New Hillel leader welcomed in San Jose sukkah

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At an event titled “Meet Sarita and Shake the Lulav,” Sarita Bronstein was welcomed last week as the new executive director of Hillel of Silicon Valley.

The 90-minute event was held Oct. 3 at the Hillel house, two blocks from the San Jose State University campus.

Bronstein is responsible for overseeing activities and outreach to five South Bay campuses: SJSU, Santa Clara University, and three community colleges, De Anza, Foothill and West Valley.

She replaced former director Sue Maltiel.

“My predecessor did a fantastic job,” Bronstein said in a recent interview. “Now we need to reach out to more students. Hillel is one of the pivotal places to engage in Jewish life before [students] move on with their lives. We have a huge responsibility to provide that.”

A native of Colombia, Bronstein has been active in the Jewish community for many years. She co-founded Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School’s middle school and Kehillah Jewish High School. She also helped organize the Israel Travel program and the 2008 Israel@60 Mission for the S.F.-based Israel Center. Most recently, Bronstein served as director of the local chapter of Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.