Hillel gets $16M grant from Jim Joseph Foundation

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Hillel International: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life has received a $16 million grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, the largest grant ever awarded by the foundation.

The grant, which will be paid out over five years, will assist Hillel in implementing its Drive to Excellence strategic plan, which is designed to help campuses and communities implement best practices for supporting Jewish student life.

“The Drive to Excellence is a strategic, deeply thoughtful initiative that can expand Hillel’s already effective efforts,” Al Levitt, president of the Jim Joseph Foundation, said in a statement issued Thursday. “This campaign warrants a grant of this magnitude, and we hope others are moved by the exciting possibilities too.”

The main pillars of the plan are recruiting and developing talent, student engagement and resource development.

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“This grant will allow us to experiment with new fundraising models to grow the revenue of local Hillels and help recruit more talent throughout the Hillel movement,” said Eric Fingerhut, the president and CEO of Hillel.

In 2008, a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation, helped Hillel launched its Senior Jewish Educator/Campus Entrepreneur Initiative pilot program. The grant announced Thursday will build on this initial Jim Joseph Foundation-Hillel partnership, the groups said in a statement.

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