(JNS.org) Hillel International is expanding to campuses in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in a move that “is a natural partnership,” according to Eric Fingerhut, the Jewish campus umbrella's president and CEO.
“The need to strengthen Jewish identity is apparent” in Europe and is important due to the growth of a new and unique Jewish generation in the countries Hillel is expanding to, Fingerhut told the Jerusalem Post from Berlin, where he was launching the new Hillel networks.
Germany in particular has a large community of Jewish college students who were born in the former Soviet Union or whose families immigrated from Russia to Germany. Given that Hillel has just celebrated 20 years of its presence in Moscow, Fingerhut said, it made sense to expand to Germany.
Hillel will have a presence in the German cities of Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Münster, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, and Potsdam, as well as in Basel, Switzerland, and Vienna, Austria. Partnering with the Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich Scholarship Fund, Hillel in Europe will bring Jewish programming to more than 1,000 students.