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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 two children: Julius, born in March 2018; and Dorothy, born in April 2021. The four of them are delighted to be a part of such a warm, creative group of people as the Hill Havurah community.  

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



You can find Rabbi Hannah's Shabbat Divrei Torah here. And you can find Rabbi Hannah's 2022/5783 Rosh Hashanah morning sermon here, and Kol Nidrei sermon 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.


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 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 wide variety of leadership roles in both the nonprofit and private sectors. Most recently before joining Hill Havurah in the spring of 2019, Alan was the head of an innovative nonprofit independent secondary school that he founded.

Alan and his wife Gila have three children: David, who attends the University of Maryland in College Park; Rebecca, who graduated from MassArt and lives in Boston; and Jordan, who is a baseball podcaster and Fox Sports MLB analyst and lives in Indiana with his wife Bailey, a Chemistry professor at Earlham College.

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



Melissa Werbow
Education Director

Melissa Werbow, Hill Havurah's Education Director, is passionate about creating authentic communities and empowering learners to take ownership of the Jewish tradition. She graduated from Hebrew Union College with a master’s degree in Jewish Education and a master’s degree in Jewish Communal Service. In Los Angeles, she served as the Director of Religious School and Family Education at Stephen S. Wise Temple. In Pittsburgh, she taught Melton Adult Education programs and was a consultant for area religious schools through the Agency for Jewish Learning. In Sarasota, she served as the Director of Jewish Learning at the Hershorin Schiff Community Day School. 

Melissa's family moved to the District in the summer of 2020, and she joined us as our Education Director in the spring of 2021. She and Rabbi Mike Werbow are the proud parents of three mostly delightful children and one very spoiled dog.  She is currently obsessing about the best quilting stores in DC, parenting teenagers and what novel she should read next.

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



Tina Brimo
Gan Shalom Director

Tina Brimo, the director of Gan Shalom (Hill Havurah's preschool), has over ten years of experience working with and advocating for young children. She believes that children learn through play and thrive when they feel cared for, challenged, and respected. Tina and her family immigrated from Guyana to New York when she was 12 years old. Since then, she has also lived in Vermont, Baltimore, and DC. She has her undergraduate degree from the City College of New York and her Masters degree from Concordia University Portland.

Tina's daughter, Simone, will be a student at Gan Shalom starting in the fall.  On weekends you can find Tina at a Zumba class, out running, or caring for her extensive collection of house plants. 

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



[Photo to Come]

Rebecca Freund
B Mitzvah Coordinator

Rebecca Freund, Hill Havurah's B Mitzvah Coordinator, like so many, is a DC transplant. Hailing from Fayetteville, Arkansas by way of Los Angeles, Rebecca found her way to DC in 2015. A graduate of Indiana University with a BA in Jewish Studies and Sociology, she spent a year studying abroad in Jerusalem. Over the course of 10 years, she worked at several synagogues in L.A. as a youth coordinator, religious school teacher, and Hebrew tutor. 

Fun facts about Rebecca: While in L.A., she found herself involved in the circus arts, namely the aerial arts, which she both taught and performed. She still teaches some in the DC Area. She also loves to knit. She and her hustand, Ben, have a Covid baby, Liam, born August 2020, and two L.A. native cats, Gonzo and Larry, who both love avocados. 

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





Mon, May 27 2024 19 Iyar 5784