Arts, Israel, Social Action Play Central Role in Jewish Renaissance at Hillel's Charles Schusterman International Jewish Student Leaders Assembly
(WASHINGTON, D.C., August 20) With the Jewish community increasingly focused on Jewish life on university campuses, the leaders of international Jewish organizations will help train more than 500 Jewish college activists from around the world at Hillel's August 20-25, Charles Schusterman International Student Leaders Assembly at Camp Moshava in Honesdale, Penn.
"Jewish renaissance is at the forefront of the Jewish community's agenda," explained Hillel President and International Director Richard M. Joel. "Students and adult leaders alike understand how important it is to understand and celebrate the range and richness of Jewish civilization on campus today."
Top national Jewish leaders in the fields of arts, Israel, social action, Jewish education and journalism will participate in the conference, including United Jewish Communities Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hoffman, American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris, Jewish Council for Public Affairs Executive Director Hanna Rosenthal, and Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Malcolm Hoenlein. Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of the best-selling book "Everything is Illuminated," and Sandi Simcha DuBowski director of the movie "Trembling Before G-d" will discuss the role of the arts in Jewish life. Representatives of the Jewish religious movements will present their perspectives on Jewish spirituality and community. New York Jewish Week editor Gary Rosenblatt and Lilith Magazine founder and editor Susan Weidman-Schneider will discuss current issues in Jewish life on campus.
The conference will include the largest cross-section of Jewish students from around the globe in its history, with the first representatives from France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Hungary joining students from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Israel, Canada, the former Soviet Union and the United States. Participants in the conference come from over 140 campuses around the globe. Hillel dedicated its first Foundation in Argentina in June following the creation of Uruguay Hillel last year. Additional Hillels are planned for Brazil.
The conference provides Jewish campus leaders with training in leadership and organizational skills as well as in-depth instruction in Jewish civilization. In addition to general subjects, the conference offers tracks for young people with particular interests in the arts, Israel advocacy, and social justice.
The 12 Israeli students participating in the conference attend all of Israel's universities. Hillel has foundations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University where Israeli students have the opportunity to explore historical, religious and cultural aspects of their Jewish identity in a non-denominational, non-judgmental environment.
Many conference participants are alumni of Hillel Israel programs such as birthright israel, the 2002 Hillel Advocacy Mission, and the Hillel Advocacy Seminar. These young people will play a leadership role on their campuses in the fall.
Hillel will also sponsor the annual Renaissance Institute at the conference, an opportunity for Hillel's adult lay leadership and supporters to interact with student leaders and to experience the Jewish renaissance on campuses across the country. At the same time, 90 Hillel Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps Fellows will undergo training for their assignment to engage Jewish students on campus.
The annual Schusterman Hillel International Student Leaders Assembly is made possible by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, is committed to creatively empowering and engaging Jewish students through its network of over 500 regional centers, campus Foundations and affiliates. Its long-standing dedication to building Jewish identity, while nurturing intellectual and spiritual growth in a pluralistic community, positions Hillel as a leader in building a stronger Jewish people and stronger Jewish future.