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We have the best celebration to announce! In honor of Michael Simon's 13 years at Northwestern Hillel (and an amazing 20 years in the Hillel movement), we are honoring him with a special "Bar Mitzvah" celebration. We are excited to be celebrating his achievement and the mark he's left on us all.

Sunday, May 7, 2023
10:30 AM - 1:00 PM CT
629 Foster Street, Eva
nston, IL 60201

Doors open at 10:30 AM
Program begins at 11:00 AM
Bagel Brunch Reception begins at 12:15 PM
Event concludes at 1:00 PM

Celebrate 13 years of Michael Simon at Northwestern Hillel!

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Michael is that rare combination of menschlichkeit, wisdom, and graciousness.  It is no wonder that everyone wants to claim him as their own – their own friend, their own colleague, their own Jewish leader, and of course their own purple-robed fashionista. 

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Sandy Goldberg
WCAS Professor and NU Parent

Michael has inspired thousands of Jewish students over his 13 years at Northwestern Hillel. His dedication to this community and to the mission of this organization has made our Hillel what it is today. I wouldn’t be at Northwestern Hillel without Michael’s leadership, vision, and passion. It is an honor to be his colleague.

Rachel Hillman
Associate Director

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Michael Simon became Executive Director of Northwestern Hillel in July 2010, after seven years on the staff of Harvard Hillel. As Executive Director, Michael works with students, staff colleagues, and community members toward achieving Hillel's mission of inspiring every Jewish student at Northwestern to make a meaningful and enduring commitment to Jewish life.

Michael grew up in Long Beach, California, and completed a bachelor's degree in American Studies at Stanford University. He spent three years teaching elementary school in Los Angeles as a member of the Teach for America corps, then attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he completed a master's degree in Public Policy. Following graduate school, Michael worked as Policy Director at The Providence Plan, a nonprofit that works to revitalize and improve the economic and social well-being of the city of Providence, Rhode Island. Michael traveled to Israel for the first time in 2000 as a participant on Livnot U'lehibanot, and returned the following year as a Dorot Fellow. While in Israel from 2001-2003, Michael studied Torah intensively at the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies and worked as a madrich (counselor) with the Nesiya Institute's summer program in Israel for American and Israeli teens.

Michael has participated in the Shalom Hartman Institute’s Fellowship for Campus Professionals, has served on the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs’ Jewish–Muslim Community Building Initiative Advisory Board, and Board of Directors of Yahel Israel Service Learning.


In 2013, Michael received The Rock Award from Northwestern University in recognition of his outstanding leadership at Hillel and his work toward strengthening the entire campus community.  The following year, he was named a Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence by Hillel International.


Michael is married to Dr. Claire Sufrin, Senior Editor at The Hartman Institute of North America. Michael and Claire reside in Evanston with their two wonderful sons, Jacob and Ethan. The two have become the unofficial mascots of Northwestern Hillel and can often be found playing soccer in the hallways of the Hillel building.

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I am so grateful for Michael’s endless support and kindness. Since the day that I stepped into Hillel for the first time Michael has been so welcoming, he is always checking in, and has made me feel so at home in Hillel. I am so thankful to Michael for everything. 

Sofi Boczkowski WCAS '23

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Michael Simon is not just a director, but a true mentor, cheerleader, and friend to all who cross his path. His unwavering dedication to creating a warm and inclusive community at Northwestern Hillel has touched the lives of countless students, and his infectious spirit and humor have kept us laughing and inspired. Michael's support and guidance helped me turn my idea of Text Education into a reality, and for that, I am deeply grateful. Thank you, Michael, for 13 years of exceptional leadership and for making Northwestern feel like home to so many of us.

Izzy Mokotoff
MDL '24

Giving Level Opportunities

The Michael Simon Level

Northwestern Wildcat Club

Purple Sweater Society

The Hora Chair Lifters

Selfie Society
$10,000 AND UP







April 2023

Progress To Date

While making a donation is not required, we suggest a minimum contribution of $36 in honor of Michael Simon.
Your gift fulfills our mission: to inspire every Jewish student at Northwestern to make a meaningful and enduring commitment to Jewish life.
Thank you for your support!

Giving Opportunities Anchor
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