Hillel has named six top Jewish student activists as fellows for the 2003-2004 academic year at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman International Center in Washington, DC. These recent graduates were involved in a wide range of activities on their campuses. They include the executive news editor of the Harvard Crimson, chairman of the Governing Board of the University of Michigan Hillel, and an activist who fostered greater understanding between the Jewish and Muslim communities by designing a Kosher/Halal kitchen.
"These students have demonstrated exceptional understanding of campus issues and tremendous leadership skills," said Hillel Interim President Avraham Infeld. "They will continue as talented young professionals and as role models for undergraduates."
The fellows, who serve as a critical connection between the Schusterman International Center and the student community, are listed below.
Israel Fellow Eric Allen Bukstein of Pittsburgh, Penn., is a Judaic studies graduate of the University of Michigan. As chairman of the Governing Board of Hillel, Bukstein helped develop strategies to educate his campus about Israel during a period of anti-Israel activity and international media attention. Bukstein was also the chairman of the Israel Michigan Public Affairs Committee, a member of the Board of Directors for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and a member of the Michigan Roundtable where he developed recommendations on critical issues facing the campus community. Bukstein was a student delegate to the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem. Bukstein will be working with Hillel's Center for Israel Affairs.
Israel Fellow Nili Chernikoff of Hudson, N.Y., is a recent graduate of Bard College. She spent a semester at Hebrew University in Jerusalem where she received the Hebrew University's Academic Achievement Award. Chernikoff studied photography with a concentration in Jewish studies. Chernikoff was a member of the Trustee Leader's Scholar Program where she worked with the administration to create a Kosher/Halal meal plan. She also interned at a family homeless shelter and was a member of the Bard College varsity tennis team. Chernikoff will be working with Hillel's Center for Israel Affairs.
Samuel and Helene Soref Fellow Julie Fishman of Duluth, Ga., studied International Studies and Communications, Law, Economics, and Government at American University. She was a nominee for the Truman Scholarship. Fishman was the Israel intern at the Schusterman International Center this year. She also interned for the National Jewish Democratic Council, the League of Women Voters, and was a page for the U.S. House of Representatives. Fishman is fluent in Spanish. Fishman will be working with Hillel's Soref Initiative for Emerging Campuses which provides services to campuses with fewer than 500 students.
Arline and David L. Bittker Fellow Aaron Juda of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a recent graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. Studying marketing, Juda interned for the toy company Hamleys London where he oversaw the media lending system. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and was a student delegate to the World Jewish Congress in Jerusalem. Juda will work in Hillel's Department of Jewish Student Life to help identify and train student leaders.
Bronfman Fellow Tova Serkin of Brooklyn, N.Y., graduated from Harvard University Cum Laude in June 2002. Since graduation, Serkin participated in Project Otzma, a 10-month leadership development program in which she volunteered in developing Israeli communities. While at Harvard, Serkin was the executive news editor for the Harvard Crimson. She also received the Harvard College Scholarship for Academic Excellence. As Bronfman Fellow, Serkin will work with Hillel Interim President Avraham Infeld and Hillel International Board of Governors Chairman Edgar Bronfman.
Iyyun Fellow Dena Wigder of Dallas, Texas, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Tufts University. With a background in sociology and psychology, Wigder also studied Women and Gender in Judaism. Wigder previously interned at the Hadassah International Research Institute and was a delegate to the Massachusetts Democratic Convention. Wigder will work with Hillel's Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Learning to promote Jewish learning throughout the Hillel system.