Education Project and the author of seven Jewish children's books. They have three married daughters and six grandchildren.
At Hillel: Jenn serves as the advisor to the Jewish Student Association, supervises the Peer Network Engagement Interns and oversees programming for Hillel. She also works on cultivating relationships across campus to provide resources to our students and make connections for people across the University.
At Home: Jenn is originally from North Babylon, NY and after graduating with a B.A. in secondary Social Studies from SUNY Cortland, she attended Stony Brook University and received a master’s in Liberal Arts. In 2011, Jenn moved to Rishon LeZion, Israel on Masa Israel Teaching Fellows where she taught English to elementary students for a year. Upon returning stateside, Jenn spent four years as the Program Coordinator for Jewish Life at Duke. In her free time, you can find her scrapbooking, singing show tunes very loudly or enjoying NY bagels and pizza!
Jenn is also an avid coffee drinker and would love to meet with you over a cup of Joe! Feel free to email her to find a time to chat!
At Hillel: As Stony Brook Hillel's Jewish Agency Israel Fellow, Gal engages students to enhance their knowledge base about Israel. In order to accomplish this important goal, she facilitates Israel cultural and educational programs on campus, recruits students to participate in programs in Israel, and reaches out to students to help them connect to Jewish life through connections with Israel.
At Home: Gal served as a Sergeant in the Israel Defense Forces from 2009-2011 and studied at Hadassah College for a BA in political science and communications and headed the Model UN. She is a native of Jerusalem recently has served as a communications officer for the Israeli Ministry of Transportation and Road Safety.
At Hillel: Trudy is our new Springboard Ezra Fellow in partnership with the Hillel International Center. Her work will focus on integrating Jewish values and ethics into graduate and undergraduate programming, as well as social justice and interfaith programming. Trudy hopes to provide a welcoming space that is open to conversation regardless of personal background.
At Home: Trudy grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. She holds a BA in International & Global Studies with a focus in the Middle East from the University of Central Florida. Trudy helped found BAGELS+, a Jewish LGBT club at Central Florida Hillel. She served as both the religious education programming intern as well as Israel education programming intern during her time at Central Florida Hillel. Trudy loves to read political nonfiction and historical fiction, thrift shop and antique, has a coffee obsession and is a total foodie.
At Hillel: Rabbi Agishtein is the rabbi of the campus orthodox service, the Stony Brook Hebrew Congregation. He does outreach in the community, organizes services, advises students, faculty, and community members, and teaches.
At Home: Rabbi Shlomo (Alex) Agishtein was born in Moscow during the waning days of the U.S.S.R. He was fortunate enough to be born to parents whose intellectual and spiritual thirst brought them back to their Jewish heritage despite still living behind the Iron Curtain. Shlomo moved to the United States as a two year old immigrant. He grew up in the heart of the yeshiva world, in the then-small town of Lakewood, NJ. Shlomo learned from R’ Elya Svei and R’ Shmuel Kamenetzky while attending high school and beth medrash, and continued his studies in Israel before heading back to his hometown of Lakewood to pursue rabbinical ordination in Beth Medrash Govoha. Shlomo moved to Stony Brook to assume the position of Rabbi at the Stony Brook Hebrew Congregation and to join the Hillel as the Orthodox Rabbinic Fellow. He will be continuing his math and computer science studies starting in the spring at the University.
He has spent his summers engaging in outreach in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to his Torah studies, he enjoys the humanities and the classics. He is also interested in the technical and mathematical fields and is pursuing dual degrees in mathematics and computer science. Shlomo keeps busy by juggling his Torah teaching, rabbinical duties, his college courses, and his three rambunctious children (the kids have developed very thick skulls). In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and children, cooking, hiking, reading, and boxing.
As a child living in New York City, Peryl Agishtein dreamed of becoming a National Geographic photojournalist, a ballerina, or a librarian (preferably for the library from Beauty and the Beast; and preferably all three at once). She was ultimately inspired to become a scientist and a psychologist by her parents, Rabbi and Mrs. Jacob Grossman, who imbued her with two key values of intellectual curiosity and a passion to help others. Her interest in biology and in the puzzle of assessment led her to pursue a specialization in neuropsychology, while her interests in interpersonal dynamics attracted her to attachment research. Her doctoral dissertation investigated how attachment to G-d interacts with everyday stress and anxiety; she was inspired to examine this idea by her Jewish faith and her deep belief in G-d, as well as years of philosophical discussions with her father. Peryl is currently the head of the Assessment Department in a local community clinic that primarily services the Jewish community. Peryl spends her free time with her husband and three children, and loves to hike, travel, photograph, and play piano (slightly better than her husband’s) whenever she has the opportunity. She tries not to psychoanalyze her children too much.
At Hillel: Lisa is responsible for processing, entering and acknowledging donations and assisting with High Holidays and other community events.
At Home: Lisa is a 1985 Stony Brook alumna with a BA in Psychology and Sociology. After graduation, she went on to earn her Paralegal Certificate and worked in law as well as in retail and sales.
Growing up, Lisa attended many years of Cejwin Camps, which at one time was the largest Jewish sleepaway camps in the county. She was a member of Young Judea as well as several other Jewish youth groups. She spent much of her time at Bronx House which is a UJA supported Community Center. Lisa is married to a fellow Stony Brook alum and has three children who range in age from a college student to an elementary school student.
At Hillel: Directs kosher supervision of Kosher Dining in the East Side Dining building and serves as the Jewish Chaplain at Stony Brook University Hospital.
At Home:Rabbi Adelman serves as the Rabbi for the Young Israel of Huntington. He has 12 children and over 40 grandchildren!