Hillel Raises $100M to Mark Centennial



May 12, 2023

75+ Campus Communities are Participating in The Promise of a New Generation Campaign 

As Hillel, the world’s largest Jewish campus organization, marks 100 years since its founding, a global centennial fundraising effort has now eclipsed $100M raised to enhance the lives of Jewish college students well into the future. The Promise of a New Generation, a campaign which continues through 2024 and aims to raise $150M, seeks to meet a bold vision: securing the future of Jewish student life now, and for generations to come. 

Top philanthropists at local and national levels responded in an unprecedented show of support for Jewish students, reaching the nine-figure mark in expanding Hillel’s reach, programming, and critical services. Since the campaign was launched at the Hillel International Global Assembly (HIGA) in December 2022, more than 75 Hillel campus affiliates have joined Hillel International in raising funds to mark Hillel’s centennial year. The $100M milestone was announced on Thursday at Hillel’s Founders Dinner in New York City, an appreciation event attended by many of the organization’s top funders to kick off the centennial.

“Reaching this $100 million milestone to support Jewish life on campus and the Jewish future is a testament to both the dedication of our supporters and the continued vibrancy and relevance of the Hillel movement,” said Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International. “These new resources will enable Hillels to support transformative Jewish experiences for even more students, creating lasting memories and relationships, all as a direct result of The Promise of a New Generation campaign. As we enter Hillel’s next 100 years, this campaign will help us innovate and grow to ensure all Jewish students can proudly develop and express their diverse Jewish identities.”  

“Through gifts large and small, the Hillel movement has loudly affirmed our commitment to the future of Jewish student life,” said Matthew Bronfman, chair of the Hillel International Board of Governors, who made a gift to support a new $10 million Innovation Fund as part of the campaign. “The Jewish students of today face a new array of challenges and opportunities, making a robust, well-funded Hillel on their campus all the more essential. It is incumbent on all of us who passionately believe in the value of a vibrant Jewish future to support this campaign. The Promise of a New Generation will allow us to meet this critical need for years to come.”

In addition to the Hillel International Innovation Fund, which will drive the creation and piloting of new programmatic initiatives, many gifts to the campaign are supporting the creation of new Hillel buildings and the renovation of existing buildings that serve as the center of Jewish life on their campuses:

In Chicago, philanthropists Abel and Judy Friedman have made a critical contribution to Northwestern University Hillel to fund its renovation to make the space even more engaging for students, and have also made a transformational gift to BASE Chicago, a program of Metro Chicago Hillel, to fund its new house. 

Cornell Hillel, the only Ivy League Hillel currently without a building, has raised millions of dollars toward a new building fund through the campaign, including a lead gift from Elena Neuman Lefkowitz, Jay Lefkowitz, and Herbert Neuman to turn that vision into a reality.

“We’re honored to help Jewish life on campus continue to grow and thrive by supporting a brand new Hillel building that will serve as the home away from home for Jewish students at Cornell,” said Elena Neuman Lefkowitz. “Inspiring more students to connect with Jewish life and learning during their college years is vital to ensuring the Jewish future we all envision.”

Other supporters of the campaign include Tom Tisch (Brown RISD Hillel), Melissa and Ricky Sandler (University of Wisconsin Hillel), the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation (Berkeley and UCLA Hillels), Joe Pedott (University of Illinois Hillel, Hillel at Davis and Sacramento, and Hillel 818), and actress Mayim Bialik (UCLA Hillel).