“We don’t just do Israel programs. Students are exposed to Israel’s culture, politics and religion through internships, travel experiences and educational programs, placing Israel at the heart of their Jewish identity.” -Jordan, University of Miami Hillel (Photo Courtesy: University of Oregon Hillel)
Repeated interactions with Israelis significantly increase students’ attachment to Israel and to the global Jewish community.
- Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University
Israel is at the heart of Hillel’s work. Our goal is to inspire every Jewish college student to develop a meaningful and enduring relationship to Israel and to Israelis. Whether they want to engage in deep dialogue or are politically active in mobilizing others to support Israel, we enable students to share a rich connection to Israel and to each other as a people. Engaged and educated students can become committed Jewish adults who are passionate supporters of Israel.
Hillel’s Israel engagement efforts focus on:
- Israel Travel: Through Taglit-Birthright Israel and follow-through activities, along with our Masa Israel Journey internship initiative, Hillel encourages and enables thousands of students to travel to Israel every year. Through additional partnerships, Hillel supports students’ return trips to Israel.
- Professional Education and Training: Hillel teaches Israeli culture, history, and current events to Hillel professionals and trains them to use these in conversation with and informal programs for college students.
- Building Relationships with Israelis: Hillel creates opportunities for interactions with Israelis, in particular through Jewish Agency Israel Fellows to Hillel.
- Creating a culture of civility on campus: Hillel provides appropriate models for and training to professionals and students, through Ask Big Questions and other programs.
Key Israel initiatives:
- Taglit-Birthright Israel: Hillel trips: Hillel is the largest provider of travel opportunities to Israel for college-age participants. Since 1999, Hillel professionals have led more than 60,000 students from North America, South America, and the former Soviet Union on these trips.
- Masa Israel Journey: Partnering with Masa Israel, Hillel has trained more than 125 student interns to promote long-term study, volunteering, or internships in Israel.
- Jewish Agency Israel Fellows to Hillel: 65 Jewish Agency Israel Fellows to Hillel serve more than 100 North American campuses, cultivating relationships with 10,000 students.
- Advocacy Support and Training: Hillel partners with the Israel on Campus Coalition to provide advocacy training and support to about 150 Hillel professionals each year.
- Hartman Fellowship for Campus Professionals: Approximately 15 Hillel senior level professionals study with the Shalom Hartman Institute’s unique Israel curriculum, helping these professionals develop new models for connecting students to Israel.