Israeli President Shimon Peres will participate in a festive dedication event as Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life honors the chairman of its International Board of Governors, Edgar M. Bronfman, by naming its Hillel Israel Regional Office “The Edgar M. Bronfman Hillel Israel Center.”
Bronfman with Indiana University Hillel students.
The event will take place on Sunday, November 16, 2008, at 15:00 at the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus, the Hendler Auditorium at Truman House (Bezalel Gate).
“This honor recognizes Edgar’s remarkable commitment to Hillel, to Israel and to the Jewish people,” explains Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone. “It is fitting that this center that is at the heart of our work in Israel and at the heart of the Jewish people, be named for our chairman.”
Over the past five years, with the support and encouragement of Edgar Bronfman, Hillel Israel has experienced dramatic growth and is now serving over 30,000 Israeli students of all backgrounds at nine centers. Hillel Israel provides these students with the knowledge and language of Jewish values and traditions, enabling them to explore, strengthen and celebrate their own distinctive Jewish identities. Hillel Israel equips students with the tools they will need to enrich the Jewish people and the world.
“Throughout his life, Edgar has invested his time, talent and resources to ensure the safety and security of the State of Israel,” says Hillel Israel Chairman Yossi Ciechanover. “This stands as a testament to his steadfast dedication to the State of Israel.”
Hillel Israel seeks to inspire a new generation of Israelis to build a strong Jewish state through shared Jewish values and community service. Through a commitment to informing, enriching and nurturing these students in a safe environment devoid of political or religious agenda, Hillel is helping students to develop stronger Jewish identities and to shape the future of the Jewish State. Hillel has served Jewish students in Israel since 1951.
“Edgar has been a true friend and supporter of Hillel Israel,” explains Hillel Israel Director Rabbi Yossie Goldman. “At a time when people were asking what’s next for Israel and the Jewish people, Edgar had the clarity of vision to understand that sustaining Israel as a vibrant, secure Jewish state through the 21st century ultimately depends on the connection of its young people to their Jewish roots, to each other, and to the Jewish community worldwide.”
Edgar M. Bronfman is a leading philanthropist and, since 1994, has served as chairman of the Board of Governors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He is the former CEO of the Seagram Company Ltd. and the former president of the World Jewish Congress. He has been recognized for his leadership by organizations, universities and governments around the world. In 1999, President Clinton awarded him the presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States’ highest civilian honor.
Bronfman is credited with helping to bring about a renaissance of the Hillel movement. He has enlisted a powerful group of philanthropists from around the world to serve on Hillel’s International Board of Governors; he has invested in Hillel’s growth in the United States, Latin America, the former Soviet Union and Israel; and he has traveled to over 120 campuses to meet with Jewish students.
Hillel Israel centers include The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Mt. Scopus and Givat Ram campuses), Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, The Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Haifa Hillel (which comprises The Chais Center on Mt. Carmel, Haifa University, The Technion), Tel Hai College, Emek Yezreel College, and Sapir College.
Individuals who wish to participate in the dedication should visit www.hillelisrael.org.il.