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Our Rabbi & Staff



Hannah Spiro

Rabbi Hannah Spiro, Hill Havurah's rabbi, is a DC-area native and a 2017 Reconstructionist Rabbinical College graduate. Previously serving at Reconstructionist, Reform, and Conservative synagogues from Boston to Florida, Rabbi Hannah has become passionate about bringing daring and dynamic Torah, compassionate pastoral care, and the empowerment of a strong lay leadership to her work. She is additionally an accomplished singer/songwriter, and loves bringing music onto the pulpit and into the classroom. 

Rabbi Hannah and her husband, David Pfeferman, have a toddler named Julius, and the three of them are delighted to be a part of such a warm, creative group of people as the Havurah.  

If you have any questions or would like connect with Rabbi Hannah, you can contact her at



You can enjoy Rabbi Hannah's Shabbat Divrei Torah here.

You can read about Rabbi Hannah's start at Hill Havurah in 2016 as reported in The Washington Post ("For the first time in decades, Capitol Hill has its own neighborhood rabbi") and Washington Jewish Week ("New rabbi in Capitol Hill neighborhood fills a gap we didn't realize existed").

And you can see Rabbi Hannah featured in the 5/24/20 edition of The Washington Post Magazine here.


Julie Gordon
Rabbi Educator

Rabbi Julie Gordon joined Hill Havurah as Rabbi Educator after serving 36 years in educational and rabbinic roles with congregations and schools in Bethesda, the Twin Cities, and Brooklyn. Rabbi Julie was ordained at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. She lived in Jerusalem, Israel from 2010-2013 and earned a master’s degree in Jewish Education from Hebrew College in Boston and the Pardes Institute for Jewish Studies. Rabbi Julie studied at the Conservative Yeshiva and Ulpan Milah. As part of her dedication to lifelong learning, she completed the two-year Mandel Teacher Educator Institute (MTEI) professional development program.  She is deeply committed to the Hill Havurah community values and has experience meeting the educational needs of our diverse and growing congregation.

Rabbi Julie is the proud mother of Shoshana, son-in-law Tim, and Ari. She is grateful that her adult children live in DC.

If you have any questions or would like to connect with Rabbi Julie, you can contact her at



Laura Vitiello
Gan Shalom Director

Laura Vitiello, Gan Shalom's Director, completed a degree in Organizational and Community Leadership at University of Delaware and a Masters in Early Childhood Education at Towson University. Before starting at Gan Shalom, she spent seven years as an educator and community leader, deepening her understanding of the Reggio Emilia philosophy in varying preschool environments, including as a lead teacher at Gan Hayeled, Adas Israel's preschool.

Laura loves spending time with children, reading books and exploring their curiosities. Her passion is driven by children’s natural wonder and watching them grow. She is currently working on her AIM4Excellence Director credential and is certified in Nature-Based Learning. She lives in Virginia with her fiance and two kittens. She loves spending free time with family and traveling to new places.

If you have any questions or would like to connect with Alan, you can contact him at



David Picture

 Alan Shusterman
 Executive Director

Alan Shusterman, Hill Havurah's Executive Director, is a DC-area native and proud graduate of the late, semi-great Charles W. Woodward High School. He is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School. Over the course of three decades, Alan served in a variety of leadership roles in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Most recently before joining Hill Havurah, Alan was the founder and head of an innovative nonprofit independent secondary school.

Alan and his wife Gila have three children: David, who attends the University of Maryland in College Park; Rebecca, who attends MassArt in Boston; and Jordan, who lives in New York City and is a baseball podcaster with The Ringer and on air host on DAZN.

If you have any questions or would like to connect with Alan, you can contact him at




Danny Tomares
Operations and Program Assistant

Danny Tomares is a DC-area native and a proud graduate of Haverford College. He joined Hill Havurah as an Operations and Program Assistant in the summer of 2019. A man of many talents, Danny is a black belt in Karate and an ordained minister with a photographic memory of American history. He is the proud parent of a five year old Cavachon named Jake the Dog and the various rabbits living in his backyard.

If you have any questions or would like to connect with Danny, you can contact him at



Mackie Sperry
Operations and Program Assistant

Mackie Sperry grew up on Long Island, New York, and has lived in Washington, DC, for the past 5 years. She graduated from James Madison University in 2015 with a Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management and a minor in General Business. She joined Hill Havurah as an Operations and Program Assistant in the winter of 2021.

Mackie has spent several years volunteering for the National Council of Jewish Women, where she has worked in their thrift shop and assisted in the execution of various fundraisers and events. Over the course of her career, she has had various roles within the hospitality and hotel industry. In her free time, Mackie loves photography, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. 

If you have any questions or would like to connect with Mackie, you can contact her at





Sun, April 18 2021 6 Iyar 5781