Over 100 Hillel students and Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps fellows will join Hillel lay leaders and professionals on April 6 to bid a formal farewell to Hillel President and International Director Richard M. Joel as he departs to become president of Yeshiva University. The event, Renaissance! Hillel Lights Up Broadway, is an evening of celebration and entertainment that will pay tribute Mr. Joel and to the many people who have contributed to Jewish Renaissance. The event will take place at the Marriott Marquis in New York's Times Square.
"We felt it was important to be here and show our appreciation for all that Richard Joel has done," said Jon Hecht, a sophomore at Baruch College. "By creating a Renaissance of Jewish life on campus, Richard has transformed the Jewish community on campus, and has given me something to be proud of."
The students are from schools across the United States and represent a glimpse of Jewish life on campus. They will speak about the issues on their campuses and the role Hillel has played in their lives.
"Richard Joel has inspired me to broaden and embrace my Jewish identity in many different ways: socially, spiritually and culturally," added Michal Barnea-Smith a junior at The George Washington University. "His insight has taught me that being Jewish strengthens the dynamic of my character while exciting passion and channeling my drive to become a Jewish leader."
The Renaissance has also spread to Latin America, the former Soviet Union and Israel. Thousands of students have been touched by Richard Joel's vision of a Jewish Renaissance on campus.
"This is truly a bittersweet moment in my life," said Mr. Joel. "I am pleased to be able to share it with more than 700 of my closest friends: the people who have helped make the last 15 years such a remarkable period."