Join Hillel as we honor Avraham Infeld with the Hillel Renaissance Award on June 2, 2010, 6:30 p.m. at Alfred Lerner Hall, Columbia University, in New York City. Hillel's Renaissance Award is given to individuals whose bold vision and transformative initiatives enrich the campus, the Jewish community and the world.
The festive event will bring together hundreds of Avraham's students, friends, and admirers from around the world to pay tribute to a man who has inspired generations with his vision of Jewish pride and peoplehood. For more information, please contact 212-284-6808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avraham, Hillel's president emeritus, has invested a lifetime building Jewish identity and strengthening the State of Israel by instructing Jewish youth on five core principles: the Hebrew language, the Land of Israel, Jewish values, the Jewish religion and the Jewish community. The founder and director of a succession of innovative educational institutions, Avraham was appointed President of Hillel in February 2004 after serving eight months as Interim President. He previously served as Hillel's Consul for Jewish Affairs, visiting more than 60 campuses on three continents.
In the 1970s, Avraham founded Melitz, a non-profit educational service institution that fosters Jewish identity rooted in a pluralistic understanding of Jewish life and the centrality of Israel. He also served as chairman of Arevim; director of the birthright israel planning process; founding chairman of San Francisco Federation's Amutot in Israel; and chairman of the Board of Israel Experience, Ltd., an independent company created by the Jewish Agency.
Avraham has sought to promote Jewish values among Israelis as president and chairman of Israel Forum, a nationwide volunteer movement he helped found in 1990. He has conducted breakthrough work in bringing together secular and religious Israelis as director general of the Shalom Hartman Institute and director general of Gesher Education Affiliates.
A native of South Africa, Avraham immigrated to Israel in 1959. He is married to Ellen Infeld, originally from Woodbridge, N.J., and they share four children and 10 grandchildren. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University in Bible and Jewish History, and of Tel Aviv University's Law School. In 2005, he was awarded the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's prestigious Samuel Rothberg Prize for Jewish Education, the first specialist in informal Jewish education to be so honored. He was given an honorary doctorate by Muhlenberg College in May 2006 for his contribution to the field of education.
The event committee, which is still in formation, includes: Yehuda Avner, Yossi Beilin, Harvey Beker, Laurie Blitzer, Sandy Baklor, Thomas Blumberg, Amy A.B. Bressman, Adam Bronfman, Sandra Cahn, Ruth Calderon, Mark Charendoff, Joseph Ciechanover, Abby Joseph Cohen, David M. Cohen, Alan Dershowitz, Cheryl Einhorn, David Einhorn, Lisa Eisen, Edith B. Everett, Daniel Gordis, Stephen M. Greenberg, Gidi Grinstein, Dr Lynne B Harrison, William J. Heller, Lee M. Hendler, Alan Hoffman, Richard M. Joel, Arlene I. Kaufman, Sam Levine, Mort Lowenthal, Ruth Messinger, Karen S. Moss, Neil M. Moss, Julie Wise Oreck, James Shane, Rosalie Shane, Mark R. Shenkman, Rosalind Shenkman, Carol Smokler, Levi Shem Tov, Michael Wiegel, Einat Wilf, Carol B. Wise, Diane Wohl, and Howard Wohl.