On Friday, November 22, Hillel development professionals joined together to discuss ideas, strategies, and future collaboration. Participants included representatives from Brown/RISD, Columbia/Barnard, Harvard, North Carolina, Northwestern, NYU, Penn, Princeton, Tufts, and Yale.
Throughout the day, we learned from each other and from our distinguished guests: Kathy Okun from Columbia University and Lori Kranczer from Hillel International. Topics of conversation ranged from relationships with our universities to the impact gender can have on fundraising.
Participants were able to ask questions and share challenges in a supportive environment surrounded by others who share the goal of nurturing Jewish communities in college. In addition to sharing materials and resources, each Hillel shared one great idea happening on its campus. These ideas are helping to strengthen the giving communities at individual Hillels, and now other Hillels can implement them as well.
The conference concluded with a discussion about how to increase programming for young alumni living in New York City. The need for young Jews to meet each other is great, and through collaboration, Hillel can provide for that need. As a current college student, I was lucky to attend the conference, and I felt even more fortunate when I realized that Hillel wants to continue to serve me even after I graduate.
After hearing about the incredible things these inspiring and motivated professionals are doing on their campuses, I can only imagine what they will accomplish as they work together to advance Hillel.
Charlene Thrope, Barnard College/Jewish Theological Seminary 2014, is the Marketing/Finance Coordinator for the Columbia/Barnard Hillel Student Board, and oversees the Columbia Hillel Advancement Initiative.