A new chapter in the Hillel Israel story began last week with the opening of the Hillel program at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. Led by new director Ishai Ashkenazi, an alumnus of the school, the new center joins the Hillels at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev as the fourth Hillel in the Jewish homeland.
"As one of the fastest growing educational frameworks in Israel, the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya is a perfect home for Hillel," said Yossie Ciechanover, the chairman of the Hillel Israel Steering Committee. "Hillel has a golden opportunity to engage these young adults so they can explore and celebrate their Judaism in a way that resonates for them."
Participants from Hillel's lay leadership mission to Israel were on hand last week to help the students, professionals and supporters celebrate their new venture. Carol Wise, a vice-chair on Hillel's Board of Directors, found the students' enthusiasm to be uplifting.
"Their excitement about owning a Hillel on their campus was as moving, and perhaps more so, than you find on most campuses in the United States," Wise said.
IDC Herzliya offers innovative programs in law, business, government and technology to 3,200 Israeli and overseas students. Its Raphael Recanati International School has grown quickly, attracting talented students from more than 40 countries. It is the only academic institution in Israel that offers three-year bachelor's degree programs that are taught entirely in English.
"We are delighted to open a Hillel House at IDC Herzliya. We know that this will intensify integration between the overseas students, who comprise one-fifth of our student body, and our veteran Israeli students," said Jonathan Davis, the vice president of IDC Herzliya and head of the Raphael Recanati International School.