student board

What is Hillel's student board?

The Student board is the student governing body that ensures Hillel is running smoothly and efficiently.
It is the external face and spokesperson of Hillel to the University and the community at large.​ Student board implements strategic vision for Hillel leadership team, ensures the duties and obligations of the organization are met, and maintains a lively jewish community on campus through social, religious and community outreach programs and community service and social action events.​

Meet the 2021 student board


Alena Fishkin


Alena is the president of Illini Hillel! She is a sophomore majoring in psychology and minoring in Jewish studies. She is excited to be involved in the Hillel community. She loves seeing friends and meeting new people at Shabbat dinners and other events like Bagel Brunch. In her free time she enjoys reading, knitting, and listening to music.


Zoe Wachtel

Jewish Education Chair

Zoe is the Jewish Education Chair for Illini Hillel! She is double majoring in Chemistry and MCB. When not studying, Zoe enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends, and reading books. Zoe is extremely excited to be the education chair, and to spread Jewish knowledge. She can't wait to work with you!


Sam Polyakov

Vice President

Samuel was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. He is currently a sophomore in college pursuing a major in Quantitative Economics and a minor in Spanish. In his free time, Samuel loves to read, swim, and write poetry.


Emily Alder

Tzedek Chair

Emily is the Tzedek Chair! She is majoring in Global Studies. 


Lyla Zegelstein

Social Chair

Lyla is the Social Chair for Illini Hillel! She grew up in New York and competed in ski racing for 10 years. When not studying Electrical Engineering, Lyla enjoys hiking, rock climbing, traveling, and training for Spartan races. The highlights of her 2013 trip to Israel include running down Masada with her brother and eating rugelach. She came to the first Hillel Shabbat freshman year and since has made great friends. She is looking forward to getting to know more students and planning events with the Social Committee!