Hillel named University of Texas-Austin and Muhlenberg College student Alison Pofsky as the 2003 Tzedek Exemplars of Excellence at the Charlotte B. and Jack J. Spitzer B'nai Brith Hillel Forum on Public Policy.
The award was presented by President and International Director Richard M. Joel.
"University of Texas, Austin has changed the view of what Hillel can offer its community," said Joel. "Its social justice programming has transformed Hillel into a place where secular, liberal, traditional, activist and unaffiliated students all feel welcome and want to be involved."
University of Texas has engaged in successful partnerships with various campus and community groups. Students from UT Hillel can be found building houses in El Salvador; organizing around the issues of poverty and homelessness; designing programs for socio-economically disadvantaged children; providing food for those in need; making their community environmentally friendly; and educating themselves and others about social justice issues and ways in which they as Jewish students can combat them.
"Pofsky represents an ideal Hillel activist whose dedication to social justice work demonstrates the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world," said Joel.
"Not only has Pofsky transformed social action at the university, she has inspired others to believe changing the world is possible," said Muhlenberg College Hillel Director Patti Mittleman. "Her selfless giving, attitude toward life, and continued passion to improve people's lives sets a tone for others to emulate."
Pofsky's involvement in social justice extends to the campus and the community. She has organized countless programs for a local children's homeless shelter and has encouraged other students to participate. Her leadership role on the campus includes involvement in a community service organization where she regularly collects and delivers food to various shelters; participates in a homework program for inner-city students; and organized a program for area youth to visit the campus and learn the importance of higher education.