Hillel: A Jewish Foundation on Campus

with J. Cody Nielsen, Hal Ossman

About This Course

Join Expert in Resident Cody Nielsen alongside Hal Ossman, Chief Campus Officer for Hillel International for a one-hour discussion that will include conversations about the model itself, the way Hillel professionals are recruited and trained, and conversation about the BDS movement and what it means to the Jewish community on campus.  This briefing is part of our Expert in Residence series on spirituality.

Judaism on college campuses has been anchored by the work of Hillel and Hillel staff for almost 100 years.  As campuses continue to change, and as higher education professionals seek better understanding of how to support students of any religious, spiritual, or secular identity, understanding Judaism and the needs of Jewish students is paramount to campus climate work.

Since 1923, Hillel International has been present on college campuses in the United States.  Over its time, Hillel has provided spaces for Jewish students from across the globe to engage their tradition while in college.  Over the past twenty years, Hillel International has drastically changed their work, adopting a revolutionary model focused on engagement which has shifted the work of the organization as well as enhanced their efforts on campus.

Opportunities Hillel staff can bring to the co-curricular on campus will be highlighted.  This discussion opens us to the complex discussion of the Hillel engagement model, a model that has for almost 20 years been shaping and reshaping how Hillels do their work with students.  Additional discussion around the training and recruitment of Hillel staff, specifically directors, will highlight the significant higher education training each goes through as well preparation to work in conjunction with university staff and administrators.  Finally, a discussion will ensue as to how the BDS discussion taking places across the country can hinder conversation within the Jewish community and better ways to address to issue of the Israeli Palestinian conflict from Hillel International’s perspective.

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