Jewish Life at Duke

Jewish Life at Duke Staff & Advisory Board

Jewish Life at Duke Staff


1415 Faber Street
Box 90936
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919.681.2911
Fax: 919.684.6451

Joyce Gordon joined us as Director for Jewish Life in July of 2018. Previously, Joyce served for eight years as the Executive Director of Judea Reform Congregation, a 600+ family Reform synagogue in Durham, and also held roles at Meals on Wheels Durham, Spoonflower, and Duke University Medical Center and Alumni Affairs. Joyce has a breadth of experience in everything from Jewish program development, fundraising, and financial management to mishloach manot stuffing, envelope stuffing, and matzoh and mushroom stuffing. She is excited to connect with students at this formative time in their lives, and to be a resource for them on their personal Jewish journeys. 

Joyce received her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Bachelor of Arts in English from Rice University. She lives in Durham with her husband and her two children, and enjoys reading, quilting, and board games with family and friends.


1415 Faber Street
Box 90936
Office Phone: 919.684.3138

Rabbi Elana Friedman is the Campus Rabbi and Jewish Chaplain for Jewish Life at Duke.  She was ordained at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where she earned her Masters in Hebrew Letters.  Her diverse rabbinic experience includes serving as a Cooperberg-Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York City, as a rabbinic intern at Hillel at Temple University, and as a mentor for a teen interfaith program in Philadelphia.  Rabbi Elana served as a Text Fellow for the Transformative Text Project and during her year of study in Israel, as a Rabbinical Student Fellow for T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.  She also worked as a chaplaincy intern at the Abramson Senior Center, a rabbinic intern at The Reconstructionist Synagogue of the North Shore on Long Island, and as a Rosh Eidah and Education Director at Camp JRF. 

Rabbi Elana was raised on Long Island, NY, attended Solomon Schechter Day School and Camp Ramah.  She earned her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis.  Prior to her path to the rabbinate, she worked on election and environmental campaigns in Boston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.  Rabbi Elana is looking forward to meaningful conversations and building a welcoming community of deep Jewish learning and living at Duke. 


1415 Faber Street
Box 90936
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919.681.1949                                                                                                              

Aviv Sheetrit joined the staff of Jewish Life at Duke as the Associate Director for External Affairs in January 2019. Previously, she served as the Development Manager for Judea Reform Congregation, a Reform synagogue in Durham, where she was responsible for all aspects of fundraising, including planned giving, annual giving, special gift campaigns, communications, events, and marketing. Aviv has also held roles at Marbles Kids Museum and the Office of New Student & Family Programs at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Aviv was born in Israel but spent most of her life in North Carolina. She earned her degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time, Aviv enjoys volunteering at the Durham Performing Arts Center, taking ceramics classes, hiking, and reading. She is always looking for new podcast recommendations!


1415 Faber Street
Box 90936
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919.684.6526

Lena Wegner joined Jewish Life at Duke in September 2017 as the Assistant Director for External Relations. In this role, Lena works to advance Jewish Life at Duke’s outreach to parents, alumni, and prospective students, spreading the word that Duke is a great place to be a Jewish college student.

Previously, she served Duke Clinical Research Institute for over 8 years and has been responsible for the production and management of events, meetings, projects, client-service, volunteers, public relations, training, marketing, sales, and overall communications efforts within the arenas of clinical research, education, sports, marketing, and tourism. A proud Chicago native, Lena has studied, lived and worked around the country and enjoys most: time spent with her family, listening to and making music, exploring new places, cooking, hiking, rafting and camping.


Reuven Remez is the Jewish Agency Israel Fellow at Duke University. Born and raised in Jerusalem, Reuven grew-up and became an active member at the Reform-Reconstructionist Congregation Mevakshei Derech. In his three years of mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces, he rose to Staff Sergeant as an anti-aircraft missile crew leader and was named an outstanding serviceman at all levels of the Aerial Defense Array and the Israel Air Force, up to a decoration by then-President Shimon Peres. Reuven then interned at the Milken Institute, Santa Monica, CA, before enrolling in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he majored in International Relations with a History minor. During his undergraduate studies, Reuven worked at the university's Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, first as research assistant to its acting chairman, Ambassador Moshe Arad, and then as program coordinator in the Institute's Events Department. He recently completed his master’s degree in European studies at the Hebrew University, which included terms at Heidelberg University, Germany, and Vienna University, Austria.

In his free time, Reuven enjoys photography, frisbee, baseball, 90’s music parties, and Cuban salsa. He is excited to be joining the team and looks forward to meeting and getting to know the students at Duke!

1415 Faber Street
Box 90936
Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone: 919.684.6609


Jewish Life at Duke Advisory Board

The Advisory Board for Jewish Life at Duke University is comprised of alumni, parents and friends of Jewish Life at Duke who provide advice, assistance, and support to Jewish Life at Duke on campus and in their home communities.  If you are interested in learning more about the Advisory Board, please contact Joyce Gordon Director for Jewish Life at Duke.

Current members of the Advisory Board:

Jason Black, T‘05 
Leslie Chatzinoff, P’11, P’15, P'21
Jordan Feiger, T'82
Amanda Freeman, T‘98
Danyelle Freeman, T’96 and Josh Resnick
Heath Freeman, T’02 and Jane Hegleman Freeman
Bobby Green, T'88, MD'93, P'23
Sheree Levy, T’89, P’18, P'21
Laura Lieber, Faculty
Dana Goldsmith Needleman, T'94
Mike Roffman, T'89, P'23
Ben Rubenstein-Spoont, T’07 and Carolyn Rubenstein-Spoont, T‘07
Matthew Schorr, T'14
Justin Segall, T‘05
Sarah Shore, P’20
Dawn Spiera, P’16, P’18, P'21
Neil Steiner, T'94
Jeffrey Tabak, T’79, L’82, P’04, P’08 and Marilyn Tabak, T’79, P’04, P’08
Gregg Tenser, T‘89
Spencer Waxman, T’86, P’21, P'23
Elizabeth Winter, T‘03
T = alumni of Duke's Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, P = parent of Duke student, L = alumni of Duke's School of Law, MD = alumni of Duke's School of Medicine