Hillel is all about one generation helping the next, so it is not surprising that two generations of the same family often become involved as Hillel lay leaders. The newly elected chairman of the Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life Board of Directors, Randall Kaplan, is committed to involving many generations of lay leaders in building Jewish life on campus.
Randall is the son of Tobee and Leonard Kaplan, whose philanthropy has provided transformation grants to help local campuses better serve Jewish students. Leonard and Randall are both members of Hillel's International Board of Governors.
"I am pleased to be able to lead an organization that inspires families to participate in significant ways," explains Randall. "Not only does this provide a continuity of support for Hillel programs, but it demonstrates to the students that Jewish values and leadership are passed from one generation to the next."
The Belfer, Saltz and Ruben families also believe in the importance of family involvement. The families named Hillel's international headquarters building the Arthur and Rochelle Belfer Building in honor of their shared parents. Lenore Ruben, a member of the next generation of the family, was present at the building dedication and is now an important member of Hillel's Board of Directors.
The Schusterman family is also a multi-generational Hillel family. Charles, z"l, and Lynn Schusterman helped Hillel to emerge as a leading global Jewish organization. In addition to their early support for training for staff, students and lay leaders, the Schustermans partnered with Hillel and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to create a thriving Hillel movement in the former Soviet Union. After Charles' untimely passing, Lynn stepped forward to become co-chair of Hillel's International Board of Governors. The Schusterman Family Foundation helped Hillel purchase its new building and the headquarters bears the name "Charles and Lynn Schusterman International Center." Hillel has also named its student leadership conference "The Charles Schusterman International Student Leaders Assembly" so that young people will learn the lessons of commitment, community service, leadership and menschlichkeit exemplified by Mr. Schusterman. Daughter Stacey Schusterman recently joined her mother on the International Board of Directors creating the first mother-daughter pair in the group.
Michele Breslauer is also participating in her family's Hillel legacy. For many years, the Breslauer family has enabled Hillel to provide service to campuses with fewer than 500 Jewish students through the Samuel and Helene Soref Initiative for Emerging Campuses. Michele is a new member of Hillel's Board of Directors.
The Meyerhoff family of Baltimore was among the first to fund Hillel's renaissance. Harvey "Bud" Meyerhoff was an early supporter and encouraged his children, Lee Meyerhoff Hendler and Terry Meyerhoff Rubenstein, to become involved. Hendler is a member of Hillel's Board of Directors, and Rubenstein spearheaded her family's involvement in the creation of Hillel's new building at Johns Hopkins University.
Bud's sister, Ellie Meyerhoff Katz, joined Hillel's International Board of Governors, and her daughter, Sally Lyn Katz, joined Hillel's Board of Directors. In addition to her international involvement, Sally Lyn Katz has been an ardent supporter of Hillel at the University of Pennsylvania. The Meyerhoff family provided funding to create the Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Learning, which is named after the family's patriarch.
Another great Baltimore family, the Rosenblooms, have been involved in Hillel for three generations. Howard Rosenbloom and his son Keith are both members of the Hillel International Board of Governors. The Rosenbloom family funded the creation of the Ben and Esther Rosenbloom Hillel Center at the University of Maryland in honor of Howard's parents.
Multi-generational Hillel support begins at the top. The Bronfman name became synonymous with Hillel in 1994 when Edgar M. Bronfman agreed to serve as chairman of Hillel's International Board of Governors. Brother Charles Bronfman joined the Board of Governors soon thereafter. Now, Edgar's son Adam is chairman of the board of Hillel at the University of California, Santa Barbara; is a new member of Hillel's International Board of Governors; and recently served as the chairman of Hillel's lay leadership conference in Washington, DC.
Michael Granoff and sister Gillian spent many hours as Hillel student activists at Tufts University and Brown University, respectively. Michael introduced his parents, Martin and Perry Granoff, to Tufts Hillel, and they were so impressed that they agreed to fund the construction of a new Hillel facility in 1994.
Today, both Michael and Martin are members of Hillel's International Board of Governors and are active in many different Hillel projects. Gillian has also worked on Hillel's behalf for many years. Recently, the Granoff family came together at Brown University where they donated Brown Hillel's Glenn and Darcy Weiner Center.
"I had a profound experience at Hillel," Michael said. "I owe Hillel so much. This is my way of somehow repaying a small portion of that debt."