Senior Jewish educators and students meet at the 2008 Engagement Institute.
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life will be training over 500 students and Jewish professionals from around the world in the art of "student engagement" -- that is, the process of creating meaningful relationships that foster stronger Jewish identity -- at Hillel's Engagement Institute at Camp Ramah Darom in Clayton, Georgia. Hillel is the world's largest Jewish college organization with units at over 500 campuses worldwide.
"This will be the single largest engagement gathering in Hillel's history," says Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone. "It clearly places engagement at the center of the Hillel world."
The multi-faceted event brings together individuals from across the Hillel world to learn Hillel's approach to engaging Jewish students. Among the participants will be Campus Entrepreneurs, Peer Network Engagement Interns, representatives from Small and Mighty Campuses of Excellence, MASA Intern Supervisors, Senior Jewish Educators, New Directors, and Israel Fellows.
With Hillel's engagement model at its core, Engagement Institute brings together several training conferences in one location for the first time. It is the largest such conference Hillel has conducted.
Campus Entrepreneurs and Peer Network Engagement Intern Training
These students, mainly college sophomores, are selected and hired by Hillel to do engagement among their peers. Each CEI or PNEI participant is responsible for engaging 60 fellow students. At the Engagement Institute they will learn how to create and strengthen one-on-one relationships through personal and online methods. CEI is located on 18 campuses and PNEI on 30.
Senior Jewish Educators Training
Senior Jewish Educators work with CEI participants and local Hillel professionals to provide Jewish depth to engagement. These innovative teachers find new ways to make Jewish tradition relevant, whether it's conversation about Jewish texts, drama, music or a variety of other media.
New Executive Directors Training
Hillel executive directors are the lynchpins of thriving Hillels. These professionals are responsible for creating engaging Jewish campus communities. In Georgia, a class of 17 new Hillel executive directors will learn many of the skills they will need to succeed.
Small and Mighty Campuses of Excellence Training
This special program is designed to help Hillel advisors at a select group of elite, small private colleges create strong Jewish communities. Now in its second year, the new cohort of campuses are Wellesley College, Smith/Amherst Colleges, Hamilton College, Kenyon College, Union College, Dickinson College, and Elon University.
Israel Fellows Training
In this joint program with the Jewish Agency for Israel, young Israelis are placed on American college campuses to engage students and educate the campus about Israel. At this training session, a new group of 20 Israel Fellows, recently arrived from Israel, will get their first taste of American campus life.