Hillel wishes its students, staff, supporters, and friends a very happy, healthy, and fulfilling New Year. May you and your families be inscribed in the book of life and may our collective efforts continue to strengthen the Jewish people.
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is pleased to announce the appointment of David Ya’ari as CEO of Hillel Israel. Ya’ari, formerly David Borowich before hebraicizing his name, assumes his new post following a successful career in the private sector and a history of social entrepreneurship in the Jewish and pro-Israel communities.
Hillel Israel Appoints David Ya'ari as CEO
“Many young Israelis grow up lacking understanding of their Jewish heritage and the Jewish people. The role of Hillel Israel has never been more vital,” said Hillel Israel Board Chair Yossi Ciechanover. “We are confident that David’s background, experience, passion, and vision will advance our collective mission and enhance the impact of Hillel’s work.” Read more...
First Ever Local Board Meetings Held in Moscow and Kiev
Fifteen years ago the scene would have seemed improbable at best: Members of the Russian and Ukrainian Jewish communities sitting around a table arguing passionately about the future of Jewish student life. Yet this is exactly what took place in Moscow and Kiev in April and July of 2010 during the first board meetings of Hillel Ukraine and Hillel Russia.
Read more about the significance of these milestones.
Communities Worldwide Find Common Ground in Social Action Exchange
Nearly 40 Jewish students from New York City, Jerusalem, and Budapest fused service learning and cultural exchange at a gathering of the Social Action Exchange in Budapest, Hungary. The Social Action Exchange is an initiative of Hillel’s Bronfman Center at New York University (NYU). Learn more about the Social Action Exchange.
• Israel’s Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman spoke to Hillel activists at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya as a part of program designed to demonstrate the relevance of traditional Jewish text and knowledge to different spheres of life.
• Through the efforts of a reuse/recycle project, the Hillel at Sapir College in Sderot launched a Russian-language library for 100 young immigrant families from the former Soviet Union living in an absorption center near Sderot.
• Hillel at Hebrew University staff participated in a nationally televised program that explores music and traditional Jewish text in the context of its nationally recognized Yedidi haShachachta initiative. To view an episode in Hebrew, click here.
• 130 students attended a briefing by the Israeli Ambassador in Uruguay on June 16 to receive an update on the Flotilla in Gaza and the tools to defend against Israel’s delegitimization.
• 90 Hillel Rio activists met with Carlos Arthur Nuzman, President of the Brazilian Olympic Committee, to discuss business opportunities that the upcoming Olympic Games will present for young people in the area.
• 80 community members attended a June 4 event at Hillel Argentina in honor of Avraham Infeld for his receipt of Hillel’s Renaissance Award.
• The Advocacy Project (TAP) prepared 20 new student advocates who graduated on May 31 on the eve of the flotilla incident in Gaza. Graduates immediately sprang into action with a massive online advocacy campaign and several current and past TAP participants were interviewed on radio programs.
• Hillel's YBJ (WhY Be Jewish) initiative has engaged over 100 previously uninvolved Jewish university students in Sydney. The program has dramatically increased students’ applications for funding for innovative grass-roots initiatives.
FORMER SOVIET UNION
• 250 students from across Ukraine participated in Hillel Summer Camp in Crimea in August to learn about various Jewish communities around the world.
• Kiev Hillel led activities on the main street of Kiev for the first ever Positivity Fair on June 5. Over 400 people participated in nigunim, percussion, and klezmer music workshops, and different Hillel student groups performed to showcase Hillel.
• 60 students from Moscow and St. Petersburg participated in a seminar highlighting connections between Moscow, St. Petersburg, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem through photography.
• 20 students from Cornell and Dnepropetrovsk Hillels participated in a week-long service trip in Ukraine. Read students' blog here. Dnepro Hillel director Olga Tovkach was also awarded the prestigious Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award.
• Moscow Hillel and JDC engaged 50 students and young adults in volunteer efforts to help Moscow seniors cope with heat, fires, and pollution that struck Moscow in August. Read more >
• 20 exceptional Jewish students visited Israel on the UJS Manhigut (leadership) trip in June. These students will lead Israel advocacy campaigns on their campuses. While in Israel, they met with Knesset members and took part in specialized leadership training.
• Two members of the UJS Hillel team were in South Africa in July following the World Cup, meeting the Jewish community and connecting with Jewish students from around the globe.
• Thousands of pounds were raised as the out-going UJS chair, Adam Pike, and Education Director, Richard Verber, ran the London Bupa 10k in May. The newly raised funds will be distributed to the Jewish Societies (student unions) across the UK.
Profile: David Rosenberg
David Rosenberg is a member of Hillel Rio Board of Directors
When David Rosenberg first moved to Brazil from Chicago in 2000, he set out to discover what the Jewish community needed most. ‘’I decided that quality programming for young adults was the most urgent demand,” he explains. “So, I associated myself with an awesome group of people who thought the same way.” Since then, David has become a supporter of Hillel in Brazil and a mentor to its students.
“People like David inspire us young people to grow with a social conscience and a spirit of justice, becoming better citizens and better Jews,” said Flavio Stolyar, one of the student volunteers. “They support our collective fight for a better, more fair world.” Read more about this exceptional lay leader.
Reflection: Hillel enriching Jewish student life in Central Asia
Perry Teicher is a former student member of Hillel's International Board of Directors
I squeezed my way between two Uzbek Jewish students on the bench. We were sitting around a table in the Hillel common room, about to start Shabbat evening services. Ten Uzbek Jews, one Kazakh fellow traveler, and I. Like many Hillel services, the minyan had an eclectic mix of students. One or two had never been to a service before and one spoke Hebrew fluently - all of them had only connected with their Jewish identity within the past few years. I realized very quickly I came from a much different Jewish background than everyone surrounding me.
My first experience with the Central Asia Jewish community was during Peace Corps Pre-Service Training in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Training lasted three months, including over the High Holidays. This would be my first Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur apart from “my” community, whether in my hometown or at the University of Michigan. Fortunately, Kazakhstan has a moderately-sized Jewish community, the Peace Corps was open to the idea, our training town was only 45 minutes from Almaty, and my Russian was theoretically understandable…
Continue reading about Perry’s encounters with Jewish life in Central Asia.
Participants of the joint Toronto-St.Petersburg Hillel Taglit Birthright trip at Independence Hall in Tel Aviv
WHAT'S YOUR GLOBAL IQ?
Q: Hillel Professionals from how many countries are going to participate in the Leadership and Professional International Development (LAPID) Initiative in 2010?
Hillel's International Division
Hillel in Argentina
Hillel in Israel
Hillel in Russia
Hillel in the United Kingdom
Hillel in Australia
Hillel in CASE
ANSWER: c) 7! Hillel staff from Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom and United States will participate in this initiative designed to bring new resources to Hillels around the globe for professional and student leadership development.