WASHINGTON – Hillel International is proud to announce the first-ever recipients of the Handeli First-Year Student Scholarship and Campus Leadership Award. These outstanding Jewish high school and college students from across North America exemplify Hillel’s values by creating a better world through leadership and volunteerism in their communities.
Recipients of this year’s $4,000 Handeli First-Year Student Scholarship are Juliana (Jules) Oringel, 18, a senior at Providence High School in Charlotte, N.C., who plans to attend the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in the fall; and Andrew Kaye, 18, a senior at Olympic Heights High School in Boca Raton, Florida, who plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall.
During high school, Jules founded a gun violence prevention organization, Return Home Supplies, after the Parkland High School massacre in 2018, where a beloved summer camp friend was killed while two others survived. Return Home Supplies sells school supplies with messages designed to spark empowering, educational dialogue in classes and workplaces. The organization has raised thousands of dollars for national gun violence prevention groups.
“People are leaders because of the initiative they take and the impact they make, not the fancy titles that line their resume,” she says. “Whether our community faces anti-Semitism, death, or any other obstacle, we always come together to fight injustice and improve the lives of those around us, regardless of their personal identity.”
Andrew also founded a non-profit, No Footprint Left Behind, which collects socks and shoes for the homeless. He started the organization after volunteering to work with people experiencing homelessness. He was initially inspired to take on this work after nearly experiencing homelessness himself as a young teen when his father was imprisoned and his mother was hospitalized with a serious illness, leaving him and his brother to care for themselves. No Footprint Left Behind collected over 700 pairs of socks and 100 pairs of shoes in 18 months, a period during which his mother passed away. This summer, Andrew’s non-profit received a single donation of 1,750 pairs of socks.
“Social injustice is not an issue that can be fought alone. I am extremely proud to have spread awareness to those who truly care for others,” he says. “Being Jewish means having a responsibility to be the best version of yourself while also helping others do the same.”
Recipients of the $4,000 Campus Leadership Award are Eva Liebowitz, 23, who attended Occidental College in Los Angeles and will be attending the California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita as a transfer student in the fall; and Enav Zusman, 31, a junior at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.
Eva identifies as a multiracial Jew and spends much of her time as an activist for Black student rights. She helps lead a coalition that, through demonstrations and organizing, convinced Occidental College to hire a chief diversity officer, provide more resources for students of color, train campus staff and faculty in diversity sensitivity, and create a Black Studies program.
“I was able to make a change for myself and fellow students of color. By making a plan and following it through together, we were able to create a more equitable college experience for ourselves and for students to come,” she says. “I am part of a tradition that is thousands of years old. I have the special privilege of living as a caretaker of the Jewish tradition and our world.”
At University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Enav has been active in student government, including organizing a conference on sexual assault and harassment and delivering talks on student mental health issues. As a student government leader, she also helped defeat an attempt to get the university to join the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
“Changes in academia can go a long way and have the potential to affect our entire society,” she says. “Being Jewish, to me, can mean volunteering in your community; caring about your community and environment; supporting diversity, inclusion and social justice; and striving to make things better.”
“We are thrilled to be supporting such inspiring and dedicated student leaders,” said Hillel International President and CEO Adam Lehman. “This inaugural class of Handeli and Campus Leadership recipients serves as a wonderful model for many more classes of student leaders to come!”
Hillel International also offers a comprehensive Scholarships Portal, which lists over 500 scholarships in the Jewish world. Applications for the 2021-22 school year Campus Leadership and Handeli scholarships will open this November.
About Hillel International
Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for more than 90 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. As the largest Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 550 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path. During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives.