Spotlight on Sarah Foster, Akron Hillel Coordinator

What do you want the Akron Jewish community to know about you?

I grew up in Connecticut and attended Skidmore College as an undergraduate. I have a Masters in Jewish Nonprofit Management and a Masters in Religious Education from Hebrew Union CollegeJewish Institute of Religion. I’ve held a variety of jobs in the Jewish world, working with teens at synagogues and at a JCC and working with college students at Hillel.

I am very excited to be back in the Hillel world and joining the Akron Jewish community. I can't wait to get to know the students and other stakeholders.

What has been your favorite experience teaching and mentoring young adults?

I love building relationships with students and helping them figure out where they were on their Jewish journey and what their next steps should be. In particular, I worked with a student who had never observed a Bar Mitzvah, and he and I worked together so that he could read Torah for the community and lead us in a discussion about the parsha.

What do you hope to accomplish in your new role as the Akron Hillel Coordinator on the campus of the University of Akron?

I am very excited to work with the student interns as well as the Hillel at Kent State staff to build on the successes of the past few years to continue to grow the Jewish community at the University of Akron. I hope to help the students build the programming that they are looking for and are passionate about.

When do you start in your new role?

I officially began on Aug. 12, and am excited for my first day on campus with students on Aug. 27.

What do you look forward to most being part of the Akron community?

I recently moved to the Cleveland area with my husband Rabbi Chase Foster who is working for jHUB in Cleveland Heights. I am very excited to spend time in the Akron community. One of the things I plan to do over the next few weeks is set up meetings with the clergy and community leaders in Akron to get to know them and learn about the resources available for our students. One thing I'm most excited for about living in the greater Cleveland/Akron area is exploring the Metropark system with my husband and our dog Griffey. We have made it part of our Shabbat practice to explore a different park/walking trail each week.