– Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, announced today Avi Friedman has been named its new Chief Development Officer. Friedman – who formerly served as Hillel International’s Deputy Chief Development Officer and Director of Principal Gifts – brings a proven record of successful fundraising in the Jewish world and a strong commitment to inspiring and activating the next generation of Jewish philanthropic leaders across North America and around the world.
“Avi has shown incredible enthusiasm and innovation in guiding Hillel International’s fundraising efforts as we take our programs to the next level through The Drive to Excellence,” said Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International. “As our Chief Development Officer, I am confident Avi will continue to ensure a strong and growing foundation of resources and support for the critical work Hillel does on 550 campuses around the world.”
In his new role, Friedman will spearhead Hillel International’s relationship development with leading foundations and individual philanthropists investing into the critical work being performed by Hillel professionals on North American campuses and around the world. In this capacity, Friedman and his team will be introducing a growing suite of tools, resources and services that will position every campus Hillel to generate the resources necessary to achieve excellence.
“Avi has demonstrated a unique ability to motivate and empower both the Hillel International development organization and the broader network of development professionals on campus to ensure their success,” said Adam Lehman, Chief Operating Officer of Hillel International. “Under Avi’s leadership, we are confident that we can achieve our goal of $200 million in movement-wide annual revenue by 2020, established in The Drive to Excellence, Hillel International’s strategic plan.”
Through Avi’s longstanding work within the Hillel movement, he has engendered the trust and partnership of professionals on campus: "Avi is an exceptionally talented colleague, always dedicated to supporting local Hillels. His support is changing how Hillels engage with their donors and foster new relationships,” said Brian Cohen, executive director of Columbia/Barnard Hillel and chair of the Hillel International Directors’ Cabinet. “Avi has mentored dozens of Hillel professionals to help us become stronger development professionals, resulting in better resourced Hillels."
As Director of Principal Gifts and then Deputy Chief Development Officer, Friedman played a key role in developing and implementing Hillel International’s growth strategy, successfully managed numerous annual campaigns, and led Hillel’s strategies for its high impact philanthropists.
“I want to ensure individuals, families, foundations and organizations see Hillel as a key philanthropic partner focused on the future of the Jewish people, where transformative investments can impact more than 400,000 Jewish students on a college campus each year,” said Friedman.
Along with his work at Hillel International, Friedman has held fundraising positions with a number of organizations in the Jewish community, including Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland and National Ramah Commission.
Originally from Plainview, New York, Friedman received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, M.A. from the Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University and his M.B.A from the Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
Friedman currently lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with his wife, Amy, and their three young children.