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Hillel Announces David M. Cohen Fellowship for Hillel Professionals

by Hillel News |Aug 22, 2011|Comments
Professional development.
The Cohen Fellowship will help Hillel executive directors improve their skills and add to Hillel's range of professional development opportunities.

Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life is pleased to announce the creation of a new program to support the global organization's campus professionals. The David M. Cohen Fellowship will provide the resources to enable professional leadership development for up to 16 Hillel professionals, all of whom have completed at least three years as an executive director of an affiliated Hillel foundation.

Through the generosity of Abby and David Cohen, the David M. Cohen Fellowship guarantees that Hillel's highest-performing and highest-potential directors are supported with tools to strengthen and sharpen their skills, resulting in greater professional excellence and increased capacity for the Hillels they lead.

The program builds on the success of such innovative Hillel professional development initiatives as the New Directors Institute supported by the Julian Sandler Endowment for Executive Leadership Development, the Harrison Leadership and Professional International Development (LAPID) program that arms new professionals with practical tools and seed funding to develop student-focused initiatives in their home communities, and the Debra S. and Joseph S. Weinberg Accelerate Executive Training Program, a program that identifies promising professionals and prepares them for higher-level leadership positions.

The David M. Cohen Fellowship will be the central component of a professional development continuum that invests in and supports Hillel's most talented executive directors. Beginning with peer coaching provided to a director during their first 18 months, the David M. Cohen Fellowship in their fourth and fifth years, and, for those most accomplished, conferral of "senior executive director" status after their seventh year, Hillel provides broad support for its local campus professional leadership.

"We have always been impressed by the talent and commitment of the students we serve, and believe that they deserve the best possible professional support to help them realize their dreams. We are proud to be able to play a significant role in the ongoing professional development of Hillel directors who have proven to be exceptional and innovative leaders," said David Cohen. "Over the course of our long involvement with Hillel, Abby and I have seen the difference that skilled and passionate directors can make in providing meaningful Jewish experiences that help shape the lives of Jewish students."

"The entire Hillel family owes a debt of gratitude to the Cohens, who have devoted so much of their time, energy and resources to our organization as well as to countless others both within the Jewish world and in the larger global community," says Hillel President and CEO Wayne L. Firestone. "With this fellowship - named in honor of David - they help support our goal of making Hillel the 'employer-of-choice' for the best and brightest Jewish professionals."

David M. Cohen currently serves as deputy commissioner - labor counsel of the New York City Police Department. An officer of Hillel's Board of Directors, he serves as a vice chair of the Board and chair of Hillel's Human Resources Committee, and received the organization's Exemplar of Excellence Award in 2001 for his leadership as the board chair of the Cornell University Hillel Foundation. He was co-chair of the organization's 2008 Summit on the University and the Jewish Community.

Abby Joseph Cohen is president of the Global Markets Institute and senior investment strategist at Goldman Sachs. She is the chair of the board of trustees of the Jewish Theological Seminary and a Trustee Emerita and Presidential Counselor of Cornell University, among her other philanthropic and civic activities.

Together, the Cohens are members of Hillel's International Board of Governors and were the honorees at the Hillel International Gala in June 2006. In addition, they were honored that year by Cornell Hillel as recipients of the Tanner Prize for their work on behalf of Cornell University, Cornell Hillel, and the global Jewish community.

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