Tulane Hillel recently announced the appointment of Ron Gubitz, a New Orleanian and an innovative leader in education, as its new executive director. The Tulane Hillel Board of Directors unanimously selected Gubitz following a five-month national search of a broad range of Jewish leaders, educators and thinkers from inside and outside the Hillel International organization.
“On behalf of Tulane Hillel’s board, staff and students, I am thrilled to announce Ron’s appointment,” said incoming Tulane Hillel Board Chair Mark Mintz. “Ron is an outstanding leader whose experience, passion and skills make him the ideal choice to engage students and our community at large.”
Gubitz, who began his role at Tulane in June, plans to spend the first three to nine months at Tulane Hillel listening and learning from students, staff, educators and leaders.
“We’ll be looking at how we continue to build meaningful, deep relationships with students and help them grow, not just for academics, but for growing in their Judaism, while on campus and beyond.”Ron Gubitz
“We’ll be looking at how we continue to build meaningful, deep relationships with students and help them grow, not just for academics, but for growing in their Judaism, while on campus and beyond,” he said.
All students, whether in the Jewish community or beyond, are dealing with a series of unprecedented challenges today.
“We want to work with students so they are able to make meaning of those issues and be leaders in a way that’s true to them,” he added.
Gubitz said he’s felt truly at home twice in his life — his first visit to Israel, and his first visit to New Orleans to attend Jazz Fest. A decade-long resident of the city, Gubitz most recently served as a leadership coach through Turnaround Arts, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Before that, he further developed his passionate and dynamic education skill set as the principal of the ReNEW Cultural Arts Academy.
Before moving to New Orleans, Gubitz was managing director of programs for Teach For America in St. Louis. He is also co-founder of the Whetstone Education, an online coaching evaluation tool, and founder of Hip Hop Congress, a nonprofit dedicated to using hip-hop to improve communities. Gubitz said he’s spent the past 20 years facilitating innovative adult learning experiences to help students achieve academically, emotionally and artistically.
Gubitz succeeds former Director Yonah Schiller, who expanded and helped build Tulane Hillel over his 12-year tenure. During that time, Tulane Hillel grew from engaging an average of 20 students daily to over 500 and also moved to the new Goldie & Morris Mintz Center for Jewish Life in Uptown New Orleans. After leaving Hillel, Schiller joined the Jim Joseph Foundation, a nonprofit in San Francisco that supports Jewish education of youth and young adults in the United States.