A Jewish studies teacher in the former Soviet state of Moldova, a member of the student senate at the University of Manitoba, the founder of a fraternity chapter, and a Jewish federation fundraiser were among the seven college students named Exemplars of Excellence by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. The students were presented the awards for making outstanding contributions to Jewish life on campus at the recent Schusterman Hillel International Student Leaders Assembly in Honesdale, PA.
"Exemplars of Excellence are leaders among leaders," explains Hillel President and International Director Richard M. Joel. "They bring Jewish renaissance to life on their campuses."
The Exemplars of Excellence are:
- University of Pennsylvania student Kim Bardy of Greensboro, NC. Active in social justice issues, Bardy served on the committee that helped the University of Pennsylvania Hillel become a Tzedek Hillel, a select group of Hillel Foundations with a special commitment to community service. In addition, she successfully recruited 150 student leaders and 750 student donors for Penn Hillel's Half Shekel campaign on behalf of the Jewish federation. Bardy was also active in PennPac, the local student chapter of AIPAC, and served on the Israel Day committee.
- University of Texas-Austin student Kevin Block of Houston. Block is currently president of the Hillel Foundation at the University of Texas-Austin and serves on its Operating Board. He has been a chair of both the UJA and Israel committees, A former activist in the Zionist Young Judaea Youth Movement, Block last year organized a street fair to mark Israel Independence Day that attracted over 3,000 people.
- Brandeis University student Sarah Chandler of Lexington, MA. Chandler, a member of the Brandeis Hillel Executive Board, serves as the Religious Life coordinator, is leader in the Brandeis Reform Chavurah and is involved in multi-faith and multi -cultural programming on campus. She also writes for the school newspaper.
- Dartmouth University student Jesse Cook-Dubin of Williamstown, MA. During his term as president, Cook-Dubin was instrumental in helping Dartmouth Hillel earn accreditation and become affiliated with Hillel. He founded a chapter of the AEPi fraternity on campus and organized a campus-wide Kosovo-relief effort. Cook-Dubin contributed to Hillels across North America when he served as an intern with the Soref Initiative for Emerging Campuses at Hillel's International Center.
- Igor Furer of Kishinev, Moldova. Furer was one of the student founders of Beit Hillel in Kishinev. He currently serves as the Hillel educational programs coordinator and is a board member of the I. Manger Jewish Community Center in Moldova. A dedicated Jewish educator, Furer directs the Jewish People's University, a lectureship group that holds workshops and Shabbatonim for the small Jewish communities of Moldova. He coordinates Hillel's Rudin Family Passover project in his area, a program that provides Passover Seders to Jews throughout the former Soviet Union.
- Hofstra University student Laurie Gewanter of Hewlett, NY. Gewanter is a member of Hofstra Hillel's Leadership Council, is chair of the women's group Kol-Isha and leader of Kesher, the Reform student group. An active community service volunteer, she makes regular visits to a geriatric center.
- University of Manitoba student Matthew Lobb of Edmonton. Lobb is a leader on campus, in Hillel, and in the community at large. President of the Jewish Student Association, he was a member of the planning committee for the Year 2000 March of the Living. He is a student senator and treasurer of the Faculty of the Arts student committee. In addition, he was recently appointed to the Holocaust Awareness Committee for the Winnipeg Jewish Heritage Center and Museum. Lobb further serves the community as an advisor for BBYO.
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.