Telling the Hillel Story
Hillel students, professionals and lay leaders are often called upon to offer remarks orally and in writing on behalf of Hillel. Below are some of the major themes and message points that have proven effective for Hillel professionals and lay leaders over the years.
When you are asked to present Hillel's story, please remember that the best proof of Hillel's effectiveness is direct contact with students, preferably on a campus visit. If a campus visit cannot be arranged for your audience, bring Hillel students to your presentation. Professionals and lay leaders are also credible spokespeople for the organization.Today, being Jewish is an option, not a condition. We must give young people the tools to make the right choice. The future of the Jewish community is on the line.
The College Years are Critical.
- The 1990 National Jewish Population Survey showed that slightly more than 50 percent of Jews marry outside the faith.
- Of the 50 percent who marry outside the faith, only one-third of couples are committed to raising their children as Jews.
- In other words, the Jewish community is not replacing itself.
Hillel is a Welcoming, Caring Environment.
- Since 1923, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life has contributed to the success of the Jewish community by creating welcoming campus environments in which Jewish students can pursue the dream of higher education. Today, Hillel is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world.
- It is estimated that 85 percent of college-age Jews attend an institution of higher learning, or 400,000 young people in North America each year.
- Going to college is the single most common experience of Jewish young people: more common than bar mitzvah, camp, day school or an Israel visit.
- Young people are on their own for the first time, making critical decisions regarding their future, and the future of their families. It is an existential moment and the last point to make a connection.
- College students look to "adults" for guidance as they make these critical decisions. Hillel professionals can help.
- The college years are the last years in which the Jewish community can make an impact on young people before they begin their careers and families.
- Hillel is ideally positioned to make a positive difference.
Hillel Cares About Jewish Students.
- By creating welcoming campus environments for Jews, Hillel has made the American dream possible -- and still does.
- Hillel cares about Jewish students.
- Hillel cares about the community.
- Hillel cares about the Jewish community.
- Hillel cares about Israel.
- Hillel cares about the campus.
Hillel Cares About the Community.
- Hillel welcomes all students and adds value to their lives.
- The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life fosters a global culture of Jewish pride, exploration and celebration among college students. Hillel provides opportunities for Jewish students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity through its international network of hundreds of campus Foundations, program centers and affiliates. Hillel adds value – and Jewish values -- to the lives of Jewish college students. Hillel actively seeks to engage uninvolved Jewish students on their own terms: to provide them with opportunities to do Jewish that are meaningful and appealing to them.
- Students are empowered to take responsibility for their Jewish identity, whether they wish to undertake a community service project, express themselves artistically, participate in a social event, engage in informal Jewish learning or attend a holiday celebration.
- Any Jewish student may participate in Hillel – no membership is required. Hillel is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism that embraces all movements.
- Hillel meets students where they are – socially, culturally and Jewishly – and helps them continue their Jewish journey where they want to go.
- Students don't have to come inside the Hillel building. Hillel professionals go to the students: in the residences, student unions, the fraternity and sorority houses, wherever students feel most comfortable.
- With our years of experience and network of professionals on campuses across North America, Hillel can help students and their parents make the right college choice.
- Hillel is a comforting presence, especially on large, impersonal campuses.
- Hillel helps students make the transition to college life.
- Hillel helps students make the transition from college life to the real world through leadership development, internships and networking.
- Hillel connects students to friends.
- Hillel, with its long experience on each campus, understands the university community and can help students navigate it.
- Hillel is diverse. We welcome Jewish students of all backgrounds.
- Hillel offers students many different opportunities to grow as people and as Jews.
- Hillel is there when students need it, for personal counseling, for holiday celebrations.
- Hillel advocates on campus for Jewish needs: time off for holidays, study abroad, kosher dining, fighting anti-Semitism.
Hillel Cares About the Jewish Community.
- Hillel's Weinberg Tzedek Hillel program provides students with opportunities to do social justice work internationally and locally. The Weinberg Tzedek Hillel program trains students to be sophisticated social justice activists, regardless of their political beliefs.
Hillel Cares About Israel.
- Hillel provides opportunities for Jewish students of all backgrounds to meet, to grow as Jews and to create a community of diverse communities. Hillel is strengthening the Jewish community of tomorrow and training its leaders. Hillel inculcates a sense of Jewish peoplehood among college students.
- The college years are the most universally shared Jewish experience. Hillel may be their last contact with the Jewish community before they start families. The decisions they make now may affect their families and community forever.
- Hillels raise money for Federations and other Jewish community needs, offer volunteer services to local Jewish communities, and provide teachers for religious schools.
- Hillel in the former Soviet Union (FSU), through 27 affiliates, is educating a generation of young Jews who have had no prior exposure to their Jewish identity. Hillel provides Seders to more than 20,000 Jews every Passover.
- Hillel Foundations are providing vital programming for Jewish young people in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
- Hillel also serves Israeli and foreign students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ben-Gurion University and Tel Aviv University. Hillel affiliates are found in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Hillel is Well Run.
- Hillel helps Jewish college students to take pride in Israel and to defend the Jewish state against detractors on campus.
- In addition to sophisticated Israel education efforts on campuses throughout North America, Hillel, working in conjunction with Taglit-birthright israel, brings more college students to Israel every year than any other organization.
Hillel is Successful and Growing.
- The members of Hillel's International Board of Governors and Board of Directors are the leading figures in world Jewry today.
- Hillel has been designated "the Jewish federation on campus" by the United Jewish Communities, the national umbrella organization of Jewish federations.
- Hillel professionals receive regular training, review and evaluation.
- Hillels must meet global standards, and be approved by the Hillel Board of Directors, to earn designation as a Hillel Foundation.
- Hillel Foundations are accredited and re-accredited to ensure they meet international standards.
- An internal management consulting team helps Hillel Foundations and professionals reach their potential.
- Hillel is constantly changing to keep pace with the needs and interests of college students.
Working with Hillel is an Investment in the Jewish Community and the Jewish Future. Lay Leaders Make a Difference in Hillel.
- As more and more students turn to Hillel, our resources are growing.
- Hillel has built a new generation of modern, attractive facilities around the world in the last 10 years with many more under development.
- In order to better serve students, the Hillel staff has grown to 1,000 professionals around the world.
Hillel is making a difference -- But There is so Much More to Do.
- Hillel lay leaders are respected community members who are essential partners with students and professionals in the effective operation of Hillel Foundations.
- The most successful Hillel Foundations are located near Jewish communities that feel a sense of ownership toward their Hillel Foundations.
- Lay leaders are encouraged to play a variety of roles on the boards of Hillel Foundations, everything from development to community relations.
- Hillel lay leaders are encouraged to visit campuses to see the impact of their work, and to serve as mentors for students.
- Hillel leaders are recognized internationally and locally.
- The best way to see the renaissance of Jewish life on campus is to visit a Hillel Foundation near you.
- We have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our children so that they will create a vibrant Jewish future.