By Jared Beinart
The assistant director of Maryland Hillel will be leaving at the end of the semester to pursue a new role as a Hillel executive director in Texas next fall.
“Leaving Maryland Hillel [will be] very bittersweet,” Maiya Chard-Yaron said. “I will miss College Park, Maryland Hillel and the students very much.”
At the University of Texas at Austin, Chard-Yaron will be in charge of overseeing all aspects of Texas Hillel. Some of her new duties will include managing staff and communicating Hillel’s story with the Austin community and students on campus, she explained.
“A few years ago I determined that I wanted to be an executive director of a Hillel, and this was the right opportunity for me to pursue,” Chard-Yaron said.
Chard-Yaron has been a part of Maryland Hillel since July 2012. During her tenure on campus, she has held different positions on the executive board. She spent her first two years as the director of educational engagement. Since 2014, she has held the position of assistant director.
Chard-Yaron’s role as assistant director includes working directly with student leaders, helping with programming and acting as a liaison between the different departments within Hillel.
“I have loved my time here,” Chard-Yaron said. “I have gotten such great experience and learned a tremendous amount as assistant director at Maryland, and I will be able to build on that in my new role.”
Reflecting on her time here, Chard-Yaron said she has felt welcomed and engaged by the community and has enjoyed students’ drive and creativity. She said she is very grateful for the opportunities Maryland Hillel has given her.
“Maryland Hillel is one of the largest and strongest Hillels in the country,” she said. “Being a part of leading this operation has given me a huge amount of personal satisfaction and joy, as well as developing my professional skills.”
Ari Israel, executive director of Maryland Hillel, has worked closely with Chard-Yaron and acknowledges the large role she played within the Hillel community by personally engaging with hundreds of students.
“Maiya managed Hillel’s extensive programming and engagement efforts, steering Maryland Hillel to receive national awards, accolades and reach new heights,” Israel said. “I am proud of working closely with Maiya and seeing her grow and develop into one of the top Hillel professionals in the country.”
Chard-Yaron said she will miss being a part of the campus community, as well as “going to Terps games, being on campus and embracing the unique culture at Maryland.”
Many students on campus will miss Chard-Yaron. Terps for Israel President Jonathan Allen has worked closely with her for the past few years.
“I am extremely sad to see her go,” said Allen, a sophomore economics major. “She is one of the most inspiring, motivating and hard-working professionals I’ve ever seen, [she has even] motivated me and my [members] to do better.”
However, Chard-Yaron is excited for her new position at Texas Hillel. She said she is looking forward to working with staff, students and the community in order to establish a solid foundation of student life there. She said the responsibility of being an executive director of a large Hillel is an exciting opportunity, and she is eager to get started.
“I’ll get to meet a lot of people in the Austin and greater Texas Jewish community right away,” she added.
Chard-Yaron is excited for September, when Maryland and Texas will compete in the upcoming football season.
“It will be an exciting matchup that will pull at my heartstrings,” she said.
Israel said Hillel is working on assembling a team to take over Maiya’s former duties as assistant director, including possibly promoting some individuals within Hillel’s current staff as well as recruiting outside individuals.
“This is a work in progress, nothing in place nor set yet,” Israel said. “We are still reviewing and planning.”
While Israel continues to search for assistant director replacements, he hopes for the best for Maiya at her new position.
“I am excited to welcome Maiya into the cohort of field executive directors and look forward to continuing our years of friendship for a lifetime ahead,” Israel said.