Three Hillel professionals received national and local recognition for their contributions to Jewish education. Daniel Libenson
, executive director of the Newberger Hillel Center at the University of Chicago, was named one of the top ten Jewish Chicagoans of the Year by the Chicago Jewish News. Rabbi Yehuda Sarna
of the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University was given the university's Student Affairs Hallmark Award. Dr. Bernard Steinberg
, president and director of Harvard Hillel, received a prestigious Covenant Award.Daniel Libenson
Daniel Libenson was recognized for his innovation in engaging Jewish students and bringing together the community. He was cited for advocating a new, individualized approach to the Hillel experience "using student interns and part-time staff members to bring Jewish experiences to Jewish students on campus" and for providing a more accessible Hillel experience to more students. His strategy includes holding Passover Seders in students' apartments, Shabbat dinners at various campus locations, and taking a group of students to Israel through the Taglit-Birthright Israel Program. Libenson also has been recognized for his innovation with both an AVI CHAI Fellowship and a Covenant Foundation Signature Grant.
Read more at the Chicago Jewish News
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna.
Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, manager of religious life at the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life and university chaplain, was given NYU's Student Affairs Hallmark Award. The award recognizes and honors those who uphold the five Student Affairs Hallmarks which include "learning, community, diversity, wellness, and quality service." The award is designed to "celebrate best practices and promote community within the Division of Student Affairs." Responsible for serving and catering to the religious, cultural, and educational needs of the Jewish undergraduate and graduate populations, he is noted for constantly going "above and beyond the call of duty." Read more.Dr. Bernard Steinberg
Dr. Bernard Steinberg.
Dr. Bernard Steinberg, president and director of Harvard Hillel since 1993, received one of three Covenant Awards for Excellence in Jewish Education from the Covenant Foundation. The Covenant Foundation honors outstanding Jewish educators who incorporate creativity and enthusiasm in their work to create a lasting impact in the Jewish community. Steinberg was praised for faithfully serving the school's dynamic graduate and undergraduate communities by continually motivating his students to develop their Jewish identity and grow and mature as leaders of the Jewish community. He continually engages the student body through pluralistic and interfaith initiatives, rigorous Israel education, and leadership programs.
Read more on the Covenant Foundation Web site
. By Hillel Communications intern Spencer Parsons, a rising sophomore at Brown University.