Ellie Hahn

“Having lived in 3 different countries, I have spent much of my life being a chameleon. These past 5 years I’ve been working on  noticing when I feel connected and a sense of belonging, while also developing a comfort in being true to myself.”

As a child growing up in Cherry Hill, NJ Ellie Hahn was raised with the assumption that her family would make Aliyah. “My parents made it clear that NJ was a temporary stay. At the end of any trip to Israel with any mention of going home to NJ, my parents would correct, “Israel is our real home.” Even as a child, Ellie easily connected to people. “When my family made Aliyah, I was 11 and I couldn’t speak Hebrew well; that was a year that really helped me sit with and notice people, understand interpersonal dynamics, and appreciate the power of connection through presence.”

From as young as 7, Ellie had a plan to be a therapist. However, when applying to University, for a variety of practical considerations, Ellie pivoted and pursued a degree in statistics, following her strengths in math. Ellie met her husband Ezra while he was visiting Israel. They dated long distance and after getting married, Ellie joined him in Toronto. She obtained a Masters degree in Biostatistics and worked as an epidemiologist conducting clinical and policy oriented research. Despite promotions and upward trajectory in her work, something was missing. Ellie began a process of reflecting on her values. She decided to change course back towards her core desire to help people through therapy. Ellie left her job and completed her Masters of Social work with a specialization in health and mental health at University of Toronto to become a therapist. “Meaningful connection is something that drives me – there is a profound power in authentically meeting a person in their pain.”

Ellie co-chaired Netivot’s most recent Strategic Plan. She describes the process to be “a real opportunity to consider values.” Ellie encourages, “this is not only an initiative for institutions and organizations; we would all be better if we considered ourselves worthy of going through that personal process.”

Ellie and Ezra have 4 children, 3 of whom are Netivot students.