WASHINGTON – Returning to his professional roots, Rabbi Benjamin Berger is joining Hillel International as Vice President for Jewish Education. In his new role, Rabbi Berger will oversee the Hillel U Center for Jewish and Israel Education, charged with leading the growth and development of all Hillel professionals in the core areas of Hillel’s mission, strengthening all Hillel staff as learners and educators.
Most recently, Rabbi Berger served the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program, the premier Jewish leadership and learning program for adult volunteer leaders in the North American Jewish community. During this period, he worked alongside colleagues and faculty to develop a renewed curriculum, focusing on contemporary leadership skills, a more focused Jewish learning syllabus and engaged members as an educator, mentor and program director. Rabbi Berger also co-founded the Wexner Service Corps, a teen service learning initiative, and worked alongside editor Rabbi Larry Hoffman to develop, curate and edit a volume on leadership, called More Than Managing: The Relentless Pursuit of Effective Jewish Leadership.
Rabbi Berger previously served as a Senior Jewish Educator at The Ohio State University Hillel. While there, he helped develop a strong culture in which Jewish learning and Jewish conversation were central expectations of programming and integrated into the fabric of the institution. He developed a unique methodology of Jewish conversation and was highly involved in training colleagues across the country to utilize this methodology on other campuses. In recognition of its transformation during his time, OSU Hillel received Hillel’s 2012 Vision and Values Award, Joseph Meyerhoff Award for Meaningful Jewish Experience.
“I am proud to bring my experience back to the organization that launched my career and to guide Hillel professionals as they develop their skills and work with students who are exploring their Jewish identities,” Rabbi Berger said. “Returning to Hillel in this role is a dream come true and I couldn’t be more excited to begin the work of helping our field professionals infuse their programming with Jewish learning and conversation that will impact the lives of students across all our campuses.”
Rabbi Berger received the first inaugural Larry S. Moses Award for a Young Jewish Professional in Columbus and was a member of Hillel’s Accelerate executive training cohort, the second cohort of Clal’s Rabbis Without Borders and Shalom Hartman Institute’s inaugural Campus Fellowship. Before being ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in 2009, Berger worked as the Berman Fellow and Program Director at University of Michigan Hillel.
“We are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Berger back to Hillel to help guide the future of Jewish education across our movement,” said Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International. “By infusing Jewish learning into the core of every program, we are creating an environment where students can relate their existing passions to their Judaism. There is no one more suited to lead that work than Rabbi Berger.”
About Hillel International
Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path. During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives. For more information visit Hillel.org.