After an amazing week of connecting, learning, and celebrating 100 years of Hillel’s impact, the Awards Dinner at the 2022 Hillel International Global Assembly (HIGA) was an evening full of recognition for professionals who embody Hillel’s mission. It was particularly powerful and poignant to share a moment of gratitude and awe for the Hillel professionals in Ukraine who have spent this year doing everything in their power to keep their students safe and give them a place to grieve, celebrate, and connect with their Jewish identities.
Read on to learn all about the talented and inspiring Hillel professionals who took home the hardware at this year’s HIGA!
Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award
This award honors Hillel professionals who embrace Hillel’s mission and truly make an impact on our collective Jewish future.
Elena Voltsinger, Executive Director of Hillel Russia
Elena is a true leader who is loved and revered by everyone who knows her. She leads a team of professionals who have done everything in their power this year to keep their students safe and connected in the most trying of circumstances. For Elena, relationships are the cornerstone of her work and her life. Mazel tov, Elena!
Hannah Sherman, Executive Director of PDX Hillel
Hannah has revitalized her Hillel and set record engagement numbers in her first executive director role. She is a master of relationship building and putting students first as she navigates both the celebrations and the challenges of campus life with equal care and determination. She is a caring, committed, and thoughtful professional. Mazel tov, Hannah!
Jeremy Ragent, Assistant Director of Stanford Hillel
Jeremy is a natural Hillel professional who models deep thinking about Jewish ideas without taking himself too seriously. He leads with humor, intelligence, and a sharp wit. Jeremy always encourages students and colleagues to share their ideas and to collaborate with each other. He leads by example and inspires those around him. Mazel tov, Jeremy!
Rozeeta Mavashev, Director of Jewish Campus Life and Engagement at Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College
Rozeeta’s passion for Jewish life and commitment to students is clear in all aspects of her work. Hard-working, outgoing, and friendly, she is a role model to so many people at her Hillel and works tirelessly to make Hillel a welcoming place for all kinds of students. From the beginning of her Hillel journey as a student leader, to her work today as an exemplary professional, Rozeeta brings joy and inspiration to everyone she encounters. Mazel tov, Rozeeta!
Lauren Fleischman, Associate Director at Berkeley Hillel
Lauren is a leader across the Hillel movement and a role model for other Associate and Assistant Directors. She has built a student engagement team that continues to grow and engage more students each year. Lauren approaches her work as a Hillel professional with grace, love, and commitment. Mazel tov, Lauren! (Lauren couldn’t be at HIGA in person to accept the award…but she did make an appearance on the stage via FaceTime)
Robin Rudofker, Director of Institutional Advancement of Princeton Hillel
Robin approaches her work with considerable talent and a mixture of positivity and joy. She gives 200% of herself to her colleagues and her students. Though her work is not traditionally student-facing, she always provides a shoulder to cry on and is never afraid of a challenge. Mazel tov, Robin!
Rachael Petru, Director of Philanthropic Partnerships at UCLA Hillel
Rachael is undaunted by the challenges of raising a $3 million annual campaign while also raising funds for a $30 million endowment. She not only thrives in her role, she takes on new challenges and opportunities every year. Rachael is a phenomenal listener and always has her eyes on the goal. Mazel tov, Rachael!
Deborah Glickman, Senior Director of Finance and Operations of Boston University Hillel
Deborah demonstrates every day what true partnership looks like. She builds relationships across multiple departments in order to provide a comfortable and safe space for students. Deborah built up a six-figure rental business to help support Hillel, and then rebuilt it again after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted. Deborah approaches her work with a positive attitude and forward-thinking approach. Mazel tov, Deborah!
Robyn Markowitz Lawler, Associate Director of Penn State Hillel
Robyn is a remarkable professional who has transformed not one, but two Hillels. She is committed to a people-centered approach to leadership that is informed by data. She has worked to develop new university partnerships that have led to increased internship opportunities for students. Her voice is valued throughout the Hillel movement. Mazel tov, Robyn!
Philip H. and Susan Rudd Cohen Outstanding Campus Award for a Large and Small Campus
This award honors campus Hillels and their achievements in empowering student leadership and reaching a breadth and depth of students.
Over the past five years, Boston University Hillel has seen incredible growth. In the 2021-2022 school year, Boston University Hillel engaged nearly 3,000 Jewish students, or 75% of the Jewish student population on campus. Mazel tov, Boston University Hillel!
With a team of just one professional (Executive Director Matt Lorch), Bradley University Hillel has achieved the incredible feat of engaging 100% of its Jewish student population for the 2021-2022 academic year and is on track to do so again in the 2022-2023 academic year. Mazel tov, Bradley University Hillel (and Matt)!
Eleanor Meyerhoff Katz Innovation Award
This award recognizes the best Jewish innovations incubated on campus that are bold, creative, and make a material impact on students. The winner of this award received $5,000 to continue crafting innovative programming and initiatives for Jewish students.
Joseph Meyerhoff Award for Jewish Educational Vision
This award highlights a campus Hillel that finds new ways to keep students connected to their Judaism amidst the many competing factors and commitments of Jewish students today.
Great Place to Work Award
Mazel tov to the University of Southern California Hillel for winning the Best Place to Work Award!
The 2022 Award
The 2022 Award highlights two exemplary initiatives or programs that had a significant impact on Hillel students in 2022, and will inspire other Hillel affiliates around the world.
Houston Hillel was honored for its hallmark QJews program, which brings together queer Jews for Shabbat and festival celebrations, social events, and Jewish learning sessions focusing on topics such as “Reconciling Queerness with Religious Spaces,” and “Havdalah in Non-Binary Hebrew.”
Hillel CASE, Hillel Deutschland, Hillel Israel, and Hillel Poland
Faced with the largest European refugee crisis since World War II, each of these Hillels played a critical role in supporting Ukrainian refugees after the Russian invasion in February of 2022. Whether it was providing refugees with food, shelter, and medical supplies (Hillel Deutschland, Hillel Poland), helping students and professionals who had made aliyah to discover their new community (Hillel Israel), or continuing to support young Jews in the face of overwhelming danger (Hillel CASE), these Hillels made a difference when it mattered most in 2022.
Mazel tov to the following professionals for 20 years of service to the Hillel movement!
- Sue Kurtz, Hillel at Virginia Tech
- Rabbi Danielle Leshaw, Hillel International
- Naomi Mazer, Hillel Montreal
- Matt Vogel, University of Vermont Hillel
- Aviva Zucker Snyder, Hillel International
Mazel tov to the following professionals for 25 years of service to the Hillel movement!
- Rabbi Bruce Bromberg Seltzer, Amherst College Hillel
- Hindy Chinn, Hillel International
- Nadya Drukker, Brooklyn College Hillel
- Joan Koebel, Ohio State University Hillel
Thank you to our HIGA 2022 Sponsors!
Alpha Epislon Phi Sorority
Alpha Epislon Pi Fraternity
Alums for Campus Fairness
Bar Ilan University International School
Combat Antisemitism Movement
Gift of Life
Hebrew Union College
Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Rothberg International School
Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University
Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas
Jewish Federations of North America
Jewish National Fund USA
Jewish Theological Seminary of North America
Masa Israel Journey
National Affinity Group on Jewish Poverty
Onward Israel/Birthright Israel
Repair the World
Seed the Dream Foundation
Sigma Alpha Mu Fraternity
Sigma Delta Tau Sorority
Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity