New York Jewish Communal Fund Advances Hillel CLIP Program
August 15, 2006Comments (0)
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(New York City) New York’s Jewish Communal Fund is making a major commitment to Hillel’s Collegiate Leadership Internship Program (CLIP) that will enable the successful, 27-year-old program to provide additional internship opportunities to Jewish college students in New York. The Jewish Communal Fund, one of the nation’s preeminent donor-advised funds, will provide CLIP with $300,000 from its endowment to increase the number of internship positions and to bring the stipends up to market levels.
"We are thrilled that the Jewish Communal Fund is taking this step to strengthen the CLIP program," says Hillel International President Avraham Infeld. "We believe that providing Jewish students with professional opportunities not only enriches their lives but provides these young people with a meaningful Jewish experience."
JCF Executive Vice President Susan F. Dickman explained that the CLIP program is a concrete way of benefiting Jewish college students today and building the Jewish communal leaders of tomorrow.
"With its educational and social justice components built into the program, CLIP enables students to learn about their responsibilities to the broader community while they are exploring their professional interests," Dickman said.
CLIP began in 1979 as an internship program of the New York Federation Employment and Guidance Service, Inc. (FEGS). Since then, CLIP has grown into a highly regarded, competitive, paid summer internship for undergraduates who either attend college or have a permanent address in New York. The program currently includes 46 interns who are placed in businesses and non-profit organizations in New York City.
"The program’s goals are to help students develop practical work and leadership skills, to promote religious pluralism, facilitate contact between the campus and the community and to enable students to explore the nature of the organized Jewish community in New York and across the world," explains Thomas Blumberg, chair of the New York Committee, a joint committee of Hillel and UJA-Federation of New York that relates to campus activity in the New York area.
"What distinguishes CLIP from other internship programs in New York City is its emphasis on Jewish individual and community identity," says Andrew Sternlieb, chairman of the board of Hillel at Baruch College, which has administered the program since January 2006. The nine-week program includes four days each week in a supervised internship and one day each week of Jewish enrichment and leadership seminars."
The CLIP program provides a concrete benefit to the Jewish community of New York," says Dr. Alisa Rubin Kurshan, senior vice president of Strategic Planning & Organizational Resources of the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. "We are not only building lives, we are building leaders."
"CLIP is the premier Jewish internship program in the country. With the focus on experiencing the pluralism of the Jewish community while helping student leaders develop their professional skills CLIP is uniquely positioned to enable these students to further their career goals," says CLIP Coordinator Matt Vogel, a graduate student at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. "The nine-week program includes four days each week in a supervised internship and one day each week of Jewish enrichment and leadership seminars."
The program also includes a pluralistic Shabbaton retreat, where interns of all backgrounds connect as fellow Jews to understand one another and help break down misperceptions.
Another unique feature of CLIP is its social entrepreneurship component. Students develop social entrepreneurship projects, working in teams to identify an unmet need in the Jewish campus or broader community and to write a practical business plan to address that need. They return to campus and implement the many leadership, tzedek/social justice, Israel-oriented, and other programs they developed during their summer experience.
The 2006 interns either attend university in the New York area or live in local communities. The students attend a cross-section of schools, from public universities such as CUNY Brooklyn College, Baruch College, Stony Brook and Binghamton, to Ivies like Columbia, Cornell and Brown. Yeshiva University has several students in the program. International students also participate in CLIP, including students from Burma, Panama, Mexico, France, Iran, and the former Soviet Union.
The young people are placed in companies, such as Ecko Unlimited, CIBC World Markets and Newmark Knight Frank Real Estate; non-profits, such as Mt. Sinai Hospital, AARP and The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity; and Jewish communal agencies such as FEGS, Hadassah, the United Jewish Communities, and the UJA-Federation of New York.
"Hillel’s Strategic Plan envisions the creation of new professional opportunities for students throughout the United States," says Julian Sandler of Dix Hills who directed the Strategic Planning Process and who is Hillel’s chairman elect. "I believe that the CLIP program will prove to be the model that is emulated across the country."