Meet Our Staff

Rabbi Dave Siegel

Executive Director


Phone: (516) 463-7062

Growing up on Long Island, Rabbi Dave Siegel was an active member and officer of METNY United Synagogue Youth (USY). He received his BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Law/History from Binghamton University and has received masters degrees from both New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the Jewish Theological Seminary’s William Davidson Graduate School of Jewish Education. Before attending JTS, Dave worked as the Director of Special Projects at the 92nd Street Y. During his time in Rabbinical School Dave focused on leadership and professional development in the Jewish community. He has also served in leadership positions at Camp Ramah in the Berkshires, the Foundation for Jewish Camp, and United Synagogue Youth. Dave is currently the Executive Director of Hofstra University Hillel and serves as a university chaplain.

Eric Garfinkel ’15

Director of Special Projects


Eric Garfinkel is a current fourth-year Rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT).

Originally from New Rochelle, NY, Eric is an alumnus of Hofstra University, Class of 2015, graduating with a History and Jewish Studies degree. He is also a former member of Hofstra Hillel and was chair of the Athletic Committee, and he served on the Student Executive Board as Vice-President and President.

After graduating from Hofstra, he began work at Hofstra Hillel as a Community Educator, aiding in programming for both Hofstra Hillel students and the Jewish community.

In addition to his work at Hofstra and schooling at YCT, he has had internships at Beth Tfiloh in Baltimore and Congregation Ohav Sholom in Merrick, and is also a mashgiach.

Eric recently got engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Rachel. He is a musician and sports enthusiast in his spare time.

Bereket Watts ’22

Community Educator


Bereket Watts joined Hofstra Hillel as a full-time Community Educator in September 2022. He most recently served as a graduate intern with Hofstra Hillel while completing his MS in Sustainability Studies from Hofstra.

Bereket completed his undergraduate degree at Mount Saint Mary College (NY) in Human Services while also competing for four years on the school’s NCAA soccer team.

Bereket, who is originally from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and immigrated to the United States at age 12, is excited to share his passion for sustainability, environmental studies, and Jewish education with the Hofstra Hillel community.

Gabriela Lovishuk ’23

Office Intern


Gabriela Lovishuk is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Hofstra University.  She is majoring in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences with minors in Cognitive Science and Russian.  She has been an active member of Hofstra Hillel since her freshman year and now works as an office intern.  Gabby also works as a tutor in the Undergraduate Tutorial Program and a research assistant in the Case Speech Production Lab at Hofstra.  She enjoys learning new languages and traveling to new places, as well as spending time with the wonderful friends she has made through Hofstra Hillel.