Hlllel professionals join together beneath St. Louis' famed Gateway Arch.
Hillel Institute enabled nearly 500 professionals to break through the isolation of working on dispersed campuses to come together in shared learning and celebration.
The event kicked off by honoring seven Hillel professionals with the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award. The honorees are The Ohio State University Hillel Associate Director Susannah Sagan; Erez Cohen, the Jewish Agency for Israel Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Hal Ossman, former director of Hillel at the University of Delaware and incoming director of Cornell Hillel; Hebrew University of Jerusalem Executive Director Heli Tabibi; Aaron Weil, the director of Hillel at the Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh; Tel Aviv University Hillel Executive Director Pnina Gaday-Agenyahu; and Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach Assistant Director Brandey Edelson.
Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone delivered a rousing plenary address outlining the organization’s achievements and goals. Hillel presented its Vision and Values Awards to Michigan State Hillel, Tulane Hillel, Hillel at Baruch College, Kiev Hillel and IDC Hillel, Rutgers Hillel, Cornell Hillel, Johns Hopkins University Hillel, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Goucher College Hillel and Towson University Hillel.
Training sessions were held for new executive directors, new professionals and Jewish Agency for Israel Fellows, a partnership with the Jewish Agency for Israel. Hillel’s 2011 New Directors’ Institute was made possible through the support of the Julian Sandler Endowment for Executive Leadership Development.
Hillel launched its Center for Israel Engagement and the Talk Israel campaign at Hillel Institute. The Talk Israel campaign will create places for respectful dialogue about Israel and Middle East issues. On 20 campuses, these centers of dialogue will be created in tents located in the center of campus. Sharon Ashley, head of the Center for Israel Engagement, told JTA that "The purpose of the tent is to grapple with the challenges that Israel is facing and that will play out on college campuses.”
Hillel's Engagement Institute for students was also held at Washington University in St. Louis.
The events were covered in The Jerusalem Post, JTA, eJewish Philanthropy, Tablet and The St. Louis Jewish Light.
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