Posted by: Julian Sandler, Chairman on 1/23/2007 5:13:00 PM
I am very proud to share that Hillel has embarked on a new arrangement in the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU). This arrangement will allow us to provide more resources and opportunities, more effectively to young Jewish adults and university students.
For the past 12 years, Hillel has been operating in the FSU in partnership with the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
. This wonderful collaboration resulted in a remarkable rebirth of Jewish life and Jewish pride in the FSU. Our new arrangement, an agreement with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Chais Family Foundation, the Jewish Agency for Israel
and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation will enable us to capitalize on our collective expertise and significantly expand the programs and other services we provide to Jews of college age in Russia.
As we move forward, all university-age student outreach efforts will be coordinated by Hillel. We are proud that Hillel is being recognized for our ability to provide sound fiscal management and for our ability to serve as a neutral broker among the many ideological groups that make up the Jewish community in the FSU.
The Jerusalem Post
recently praised this historic agreement, saying: “In a rare, if not unprecedented, instance of Jewish bureaucracy slashing, the alphabet soup of organizations promoting Jewish activities among 18-25-year-olds in the former Soviet Union are marking the new year by beginning to consolidate under the single banner of Hillel.”
Our new arrangement will increase Hillel’s budget in Russia for 2007 to $2.3 million, a 35 percent increase over 2006. Hillel in the FSU will now be well-positioned to take up the goal of the Strategic Plan to vastly expand the number of young adults we reach Jewishly. In addition to working with today’s student activists who meet in Hillel clubs, we intend to engage students and other young Jews in a multitude of locations on university campuses and in other popular venues.
We have already begun an 18-month transition period in which we will strengthen our Russia-based administrative and program personnel, pilot new activities, build effective working relationships and lay the groundwork necessary to expand the collaborative effort throughout the entire FSU.
I would like to offer special appreciation to our International Board of Governors Co-Chair, Lynn Schusterman and International Board of Governors member, Stanley Chais for their leadership and commitment to the Jewish communities in the former Soviet Union. Their passion has made this extraordinary arrangement possible.
I also wish to thank our friend, President Emeritus Avraham Infeld who played a critical role in bringing all of the involved parties together. Avraham has demonstrated not just his ideological commitment to Jewish peoplehood, but also his ability to forge connections across lines of belief and citizenship.
Our students in Russia and in countries throughout the former Soviet Union will benefit from their vision for generations to come.
RE: Why We Should be Proud of the New FSU Arrangement
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