Hillel International President and CEO Eric D. Fingerhut announced today that Jennifer Chestnut will serve as the organization’s Vice President for Campus Partnerships. The creation of the new position is part of Hillel International’s five-year strategic implementation plan, The Drive to Excellence, and Chestnut will serve as a senior leader within Hillel’s Campus Pillar.
Chestnut has served 16 years as executive director of Hillel at Kent State. In her new role, she will be responsible for growing a culture of partnership and shared responsibility between Hillel International, college and university leaders and local Jewish community leaders.
“Jen has spent more than a decade and a half leading a successful Hillel that models the excellence we seek to build at every one of our affiliates,” said Fingerhut. “She brings experience and a talent for developing creative strategies that will lead towards the achievement of more consistent excellence for our entire global movement.”
Chestnut will assume her new position later this summer and remain in Northeast Ohio, serving as a key liaison for campuses in the Midwest.
“I am excited about this opportunity to get to know the unique culture of each of Hillel’s affiliates in order to help them achieve excellence according to the needs of their own communities and the culture of Hillel.” Chestnut said. “The global Hillel movement is one family and together we can create even more successful models that fulfill the vision, mission and goals of Hillel.”
Chestnut is a former chair of the Hillel Director’s Cabinet and has served on the Hillel International Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. She has coached several new executive directors and consulted for other Hillel campuses.
A Cleveland native, Chestnut received a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from Syracuse University with a minor in Jewish studies. She earned a Master of Nonprofit Organizations from Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations. In 2004, Hillel’s Schusterman International Center named Chestnut an Exemplar of Excellence. She is also a past president of Kent State University’s Campus Ministers Organization. Prior to joining Hillel, she worked in marketing and recruitment for Israel programs at The Nesiya Institute and the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. Jennifer and her husband Sam live in Akron with their three children.