Rabbi Debbie Pine, Executive Director

Rabbi Pine became the Executive Director of Hopkins Hillel in 2009 and she previously served as the Executive Director of New Orleans Hillel from 2006 to 2008. Debbie’s favorite part of Hillel is the amazing staff and the thoughtful, committed students at Hopkins. Before Hillel, Debbie was an Associate Rabbi at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh from 1992 to 1999, and she developed programs for youth, families, and women. From 1999 to 2005, she was the Rabbi/Educator at Congregation Rodeph Shalom in Philadelphia. Debbie has served as staff and faculty at several of the Reform Jewish movement’s camps. She has served on numerous local and national committees and boards, and has taught on the college level. Debbie was ordained from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati in 1992. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1987, majoring in Sociology and Anthropology. Her husband, Rabbi Andrew Busch, is the Rabbi of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and they have 3 children.

Contact Rabbi Pine at:

Amir Bavler, Israel Fellow

Amir is thrilled to become part of the Hopkins Hillel’s family and to be the Jewish Agency Israel fellow on campus. Amir was born and raised in Holon, a small city near Tel Aviv.  He served in the Israeli army for three years at The Israeli Air Force. After completing his army service, he spent six months traveling around the world including stops in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and USA. Amir returned to Israel where he completed his bachelor’s degree in communication and Business management at The College of Management.

Amir has experience in education and professional training with past activities as a senior instructor at the Israeli scouts movement (zofim).  Immediately prior to his arrival at Johns Hopkins, Amir had two jobs which are his two loves: training and marketing.   As a guide and member of the training development team at “the Israel children’s museum” and account executive of two major advertising agencies in Israel “MccannErickson” & “Gitam BBDO”.

He strongly believes in pluralism and the universal values of Judaism. Amir is stoked about bringing Israel to the campus and to strengthening the ties between Israel and the Diaspora by fostering Jewish identity among students and exposing them to Israeli society, culture and the unique Israeli experience.

In his free time, he likes traveling, going to the beach, reading, watching movies, visiting museums, listening to music and going to concerts.

Amir loves to meet new people, and is never opposed to good coffee conversations.

Contact Amir Bavler at: 

David Eckstein, JLIC Educator

David Eckstein has served as Director, Community Engagement at the Manhattan Jewish Experience (MJE) in New York City. He has also served as a Presidential Fellow for Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future, rabbinic intern at Anshe Shalom B’nai Israel Congregation of Chicago, as well as other Jewish organizations. David and Jenny are both thrilled and excited to be joining the Johns Hopkins community.


Contact David at:

Jenny Eckstein, JLIC Educator

Jenny Eckstein was born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She attended Midreshet Moriah seminary in Israel, Stern College, and received her masters degree for speech language pathology at CW Post. She currently works in a clinic, helping adults with developmental disabilities communicate.  Jenny has been an active volunteer with many Jewish organizations including Camp Hasc, Keren Or and the Manhattan Jewish Experience. Jenny and David are both thrilled and excited to be joining the Johns Hopkins community.


Contact Jenny at:

Brian Hertz, Engagement Associate

Brian grew up just outside of LA in the San Fernando Valley. Having attended Jewish Day School and Summer Camp for much of his life, Judaism has always been an important part of Brian’s identity. His time at Hillel at UCLA, however, is what really solidified his connection to Judaism, giving him a deeper understanding and a desire to learn more. Brian is excited to help students find personal connections to Judaism, and inspire them to explore their identities on their own terms. Brian loves to spend time hanging out with friends, trying new restaurants, hiking, and watching mediocre TV shows on Netflix.