Category: Messages to the Community

Title: Announcement of New Director for Dharmic Life and New Director for Jewish Life

Dear Members of the Georgetown Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Brahmacharini Shweta Chaitanya as Director for Dharmic Life and Hindu Spiritual Advisor, and Rabbi Ilana Zietman as Georgetown’s new Director for Jewish Life, effective August 1, 2024.

Brni. Chaitanya joins us from Emory University where she has served as Hindu Chaplain since 2021. She received her monastic initiation in the Chinmaya Mission monastic order in 2017 following residential Vedanta (philosophical foundation of Hinduism) training in Sandeepany Sadhanalaya Ashram in Powai, Mumbai.

Originally from Texas, Brni. Chaitanya completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied South Asian languages and cultures (Sanskrit). In 2017, she completed her master’s degree in South Asian studies at the South Asia Institute, Columbia University. She was awarded a Nagral Fellowship (Hindu Ministry Initiative), from Harvard Divinity School and was twice awarded the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Hindi), from Columbia University.

Brni. Chaitanya was drawn to Georgetown by its commitment to serve its diverse community meaningfully and looks forward to forging relationships built around inclusivity, spiritual and personal growth, and community for all. She brings a deep passion for creating access to spiritual practices in a way that looks and feels recognizable to students and lets them know they belong. As director, she will lead the Dharmic Life team in supporting Georgetown’s vibrant Dharmic communities.

Rabbi Zietman joins us from GatherDC, an organization dedicated to connecting Jewish young adults to Jewish Life in Washington, D.C. She has served GatherDC as community rabbi since 2019. Rabbi Zietman has previously served as a rabbinic fellow at Tufts University Hillel, as a rabbinic intern at the Congregation Kehillath Israel in Brookline, MA., and as Program and Religious Life Director at The JustCity Leadership Institute in New York. Currently, she serves as chair for AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps’s DC Advisory Council and is a facilitator for Resetting The Table, which focuses on political mediation.

Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Rabbi Zietman completed her undergraduate studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she studied religion, and List College, Jewish Theological Seminary, where she studied Hebrew Bible. She received her master’s degree and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew College in Boston.

Rabbi Zietman brings a deep passion for guiding young people as they explore their Jewish identities, creating welcoming, pluralistic Jewish spaces, and supporting students as they relate to the world around them and navigate their own spiritual and professional needs. In her role as Director, Rabbi Zietman will lead the Jewish Life team in supporting Georgetown’s vibrant Jewish community.

I am deeply grateful to the selection committees for their leadership and counsel and to all the students, faculty, and staff who participated in these search processes.

I look forward to welcoming Brni. Chaitanya and Rabbi Zietman in August.


Fr. Mark Bosco, S.J., Ph.D.
Vice President for Mission & Ministry