Hillel President Wayne L. Firestone (l to r) with Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence honorees Pnina Gaday-Agenyahu and Heli Tabibi, and Hillel Israel Director David Ya'ari.
Meeting at Washington University in St. Louis, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life honored professionals and local Hillels for excellence in fulfilling the organization's mission to Jewish college students around the world.
Hillel presented its Vision and Values Awards to the following local Hillels:
- The Indispensable Campus Partners Award was presented to Michigan State Hillel and Tulane Hillel for their collaborative work with their host universities.
- The Joseph Meyerhoff Award for Meaningful Jewish Experience was presented to Hillel at Baruch College, Kiev Hillel and IDC Hillel in Herzliyah, Israel, for a program in which all three campuses studied the same texts, interacted by social media and Web conferences, and spent Passover together in Kiev, Ukraine.
- The Excellence in Development Award was presented to Rutgers Hillel and Cornell Hillel for surpassing their fundraising goals in order to better serve students.
- The Great Place to Work award was presented to Baltimore Area Hillels -- Johns Hopkins, UMBC, Goucher and Towson - for enabling professionals to grow professionally and personally.
Hillel professionals received the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award for serving as professional role models for their peers. The winners are:
- The Ohio State University Hillel Associate Director Susannah Sagan for her tireless commitment to professional excellence and to the personal journeys of her students.
- Erez Cohen, the Jewish Agency for Israel Fellow at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for representing Israel and the Jewish people with passion, pride and dignity.
- Hal Ossman, former director of Hillel at the University of Delaware and incoming director of Cornell Hillel, for creating a culture of engagement and excellence that has transformed a Hillel and helped Jewish students and Hillel professionals advance their Jewish journeys.
- Hebrew University of Jerusalem Executive Director Heli Tabibi for transmitting Jewish values locally and nationally through her example and her leadership.
- Aaron Weil, the director of Hillel at the Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh, for innovative collaborations that have strengthened Jewish life among Jewish college students and in the surrounding community.
- Tel Aviv University Hillel Executive Director Pnina Gaday-Agenyahu for her ability to absorb, articulate and amplify the global spirit of Hillel and the Jewish people.
- Hillel of Broward and Palm Beach Assistant Director Brandey Edelson for her passion, her professionalism and her profound contribution to the emerging Jewish identities of thousands of Jewish students.
The awards were presented at Hillel Institute, the annual conference that brings together in one location separate training programs for Hillel professionals and student leaders. More than 1000 Hillel students, professionals, lay leaders and partner agency representatives are attending the 2011 event which is being held for the second year on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. The conference is being Tweeted #HillelInst and #HillelEngage