NEW YORK – In recognition of their years of service and leadership to the Hillel movement and broader Jewish community, Hillel International will honor philanthropist Matthew Bronfman, Chairman and CEO of BHB Holdings, and Yonah Schiller, Executive Director of Tulane Hillel, at its annual Spring Celebration, recognizing outstanding Jewish life on campus, on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 in New York City.
Earlier in the day, at Hillel’s annual Global Leadership Symposium luncheon, Martha E. Pollack, President of Cornell University, will receive the Maimonides Award, which recognizes a higher education leader who has provided exceptional leadership in helping support Jewish students and Jewish life on campus.
“All of our awardees this year have helped Hillels around the world think differently about how to reach our goal of engaging every Jewish college student,” said Adam Lehman, Interim President and CEO of Hillel International. “Matthew Bronfman has built on his family’s legacy to ensure Jewish continuity in this new century. Yonah Schiller has helped Hillel professionals innovate by using cutting-edge strategies and new modes of thinking to connect with today’s students. And Martha Pollack has set a strong example for other university leaders in how to ensure the safety and inclusion of Jewish students.
“We are so thankful for all of their continuing leadership and very much look forward to honoring them in May for their substantial contributions to our movement,” Lehman said.
Bronfman will receive the Renaissance Award, Hillel’s highest honor, bestowed on an individual whose bold vision and transformative initiatives enrich the campus, the Jewish community and the world. The chairman of Ikea Israel, Bronfman serves as the honorary chair of New York University’s Hillel, the Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, and is a leading supporter of Hillel International’s Latin America program. Through the Matthew Bronfman Hillel Fellowship, he sponsors a cohort of 40 students from 15 countries to lead Israel advocacy initiatives in their communities.
Schiller will receive the Edgar M. Bronfman Award (created in honor of Matthew Bronfman’s late father) which is presented annually to a current or former Hillel professional who has served the movement with distinction and honor, and whose impact is outstanding and lasting, like the award’s namesake. In addition to his work at Tulane, Schiller is the founder and senior project advisor of the Organizational Design Lab, which helps Hillels transform their organizational culture to reach more students.
Bronfman and Schiller will be honored at Hillel International’s 2020 Spring Celebration on May 12 in New York City. For more information, please visit HillelGLS.org.
Pollack will be recognized at the Global Leadership Symposium Luncheon earlier in the day on May 12. For more information, please visit HilellGLS.org.
About the Honorees:
Matthew Bronfman is the Chairman and CEO of BHB Holdings. Bronfman controls the IKEA franchise in Israel and has numerous real estate holdings there and in the U.S. He also serves as Chairman of Lincoln Avenue Capital an affordable housing investment firm and Bronfman LLC, a provider of growth capital for private companies. He is the Honorary Chair of the board of New York University’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, which serves as the Hillel at NYU. He has hosted the Hillel International Latin American Luncheon for the past five years and annually donates $100,000 for Latin American programs and the Matthew Bronfman Fellows, a group of 40 international Hillel students involved in Israel advocacy.
In addition to his philanthropic work with Hillel, Bronfman is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the American Jewish Committee; Chairman of the International Steering Committee for Limmud FSU, an organization dedicated to enhancing and engaging Russian speaking Jewish communities all over the world; a board member of the 92nd Street Y; and a board member of the Claims Conference, which funds Holocaust education around the world.
Yonah Schiller is in his 11th year as the Executive Director of Tulane Hillel. Before this role, Schiller served as a Rabbi and as the Assistant Director of the University of Florida Hillel from 2005-2008. Schiller created and serves as Senior Project Advisor to the Organizational Design Lab, an initiative that addresses institutional stagnation by questioning organizational assumptions, applying design thinking and other strategies to deliver transformational change for Hillels on more than 20 university campuses across the United States and Canada. In 2017, Schiller was named one of the 50 most influential, accomplished and interesting American Jews by the Forward magazine. He serves as a national consultant to many organizations focused on building scalable systems, models and initiatives for designing inclusive and high-impact Jewish community.
Dr. Martha E. Pollack is the 14th president of Cornell University and a professor of computer science, information science, and linguistics. As president she commissioned Cornell’s Task Force on Campus Climate, which developed a broad suite of recommendations aimed at making the university more equitable and inclusive. Among the recommendations already implemented are the creation of an online course for faculty, Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom, the integration of an Intergroup Dialogue Project experience into freshman orientation, and the creation of Colleague Network Groups, which provide inclusive mentoring for staff. As part of her commitment to accessibility and inclusion, she has made affordability and socioeconomic diversity a major focus of her philanthropic goals for Cornell.
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.