Veteran Educator Had Served as Interim President
The Board of Directors of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life has voted to appoint veteran Jewish educator Avraham Infeld as president of Hillel, the world's largest Jewish campus organization.
Infeld, who has served as Hillel's interim president for the last eight months, was not a candidate for the presidency. "After a comprehensive search process involving many talented and highly qualified professionals, the Search Committee felt enthusiastically that the very best person was already leading the organization," said Hillel Board of Directors Chairman Neil Moss. "We are delighted that Avraham has accepted our offer to serve as permanent president and will continue leading Hillel to even greater achievements."
"I am honored to accept this position," said Infeld. "I have fallen in love with the Hillel movement. I am convinced that Hillel's work with college students is essential to the significant survival of the Jewish people."
During his tenure as interim president, Infeld proved to be an effective fundraiser, administrator and educator. He has sought to improve service to students and to local Hillels, to enhance the organization's presence outside North America, to strengthen professional retention and development, and to increase Hillel's connection with Israel. Hillel created the new Center for Student Leadership and Program Development; added eight new members to its International Board of Governors; brought 3000 students to Israel through the birthright israel program and specialized missions; and strengthened Hillel's relationship with important partner agencies, including birthright israel, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Jewish Agency for Israel, AIPAC and the World Union of Jewish Students. In addition, Hillels opened in Rio de Janeiro and at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
Prior to his appointment as interim president in May 2003, Infeld had served for two years as the organization's Counsel for Jewish Affairs, traveling to more than 60 Hillels around the world speaking with students, Hillel directors, and lay leaders. He is the founder of the Melitz Center for Jewish Zionist Education, a unique organization that has helps young Israelis explore their Jewishness. One of the early architects of the birthright israel program, he previously served as chairman of the board of Israel Experience, Ltd., as president and immediate past chairman of the Israel Forum and as chairman of Areivim.
A native of South Africa, Avraham immigrated to Israel in 1959. He is married to Ellen Infeld, originally from Woodbridge, N.J., and they share four children and 10 grandchildren.