The recently opened Hillel House in Santiago, Chile is already so popular that there is a waiting list to participate in the Photoshop and Yoga classes. But there is still room in the classes on entering the labor force, Jewish mysticism, intermediate English, and painting and photography. Social justice programs are underway and dozens will undoubtedly turn out for the upcoming night of games and sushi.
Hillel has entered its fourth South American country with the same attractive mix of programming that has proven effective in North America and around the world. The Santiago Chile Web site proudly boasts: "an international phenomenon has been born in Chile."
Casa Hillel in Santiago will serve the capital's 1,500 Jewish students and young adults. It was created as a joint partnership of the local community and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life with the support of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and the Jewish Agency for Israel Department of Education.
"We are proud that we will be able to serve the Jewish young people of Santiago with the same level of excellence as Hillels in Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina," said Hillel Executive Vice President Jay Rubin, who is responsible for Hillel affilates outside the United States.
Hillel Chile opened in March in a renovated two-story home in Santiago's Providencia neighborhood. The gala dedication attracted 300 students, community leaders and international representatives, including Hillel International Board of Governors member Dr. Lynne B. Harrison.
"It was exciting to be a part of such a festive and energetic celebration," said Arie Mainemer, Hillel Chile's executive director. "Hillel will fill an unmet need in the Jewish community."