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September 10, 2015 1:37 pm

Jim Joseph Foundation Grants $16 Million to Hillel Campus Umbrella

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Eric Fingerhut, Hillel International's president and CEO, speaks with former student board member JoHanna Rothseid. Photo: Shahar Azran for Hillel.

Eric Fingerhut, Hillel International’s president and CEO, speaks with former student board member JoHanna Rothseid. Photo: Shahar Azran for Hillel.

JNS.org – Hillel International has received a new $16 million grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation. The largest grant ever awarded by the foundation will be distributed over five years and will help Hillel, the umbrella organization working on more than 550 college campuses, to improve and expand its practices that promote Jewish student life.

“We are excited and deeply humbled to receive this grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, which will position Hillel International to begin implementing its Drive to Excellence campaign,” said Eric Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International. “As a global movement, we are intent on utilizing best practices to inspire every single Jewish student to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel.”

The grant will assist Hillel in its new “Drive to Excellence” business goals, which involve recruiting and developing talent, engaging students on campus and developing resources.

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“When it comes to reaching, educating, and inspiring Jewish college students, Hillel is unsurpassed,” said Al Levitt, president of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “The Drive to Excellence is a strategic, deeply thoughtful initiative that can expand Hillel’s already effective efforts. This campaign warrants a grant of this magnitude, and we hope others are moved by the exciting possibilities too.”

A previous grant by the Jim Joseph Foundation in 2008 helped Hillel launch its Senior Jewish Educator/Campus Entrepreneur Initiative pilot program. The new grant will further strengthen the partnership between Hillel and the foundation.

“At the core of our Drive to Excellence plan is developing quantitative and qualitative strategies for measuring excellence on every campus, with the goal of 50 Hillels reaching excellence by 2020 and the other 85 percent improving annually,” Fingerhut said. “This grant will allow us to experiment with new fundraising models to grow the revenue of local Hillels, and help recruit more talent throughout the Hillel movement.”

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