Hillel is the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life provides opportunities for Jewish students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity through its global network of over 500 regional centers, campus Foundations and Hillel student organizations. Hillel works to provoke a renaissance of Jewish life.
Hillel's mission is to "maximize the number of Jews doing Jewish with other Jews." The organization actively seeks to engage uninvolved Jewish students on their own terms, to provide them with opportunities to do Jewish things that are meaningful and appealing to them. Through Hillel, students are empowered to take responsibility for their Jewish identity, whether they wish to participate in a community service project, express themselves artistically, participate in a social event, engage in informal Jewish learning, or attend religious services. Any student may participate in Hillel; no membership is required. Hillel is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism that embraces all movements.
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News release date: November 19, 2001
Whitman Jewish Student Group Forges Affiliation with Hillel
WALLA WALLA, Wash.— David Messer, Marcie Hutt and Nathan Roller may be the first students to reap the benefits of a new affiliation between Whitman College and Hillel, The Jewish Foundation for Campus Life, but they are unlikely to be the last.
Over time, the new affiliation should help create a more vibrant Jewish community at Whitman, one that can make greater contributions to the campus melting pot of culture, race and religion.
As the adviser to Shalom, a Jewish student group on campus, Sharon Kaufman-Osborn has spent the fall semester formalizing Whitman's affiliation to Hillel, an organization based in Washington, D.C., and devoted to facilitating a renaissance of Jewish life at colleges in the United States and around the world.
Colleges and universities with affiliations to Hillel are eligible for grant funding for on-campus programming. Of more importance to Whitman, perhaps, is the opportunity to join a Hillel network with links to hundreds of other campuses. "Being part of the Hillel network provides tangible benefits to Jewish students already on campus," Kaufman-Osborn said. "The affiliation is also important to prospective Jewish students and their families as they make decisions about which colleges they might want to attend."
Through its Soref Initiative for Emerging Campuses, Hillel provides guidance, financial assistance, online resources and a communication network for colleges and universities with small Jewish populations. Whitman currently has about 75 Jewish students on campus, Kaufman-Osborn estimates.