Melissa Frey brings an impressive background of ethical leadership development and innovative engagement strategies, with a particular focus on Jewish GenZ.
Prior to this role at Purdue Hillel, Melissa served as the Director of URJ (Union for Reform Judaism) Kutz Camp in Warwick, New York for twelve years. During that time, she was responsible for the oversight of an American Camp Association (ACA) accredited residential camp that included a dynamic summer leadership program for highly engaged teens, a mainstreamed program for Jewish teens with Autism, and a seasonal retreat business that fostered Jewish community and identity. Melissa also served as a senior leader of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement, where she was responsible for directing NFTY Convention, the Youth Professionals Conference, curriculum development, and serving as advisor to eight NFTY North American Boards.
Throughout her experiences over the past two decades working in formal and experiential Jewish education, Melissa has amassed a track record of building transformative leadership development curricula and deep and intentional Jewish communities. The communities nurtured under her leadership have propelled many of the brightest Jewish talent into meaningful professional and lay leadership roles in the Jewish and secular world.
Reflecting upon those experiences, Melissa notes, “I am most proud of the opportunities I created for college-age staff members to take on substantial leadership roles beyond what they could have imagined. Delivering on the variety of supports they needed, so they could shine and exceed their own expectations, made every day a gift. I can’t think of another place I would want to continue this kind of holy and impactful work other than at Purdue Hillel.”
Melissa is a graduate of Purdue University where she received a bachelor of arts in Visual Communication Design in Advertising and a minor in History. She received a master of fine arts degree in Typography from the University of Texas. Melissa relocated to West Lafayette last summer with her 3 year old Mexican rescue dog (Mexi-mutt), Mia Star.