More than 300 students from four continents will travel to Honesdale, Penn., next month to enhance their leadership skills and energize their college campuses at Hillel's Charles Schusterman International Student Leaders Assembly.
The 2004 conference, sponsored by Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, will take place August 19-24 at Camp Moshava. Hillel student leaders and professionals will come from all over the United States, Canada, the former Soviet Union, Israel, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Denmark and Sweden.
"It's invigorating to see young Jews from all over the world cherishing their heritage," said Hillel President Avraham Infeld. "It's a wonderful way to kick off the new academic year."
Inspired by Howard Gardner's book "Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership," in which he defines a leader as a person who can successfully tell his or her story to a receptive audience, students will learn how developing and sharing their own stories can inspire their peers to create vibrant Jewish communities at their schools. Sessions on biblical and Talmudic stories and modern Jewish literature will complement workshops on innovative programming, communication skills and advocacy, among many others.
Several prominent Jewish figures will share their stories, including human-rights scholar and author Thane Rosenbaum, who will deliver the Lutz Lecture on Saturday, Aug. 21. Among those joining him will be Bret Stephens, editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post; author Roya Hakakian and Jewish educators and scholars.
Students will also have the opportunity to meet with representatives from Hillel's partner agencies, participate in discussion groups and perform at the Leaders Assembly Beit Caf Talent Show. The winners of the 2004 Philip and Susan Rudd Cohen Student Exemplar of Excellence Award will be announced as well.
"Hillel's student leaders will be tomorrow's leaders in Jewish communities worldwide. The connections and skills they develop at Leaders Assembly are only the beginning of a lifelong dedication to the Jewish people," Infeld said.
Joining the students will be leading philanthropists who will be participating in the 2004 Renaissance Institute. These Hillel supporters will participate in sessions with students to learn how to best promote thriving Jewish campus communities. Members of the United Jewish Communities' Jewish Renaissance and Renewal Pillar are making their first trip as a group to the conference.
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 more than 500 campus Foundations, Program Center 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.