View photos from the 2016 Renaissance Gala on our Facebook page.
Hillel International honored Daniel A. Burack as the recipient of this year’s prestigious Renaissance Award. The award was presented on May 18 at The Pierre Hotel in New York City at Hillel International’s annual Renaissance Gala. Also that evening Mark G. Yudof received the Maimonides Award; Rhoda Weisman was named the winner of the Edgar M. Bronfman Award.
The Renaissance Award, Hillel International’s highest honor, is bestowed each year upon on an individual or individuals whose bold vision and transformative initiatives enrich the campus, the Jewish community and the world.
Burack, a member of the Hillel International Board of Governors and past member of its Board of Directors, is chairman of Burack Investments and one of the founding partners of ABS Partners Real Estate, a full service real estate company headquartered in New York City. He has enjoyed a richly varied career in the corporate world, from real estate investment and development to the oil industry to leisure and travel.
In announcing Burack as the 2016 Renaissance Award honoree, David S. Shapira, chair of Hillel International’s Board of Governors, said: “Through his philanthropy and thought leadership, as a member of both Hillel’s Boards of Governors and Directors, Dan has made a profound contribution to the global campus Jewish movement.
“By helping to craft our strategic implementation plan, The Drive to Excellence, he has helped us to identify and model the ingredients of a successful Hillel — from hiring and developing talented professionals, to engaging and educating Jewish students. Recognizing him with this award shines a spotlight on Hillel International’s commitment to positively impact the lives of the more than 400,000 Jewish students attending college today.”
Hillel International’s Maimonides Award is presented each year to a university leader whose dedication to higher education has promoted a deep commitment to devotion to the community and Jewish and secular learning. Hillel International presented Mark G. Yudof, president emeritus of the University of California, with this year’s Maimonides Award, honoring his distinguished academic career and his critical work with the Academic Engagement Network to mobilize academics in opposition to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolutions and anti-Semitism on campus.
“Mark Yudof is one of the most accomplished leaders in the history of American higher education,” said Hillel International President and CEO Eric D. Fingerhut. “He has demonstrated his love of Israel and dedication to celebrating Jewish culture on campus throughout his career. Today, as the chairman of the Academic Engagement Network, he is a leader in the efforts to oppose the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel and promote freedom of speech on college campuses.”
The Edgar M. Bronfman Award is presented each year to a Hillel professional who has served the movement with distinction and honor. This year’s honoree was Rhoda Weisman, co-founder and former director of the Steinhardt Jewish Campus Service Corps (JCSC). Weisman is the dean of the Graduate School in Nonprofit Management at the American Jewish University. Previously, Weisman spent more than a decade as the chief creative officer at Hillel International. There, she envisioned and co-founded 15 national and global ventures for college students and young professionals, including the inaugural Hillel Birthright Israel program and, with Michael Steinhardt and Richard M. Joel, the Steinhardt JCSC Fellows, the precursor to Hillel’s newly announced Springboard Fellowship.
“Rhoda conceived, created and led the program that generated more professional talent for the Jewish world than any other program,” said Fingerhut. “She inspired people to make the Jewish world their profession, and through that, had a major impact on Jewish student life.”