Affiliate Chaplains

headshot of Fr. Shawn Carey
Fr. Shawn Carey
Catholic Priest, St. Jude Parish

Fr. Shawn Carey was ordained in 2009. Prior to his ordination, he studied at Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Massachusetts, mainstreamed as one of the two deaf students at Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, and received a BA in political science and bBusiness from Providence College.

He attended St. Patrick Seminary & University in Menlo Park, California, and then worked as parochial vicars for communities in Massachusetts and as director for the Deaf Apostolate of the Archdiocese of Boston. He has led many retreats and workshops for the Deaf Catholics nationwide and internationally. He is currently an administrator in Team Ministry with Fr. Jeremy St. Martin at St. Jude Parish in Waltham. He has served on the board of directors for the National Catholic Office for the Deaf since 2013.

In his spare time, Fr. Shawn enjoys CrossFit, skiing, playing soccer, reading, movies and traveling.

headshot of Ariel Cohen
Rabbi Ariel Cohen
JLIC Educator, Hillel

Rabbi Ariel grew up in Jerusalem. He studied in the Horev high school in Jerusalem then Mechinat Eli, and served as a commander in an elite unit. He loves to explore the latest unmarked hiking trail, organizes local minyanim (prayer groups) and tutors adolescent immigrants. He also loves to play basketball and soccer. When he isn't learning with a neighbor, he works as an accountant — but he says he secretly hates numbers. Ariel has been a Shalhevet Leadership Fellow with Mizrachi World Movement and OU-JLIC in Israel.

He serves as one of Hillel's Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) Educators. The JLIC is a national partnership between Hillel and the Orthodox Union that places rabbinic couples on select campuses to serve as Torah educators and mentors for students.

headshot of Dorit Cohen
Dorit Cohen
JLIC Educator, Hillel

Dorit grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, and always dreamed of making aliyah to Israel. She attended Stern College and worked as a Beit Midrash Fellow at SAR High School. After making Aliyah, she earned an MA in education psychology at Ben Gurion University and a teaching certificate at David Yellin College of Education in Jerusalem. In Israel, she was an English reading specialist, a school psychologist, and taught at a local elementary school. She is passionate about helping immigrant children and their parents acclimate in the Israeli school system. When not counseling or teaching, you can find her reading a book or trying out a new recipe.

Dorit serves as one of Hillel's Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus (JLIC) Educators. The JLIC is a national partnership between Hillel and the Orthodox Union that places rabbinic couples on select campuses to serve as Torah educators and mentors for students.

Head shot of Ben Einsidler
Ben Einsidler
Rabbinic Fellow

Ben Einsidler will be co-facilitating the Jewish Learning Fellowship (JLF) and joining us for Shabbat throughout the semester. Ben is a fourth-year rabbinical school student at Hebrew College. He has earned master’s degrees from Hebrew College in Jewish education and Jewish studies, a BA in Spanish from Salisbury University, and is a seasoned Jewish educator for all ages. He is an enthusiastic service leader and enjoys working with people at all levels on building and honing this skill.

Ben is a longtime volunteer member of the Community Hevra Kadisha of Greater Boston. He is an avid reader who favors history, anything about food and historical fiction. He enjoys cooking and baking, learning French, and is also training for his first marathon! He loves music and plays guitar and has started learning to play the oud. Ben lives in Burlington, Massachusetts, with his wife, their 7-and 4-year-old children and their 10-year old Boston Terrier.

Headshot of Yaakov Frankel
Yaakov Frankel

Yaakov was born and raised in Manchester, United Kingdom. He spent a few years in a Yeshiva, a talmudic college, both in England and in Israel honing his learning/teaching skills and developing his character. After marrying his wife Chavi in June 2019, Yaakov and Chavi settled in Jerusalem and joined a program named Kollel Eitz Pri. The program focuses on self-growth, learning and teaching skills, coaching and guiding, with opportunities for hands-on experience. Other than his joy for learning and teaching Yaakov is an avid football (called soccer on this side of the pond!) fan and loves playing with friends.

Yaakov joined the MEOR team of Boston in September 2022 and is responsible for MEOR programming and education at Brandeis University. It will be an exciting journey for all of us, for MEOR, for Family Frankel, for the students and their families and for Brandeis University.

What is MEOR?

Launched in 2005, MEOR’s unique brand of Jewish leadership training, sophisticated text-based study and experiential education programming highlights the importance of Jewish values, identity and community. In over 15 years, MEOR has impacted more than 18,000 undergraduate students, encouraging them to connect with Judaism on their own terms and in their own time.

photo of Yoni Ganger
Yoni Ganger

Yoni is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis where he majored in philosophy/neuroscience/psychology and played tennis on the team. After university, a year off to study Judaism in Israel before going to medical school became nine. He became a rabbi, receiving ordination from the Jerusalem Kollel. For the last seven years, he has been running MEOR programming at Harvard University, bringing Jewish text and philosophy to light. He looks forward to working with Brandeis students starting this year.

