The Harrison Leadership and Professional International Development (LAPID) Initiative has announced its third cohort of participants, an exceptional group of 11 Hillel professionals from Argentina, Canada, the U.S. and Russia.
Supported by Hillel International Board of Governors member and Board of Directors Vice Chair Dr Lynne B Harrison, the objective of Harrison LAPID is to provide engagement, leadership, and professional skills for Hillel professionals and students, and to inspire them to create their own tzedek (social justice) initiatives, providing a Jewish context to develop their values, leadership potential and sense of peoplehood.
The initiative, now entering its third year, has graduated two cohorts of talented, passionate and dedicated Hillel professionals who have facilitated student leadership development and advanced numerous tzedek initiatives on campuses and in their communities.
The 2011 participants are:
The Janet L. Swanson Director of Jewish Student Life
Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh
"Harrison LAPID fills my need to lead/do/create/work with others, particularly with professionals at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Center and around the globe. Finally, I would love the opportunity to re-energize and re-empower myself while empowering others in the area of tzedek work."
University of Maryland, Baltimore County Hillel
"Hillel work is sacred work. It is inspiring, nurturing and sometimes exhausting. I am inspired most by our ability to affect change in the world by motivating students to use their education, resources and Jewish identities for good. This is my life's work. I do not always know what path that will take, but I know my place in Hillel is in no way ordinary. I expect that participation in Harrison LAPID will allow me to do no less than explore the sacred, improve Jewish life at UMBC and give back to my colleagues."
St. Petersburg (Russia) Hillel
"I am excited to be a part of Harrison LAPID program because it is a great opportunity to learn from others' experiences and to share one's own. It will enable me to strengthen my beliefs and foster personal growth. Not only will I be able to connect with the greater international Hillel family, I'm sure I will also receive many unique professional tools to improve the effectiveness of my work."
Program Director of Hillel Arts in the Loop
Hillels Around Chicago
"I am very proud of the opportunities we have created for our students to grow as artists â€” Jewishly and creatively â€” in Chicago. The professional relationships we are building with our universities and cultural institutions have earned our Hillel a reputation of producing high-quality art for our community and high-impact opportunities for our students. More importantly, many of the unaffiliated students we have reached have become active members of our larger community. Their Jewish journey may start in an art gallery, but it never ends there."
Assistant Director for Jewish Student Life
University of Kansas Hillel
"Tzedek and community work is a large part of who I am. Prior to my Hillel career I was a community organizer internationally and in New York City. My goal is to find the best approach to grow tzedek and service learning opportunities in KU Hillel, where I see such potential for growth."
Hillel of Greater Toronto, Ryerson University
"Students on our campus are particularly interested in volunteerism and are always searching for opportunities to make this world a better place. Our Hillel seeks to capitalize on this reality and to engage students in social justice initiatives through a Jewish lens. This includes teaching about the Jewish value of social justice, as well as volunteering and fundraising."
Director of Engagement
University of Pennsylvania Hillel
"I think two of the most important components for developing student leaders are: confidence and vision. Many students who I meet often don't see themselves as a leader or future leader. Many of them lack Jewish self-confidence. One of the things that I often focus on is teaching our interns that they can be leaders and have the ability to inspire their friends."
Director of Engagement
Rutgers University Hillel Foundation
"My greatest achievements have been helping students grow and start on a path to learning about themselves. It is my greatest pleasure to meet students who would never have come to Hillel and help them to get involved in something they are passionate about only to realize that it is helping them along their Jewish journey, and in turn exciting them about what being Jewish has to offer them."
Rayna Leigh Schaff
Senior Jewish Student Life Coordinator
St. Louis Hillel at Washington University
"I am interested in participating in LAPID because I am extremely passionate about the work that Hillel does on college campuses across the country (and globe), and I hope to be a part of the Hillel family for many years to come. I believe I would gain a great deal from all of the professional development opportunities and resources that could help me continue to become the best Hillel professional that I can be."
Director of Programming and Engagement
University of Rhode Island Hillel
"While we have participated in campus and community social justice projects this past year, including Relay for Life, Project Linus, Pink Week, and an alternative break trip to LA, there has been limited involvement. We have a small group of people who are very interested in planning and promoting social justice initiatives on campus and in the community, but they need help reaching a larger audience, and I am hoping that Harrison LAPID can help me to change the current atmosphere at URI."
Jewish Student Life Coordinator
Hillel Buenos Aires
"I believe that the interaction between professionals from other countries generates new bridges and learning opportunities which I will bring back to my Hillel. In Hillel the concept of tzedek, is present in all aspects of the organization. Inspired by the concept of tikun olam, we try to connect every area of Hillel to this concept. I think that social justice connected with our daily work is one of the challenges that all young leaders deal with."