Home #Hwoodtimes Jon Warech Executive Director (FIU) Hillel “Tikkun Olam”

Jon Warech Executive Director (FIU) Hillel “Tikkun Olam”

Jon Warech Executive Director FIU (Florida International University)

By Josie Goldberg

Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 03/04/2024 – When it’s awards season in the entertainment industry everyone knows that it’s a magical time. Amazing opportunities come one’s way and it’s a time for long shot talent to get a wild card and score an invite to a party where connections can be life changing! Plus, one gets some amazing gift bags with products that have yet to hit the market for the A list celebrity. We all know that connections are one of the most important elements in being successful in the entertainment industry. It’s true if you’re talented than nothing will stop you and will be at that one percent (which is so hard to do) However sometimes if you’re lucky meaning you work hard, have some talent, and exercise patience I have seen opportunities been granted by influential people including myself.  It won’t get you a steady paycheck but it’s a foot in the door and the rest is up to you! People always ask me how do you get invited to these fabulous parties and get exposed to all the amazing celebrities and products Josie? I tell people that I booked my first show at 24 and I’m 41 so I have meet a lot of amazing people along the way.  Also, I get asked your Jewish with a name like Josie Goldberg I am sure your community helps you and I tell people it’s been few and far between but the people who have helped me I still remember to this day because it is really a rarity.

I have never fit the mold of a typical Jewish girl because my mother always told me that I was different looking than most Jewish woman but most of all my way of thinking is not so conventional. They always say Russian Jews are very different than the rest! However, I was taught through my formal Jewish education and family that no matter what, Jewish people should always stick together. I am not going to play humble but when I graduated college and saw professional life in Los Angeles I just could not fit in and I was miserable! God heard my misery and tears and out of the blue I was casted on a big reality show and from there I caught the “Hollywood Bug” and realized that this industry and field was and is for me.

Along the way before I ever saw a red-carpet event, I met a young handsome successful Jewish reporter who reported on Entertainment News for “OK’ Magazine” He told me one day I know you’re on this big reality show, and you should promote yourself and make a name for yourself and keep relevant. I said, “well Jon, I don’t have any idea on who or where to go.” He said “don’t worry I want to take you to an A-list red carpet event and show you how to promote yourself.” His name was Jon Warech and he was my first step into the world of celebrity red carpet events. I was amazed. From getting your pictures taken so glamorously, to the exclusive gift bags and to mentioning the delicious food & drinks I was in paradise. It was everything you see on tv and more. After the event I said, “well is there anything you want from me?  He said no! You’re a nice Jewish girl and I wanted to give you a step in the right direction. I thought to myself what a nice guy and I should have a smooth sail going forward. (Since most of Hollywood is Jewish) Like I said earlier that was my beginner’s luck and from that point I have yet to meet another Jon Warech!

Miami-Dade county Mayor Daniella Levine Cava on Diversity Day at FIU in 2022.

As I am a celebrity news reporter myself currently, I recently met up with Jon on my last trip to Miami Beach.  I wanted some advice from such a talented and superb reporter.  Mr. Warech wrote for the Miami Herald, People Magazine, Ocean Drive Magazine, US Weekly and many other news media outlets.  In addition, he wrote New York Times best selling memoirs for celebrities like Kendra Wilkinson (Hugh Hefner’s Girlfriends & Cast of E, Girls Next Door and Jodie Sweetin (American Actress Full House)

MIAMI, FLORIDA – AUGUST 14: Lineup card delivery before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on August 14, 2022 at loanDepot park in Miami, Florida. (Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins)

I asked him what his advice was, and he told me that he lives his life with Judaic Values. I said Jon, you were one of the few who showed me the ropes. I have asked other Jewish prominent execs for help, and they say I am harassing or what I am asking for is crazy. I am still yet to get on scripted tv for a 5 under union part on network tv and earn my SAG/AFTRA pension which I am starting think it’s never going to happen. Honestly, I lost faith in my Jewish execs in Hollywood. But Jon told me that this is a time where Jewish people need to stick together and “Stand United” no matter what. We are in a time of war with our nation and people.  I thanked him 17 years later for helping me. He said don’t thank me, it’s what Jews are supposed to do for one another. Help when they can!


I asked Jon what he was working on and to my surprise he has gone in a different direction in his career. He currently is the executive director for Hillel at Florida International University. Hillel is one of the largest Jewish organizations serving college students across the globe.  I asked him why he shifted careers and he said that he enjoys doing “Tikkun Olam” – meaning making the world a better place. Many Jews consider it a cornerstone of their Jewish identity to help others in this world. I said to Jon that is the perfect job for you. You practice what you preach, which is rarity in today’s religious world of all faiths. I asked him what he does at his job. He told me he develops and implements contemporary student focused programming, helps in anything Jewish students need!


I know life can be hard and one wonders who can we trust especially when your kids go to college? But my friend Jon Warech is someone that I respect and value as a Jewish educator and I proud to call him my friend. If anyone is at Florida International University, I would go check him out at Hillel. He is also very fun, and I see the amazing events he puts together with a Hollywood schtick!