Launched in 2005, MEOR’s unique brand of Jewish leadership training, sophisticated text-based study and experiential education programming highlights the importance of Jewish values, identity and community. In over 15 years, MEOR has impacted more than 18,000 undergraduate students, encouraging them to connect with Judaism on their own terms and in their own time.

headshot of Miriam Hoffman in what appears to be a brick courtyard
Rabbi Miriam Hoffman
Reform Senior Jewish Educator

Rabbi Miriam was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in May 2023. At the University of Arizona, where she received her BA in Family Studies and Human Development, Rabbi Miriam was heavily involved in Hillel University of Arizona.
After graduation, she spent a year in New York as an Avodah Jewish Service Corps member, before heading to Jerusalem to kick off her rabbinic studies. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Rabbi Miriam served as the rabbinic intern for Hillel at USC for two years, where her excitement for Hillel work was reignited.
She believes that college students deserve spiritual leadership and mentors who will help guide them along their journeys. She is proud to be a part of this movement and to be a part of the Brandeis team!
When not working, you can find Rabbi Miriam doing various arts and crafts, hitting the gym, or talking Torah with friends and family.

picture of Austin Kim
Austin Kim

Austin has served on staff at Asian Baptist Student Konionia (ABSK) at Brandeis and other campuses for over 15 years after being a member as an undergrad at MIT. After studying computer science there, Austin went to law school at Boston College and now works as a patent attorney. He also serves as a deacon at Antioch Baptist Church in Cambridge.

ABSK is a Christian fellowship on college campuses around the country composed of students who seek to know and love Jesus Christ through a life shared with Him and each other. Through Bible studies, fun fellowship and activities, lots of food, and real friendships, we learn more about God, one another and ourselves. Our Bible studies are generally on Friday nights at the Shapiro Campus Center. Anyone is welcome to join!

headshot of Amantha Pickette in a field
Samantha Pickette
Assistant Director, Hillel

Dr. Pickette is excited to join Brandeis Hillel as the new Assistant Director this fall!

As the Assistant Director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Texas she created UT’s first Jewish Studies undergraduate students association, built a study abroad program in Jewish studies, and led partnerships with the local film festival and Hillel. She coordinated the Gilda Slifka Summer Internship at the Hadassah Brandeis Institute for three years, mentoring students and facilitating their learning about Jewish Boston in a collegial and pluralistic setting. Samantha has a master’s in Journalism and a doctorate in American Studies, both from Boston University. She is also a published author (Peak TV’s Unapologetic Jewish Woman: Exploring Jewish Female Representation in Contemporary Television Comedy).

photo of head and torso of Benjamin Pierce
Benjamin Pierce
Cru Boston

Ben grew up in southern Vermont where he loved the outdoors and all things sports. He attended a Christian school run by his father, which is where his love for God first began. While attending Babson College (known for its focus on entrepreneurship), he grew substantially in his faith while involved with the campus ministry of Cru.  Babson is also where he met his wife Valerie. When not mentoring students to grow in their walks with Jesus or curiosity of who God is, Ben still loves all things outdoors, and spending time with his young daughter, Hazel.

Picture of Marianne Smith
Marianne Smith
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Marianne is a graduate of Connecticut College with a liberal arts bachelor's degree in environmental biology and holds a master's degree in missional church movements from Wheaton Graduate School in Wheaton, Illinois. For the last 10 years, she has served Brandeis, specifically \graduate students and faculty. She particularly enjoys encouraging students to think through the integration of their faith and profession in ways that cause flourishing and common good.

She is in her 14th-year serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a vibrant campus ministry that establishes and advances communities of students and faculty who witness to Jesus as Savior within the vocational context of the campus. It supports students to engage in discipleship around Scripture.

Headshot of Fr. Quang Tran
Fr. Quang D. Tran, SJ
Catholic Priest, Society of Jesus

Quang D. Tran, S.J., is a Jesuit priest of the Central Southern Province. He is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and is a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Boston College. He recently began an internship as a clinical fellow of Harvard University.

Man with smile leaning against a large pillar with his arms crossed
Fr. Joe Weiss
Catholic Priest, Society of Jesus

Fr. Joseph E. Weiss, a member of the Society of Jesus, was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating from Benedictine College in Atchison Kansas he was an elementary and middle school teacher before entering the Jesuits. Following ordination to the priesthood he served as the associate pastor for Sacred Heart Parish on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota before pursuing graduate studies in theology. Fr. Weiss received his Doctorate in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame where he also taught undergraduate and graduate students in theology. Having been the pastor of Saint Thomas More Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota for 12 years, he joined the faculty of the School of theology and Ministry at Boston college as Professor of Liturgy in 2016 and has served the Catholic Community at Brandeis University since 2022.

Yuegang Zhang headshot
Yuegang Zhang
Chinese Bible Church of Greater Boston

Yuegang Zhang is a pastor at the Chinese Bible Church of Greater Boston in Lexington, MA. Pastor Yuegang grew up in China. He became a Christian in 2001. He is passionate about both science and Christian faith. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from SUNY Buffalo and a Master of Divinity degree from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Yuegang is affiliate chaplain of the Mandarin fellowship at Brandeis, which welcomes all the Mandarin speaking members of the Brandeis community to know about the Holy Bible and the Christian faith.

 View Brandeis Chaplaincy Circle Agreement

Membership Review Committee:

  • Professor Kristen Lucken (Religious Studies and Global Studies)
  • Professor Wendy Cadge (Sociology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies)
  • Professor Yehudah Mirsky (NEJS and Schusterman Center for Israel Studies)
  • Alex Rossett, Assistant Dean of Student Rights and Community Standards
  • Rabbi Seth Winberg, Director of Spiritual Life and Senior Jewish Chaplain