(Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone with student volunteers on alternative break in Miami 2009.)
In recognition of Hillel's commitment to community service, Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone has been named an Ambassador in the Corporation for National and Community Service 2010 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service (MLK Day) Ambassador Program. This year's MLK Day of Service, held on January 17, is a special moment that marks the 25th anniversary of the designation of MLK Day as a federal holiday.
"Inspired by Dr. King's example and motivated by our shared commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the world, Hillel is organizing volunteer opportunities for Jewish college students across the country on the MLK Day of Service," says President Firestone. "As in years past, this day will undoubtedly serve as a stepping stone to a larger commitment to national service for many students."
The Corporation leads the MLK Day of Service annually and calls on Americans to make the holiday a "day on, not a day off" by volunteering in their local community and making a commitment to serve throughout the year. It is the Corporation's largest and most successful service event, and engaged more than 1 million people in over 10,000 service projects across the country last year. President Obama, business leaders, entertainers and every day service heroes, all rolled up their sleeves to honor Dr. King's legacy through service.
Each year, Hillel provides thousands of students with opportunities to participate in service projects around the world. During the current winter break, Hillel is partnering with City Year, the national service organization, to engage Jewish college students in week-long Alternative Breaks with hands-on service. With the generous support of Repair the World, the students are not only helping at-risk communities in Miami to improve their lives, but are learning about the Jewish concept of tzedek, social justice. Hillel is also working with the American Jewish World Service, The Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Funds for Justice to provide similar service-learning opportunities.