Hillel lay leaders, students and professionals joined together at the JFNA GA.
More than 600 Hillel student leaders participated in the 2010 General Assembly sponsored by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) in New Orleans. The connection of Hillel to New Orleans is significant. In the past five years Hillel has sent more than 4,000 students to rebuild the Gulf Coast.
The 600 undergraduate and graduate student leaders who attended the 2010 GA came from 96 universities and colleges throughout North America representing more than 80 Jewish federations. Many of these students have pursued leadership opportunities funded in part by the Jewish Federation system and the greater Jewish community:
• 135 Taglit Birthright Israel alumni
• 67 Alternative Break alumni
• 76 Masa Israel alumni
• 211 Jewish camp alumni
• 41 Engagement Interns
Hillel had a strong, vocal and high-profile presence:
• At the JFNA Alliance meeting – the JFNA body that provides funding to Hillel at the national level – four organizations made presentations highlighting their synergy and collaboration with Hillel.
• Hillel Board of Directors and International Board of Governors Member Carol Smokler presented to a GA plenary session, discussing the Federations’ role in supporting and restoring the Jewish community of New Orleans, as well as Hillel’s five-year effort to rebuild hurricane-damaged areas during alternative break programs.
• Tulane President Scott Cowan thanked Hillel for bringing students to help rebuild New Orleans and spoke about the partnership with Tulane Hillel to build a new center on campus, which will open in March 2011.
• Plenary speakers – including JFNA Board of Trustees Chair Kathy Manning, JFNA CEO Jerry Silverman and many others – all noted Hillel’s presence.
• Hillel FJCL Board of Directors Member Carol Wise hosted Hillel in New Orleans. In her capacity as chair of New Orleans Hillel, Carol has strengthened the local Hillel. GA participants toured Tulane Hillel’s new building.
• Philip and Suzi Cohen joined us to present the Philip H. and Susan Rudd Cohen Exemplar of Excellence Awards to outstanding student leaders and to two campuses.
• Hillel was mentioned in the media extensively before, during and after the event. And, in a sign of the times, students blogged and tweeted extensively throughout the GA, capturing the attention of the Jerusalem Post. (See a complete list.)
• In addition to regular GA programming Hillel supplemented the experience with training modules and sessions geared specifically for students. (See a complete list.)
Hillel GA Programs
Speech by Carol Smokler