By David R. Cohen | david@atljewishtimes.com

ED-Beskin Hillel

Veronica Beskin says Georgia State has a lot of room for Hillel growth, but it’s a hard school to find the Jewish students.

The first day of fall classes at Georgia Tech and Georgia State is a few weeks away, but new Campus Hillel Director Veronica Beskin has been preparing for the fall semester since July 1.

The Atlanta native comes back to Georgia after serving as Jewish student life coordinator at Texas A&M Hillel in College Station.

“I’m most excited to meet all my students as I’ve only met 10 so far from both schools,” Beskin said. “I’m looking forward to providing them with fun, educational Jewish programing and opportunities to find a Jewish identity while in college.”

Beskin grew up attending The Temple, where she studied with Cantor Deborah Hartman and Rabbi Alvin Sugarman. She is a 2007 graduate of Tulane University, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in vocal performance and Jewish studies.

She said her first goal is to increase student numbers at the Georgia Tech and Georgia State Hillel programs. According to hillel.org, Georgia Tech has around 900 Jewish students, while State has roughly 550.

“I’d like to expand participation in different types of community service events and also expand participation in our weekly programming,” Beskin said. “I think we can definitely grow at both schools, specifically Georgia State. There’s a lot more room to grow there programwise. Studentwise, it’s harder to find Jewish students on that campus.”

Besides wanting to return to Atlanta, Beskin was interested in the position because of the large Jewish community here and an opportunity to have more challenges and responsibility.

One of those challenges is the lack of a dedicated Hillel building at either school.

“Maybe one day we will have a building of our own,” she said.  “That way we won’t have to reserve space for events. There’s definitely a lot of room for growth.”