Rabbi Ilana Schachter was named as Shaaray Tefila’s Director of Community Building in July, 2017.
Ilana was ordained as rabbi by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, where she also received a MA in Hebrew Letters. She received her AB With Honors in Comparative Literature and Judaic Studies from Brown University. A native New Yorker, Ilana is thrilled to be home.
For the past seven years, Ilana has worked at Hillels across the country, first as the Rabbi and Director of Jewish Student Life at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where she built and sustained a thriving Jewish community on a Jesuit campus, and most recently at Penn Hillel as Senior Jewish Educator and Campus Rabbi. As a community builder, Ilana enjoys listening to people’s stories, developing deep relationships with both those within the community as well as with potential community partners. In addition, her diverse campus work has deepened her own passion for interfaith cooperation, and underscored for her the value of cross-cultural exchange.
In her rabbinate, she encourages multiple access points to Jewish engagement and the pursuit of a justice rooted in faith through Jewish texts, values and rituals. Recognizing that each individual has a Jewish story that informs one’s Jewish journey, Ilana is humbled to hold these stories and serve as a guide in the next phase of a person’s Jewish life. Ilana lives with her husband, John, and their two children, Jacob and Aviva.