At its annual Global Assembly in Orlando last month, Hillel International presented the University of Delaware (UD) Hillel with the People’s Choice Campus Partnership Award. Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, recognized campus Hillels that best exemplify the organization’s mission – to enrich the lives of Jewish students so they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. UD Hillel was honored for extending that mission by positively impacting the entire student body through interfaith cooperation and cross-campus partnerships.
“We are excited to be recognized by Hillel International and the entire Hillel movement as an indispensable campus partner,” said UD Hillel Executive Director Donna Schwartz. “By working in collaboration with the University we build bridges that help connect Jewish students to amazing opportunities that benefit them personally and professionally and strengthen their Jewish identities”.
UD Hillel has been a catalyst for diversity and tolerance, specifically through its Serving Better Together program, which won UD’s “Bright Initiative” award in 2015. The program brings together students from across religious and nonreligious backgrounds during the University’s Winter Session to engage in relationship-building through service to those in need.
Serving Better Together participant Leah Blachman ‘18 said that she “...loved the opportunity to meet students from all religions” throughout the month-long program. She added, “Sometimes I forget that there are students of different religions on campus who share a lot of the same values as my own Jewish values. It was comforting to see that we had more in common than we thought”.
UD Hillel was also recognized for its partnership with the Admissions department. Since bringing kosher dining to the University of Delaware in fall 2015, UD Hillel’s efforts have shifted to working hand-in-hand with the Admissions department to attract prospective students to the University.
“The Hillel staff are not just trying to “sell” families on the experience,” said Doug Zander, UD Director of Admissions. “They are providing testimony to the deep and caring relationships they have with our students, helping them grow as scholars, as people, and as engaged citizens of the world.”
From left to right: José-Luis Riera (Dean of Students, Student Life), Nona Holy (Campus Pastor, Presbyterian Campus Ministry), Joe Pritchett (Area Coordinator, Residence Life and Housing), Donna Schwartz (Executive Director, UD Hillel), Sue Serra (Assistant Director, Office of Service Learning), Doug Zander (Director, Admissions)