St. Louis Hillel director resigns post


The winds of change are blowing for the Jewish community at Washington University as the executive director of the campus Hillel has stepped down from his position after only a year with the organization.

Michael Landy, who has served in the post since August of 2008, had tendered his resignation on Sept. 14, according to Alan Bornstein, president of the board. Landy was the fourth executive director of Hillel in the past three years, although one served as an interim.


“It is our understanding that Michael intends to remain in the St. Louis community and we wish him the best in his future endeavors,” he said.

Bornstein declined to comment on the organization’s selection process or when a new director might be named.

Sam Guzik, a student representative on Hillel’s Board of Directors, said Monday that a replacement had been found and that person would assume the job by the middle of next month. Guzik added that Rosh Hashana had run smoothly at Hillel, with both Reform and Conservative-led services taking place “as usual.”

“The timing (of Landy’s resignation) was unfortunate (with High Holiday services looming),” said Guzik. “But what was fortunate is that the (Hillel) staff had so much pre-programmed and already scheduled that there was no disruption.” And while Guzik did not go into detail about the reasons behind Landy’s resignation, he did say that with this “rough economy (the board) is looking at a number of factors and making sure they work well in future.”

Rabbi Hershey Novack, director of Chabad on Campus, the Rohr Center for Jewish Life at Washington University, said he looks forward to welcoming and working with whoever is chosen as the new director. He also praised Landy for working diligently during his tenure to develop partnerships on campus and helping to guide Hillel through a challenging time for non-profit groups.

“Michael is a very smart and talented leader, and he will be missed by many,” Novack said. “I know that many students respected and liked him, and I am sure that he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Landy said that he felt confident that Hillel and Jewish life at the university would continue to move forward after his departure. He said many people had had an impact on him during his time on campus.

“I had a great experience with the students at Wash U and I’m sure that Jewish life will remain great there in the future,” he said. “I think Washington University has some of the best students you’ll find anywhere in the country and they continue to show that every day.”

In 2006, Margo Hamburger-Fox resigned after four and a half years as executive director of Hillel. Carolyn Amacher served the post from July 2006 to June 2007. Debbie Igielnik served as interim executive director from June 2007 until Landy was hired in August, 2008.

Igielnik and Amacher declined to comment.