Nine Hillel campuses were awarded the 2003-2004 Jacob Burns Endowment in Ethics Grants, encouraging programs that foster Jewish values among Jewish college students.
"These programs emulate the values that Hillel promotes on campuses," said Andrea Hoffman, Hillel's director of the Department of Jewish Student Life. "It is important to support the understanding of Jewish ethical principles and make them relevant to college students."
This year's programs range from workshops to retreats, to scholars-in-residence programs. They will explore a variety of issues, including business ethics, the role of Jewish humor in shaping Jewish values, Jewish perspectives on good and evil and Jewish attitudes on certain controversial issues. The grant allocated a total of $25,000 to the nine Hillel campuses.
The University of Chicago Hillel will bring together students, faculty, alumni, university departments and community members to cover ethical issues in a holistic light. The program Ethical Conversations will consist of a series of six events with a two-person panel-- one expert in the field and one person to reflect the Jewish connection-- with Hillel acting as the facilitator for these conversations.
Hillel of Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus will sponsor a program titled Jewish Perspectives on Modern Ethical Issues that will analyze Jewish positions and attitudes on business ethics, cheating, intermarriage, AIDS, medical ethics and the concept of free speech. While this program is intended to target over 500 newly arrived Jewish students from the Former Soviet Union, it is also open to the entire campus community and will include scholars and clergy from other religions.
The Hillel Foundation at Tufts University will explore the roots and ethical considerations of using race, ethnicity, religion and gender as a decision factor in the college admissions process at Tufts. Hillel will partner with the Dean of Students Office, the Pan-African Alliance, the Asian-American Center, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Center, and the Women's Center to develop a series of programs titled Beyond Affirmative Action: Race and Ethnicity in the College Admissions Process.
The Helen G. Simon Hillel Center at Indiana University will focus on the role of ethics in business through a program titled It's Our Business which will host a series of speakers and activities.
Hillel at The George Washington University will launch a year-long series of program-based opportunities titled How Valuable Are Your Values? How Ethics Lead to Success that introduces the concept of ethics and ethical behavior as integral to one's professional and personal success.
Hillel at Virginia Tech University created the program Ethical Discussion and Response to Middle East Violence which will explore Jewish and Islamic responses to armed conflict in the Middle East, followed by a discussion on methods of activism.
Through the program Maimonides Institute for Jewish Ethics, The Levine Hillel Center at the University of Illinois, Chicago will promote discussion on democracy, government and civil liberties from a Jewish perspective. This program is intended to raise awareness on Jewish ethics and the idea that Judaism has something significant to contribute to society and the discussion of ethics.
Hillel at Pierce and Valley Colleges will sponsor the program The Language of Laughter: The Role of Jewish Humor Transmitting Jewish Ethics and Values to explore how humor has played an important role in Jewish life over the ages. It will explore how Jewish ethics and values are transmitted through the medium of humor, how humor has been used during difficult times throughout history and how it has helped the survival of the Jewish people.
Oberlin College Hillel will talk about the Jewish perspective on good and evil and discuss the concept of just and unjust wars through a program called Just and Unjust War: Through a Jewish Lens.
The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, is committed to creatively empowering and engaging Jewish students through its network of over 500 campus Foundations, program centers and affiliates. Its long-standing dedication to building Jewish identity, while nurturing intellectual and spiritual growth in a pluralistic community, positions Hillel as a leader in building a stronger Jewish people and stronger Jewish future.