Gila/Jillian Axelrod (she/her) is a Program Associate at Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, where she supports regional programming in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Boston, and Washington, DC. She graduated from the joint program at Columbia University and The Jewish Theological Seminary, where she studied Sociology and Jewish Thought as a List College Fellow.
Gila was the president of the Hannah Weiss Sustainability Team, which took action to blend Jewish values with environmental justice. She served on the board of Koach, an egalitarian minyan at the Columbia/Barnard Hillel, and was a counselor and board member of Camp Kesem, a camp for children and teens whose families have been affected by cancer. Gila also worked with the Pennsylvania Prison Society and The Revolution School, writing grants and doing community outreach. She was an intern at The Hartman Institute in Jerusalem on the Programs and Communications teams, and is honored to return to Hartman in NYC.
Following college, her passion for education equity led her to a year of service with City Year Americorps, where she tutored and mentored high school students, while focusing on social-emotional learning as well as mental health. She also leads a Rosh Hodesh group through Moving Traditions each month, facilitating experiential education through topics from gender to body image. Her advocacy work in the body acceptance community has been featured in multiple podcasts and publications, and she also leads workshops on the topic.
In her spare time, Gila writes songs, teaches Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and loves to host Shabbat dinners for her friends.