(April 28, 2020 / JNS) Hillel International announced that it has laid off or furloughed 30 staff members—more than 20 percent of its workforce—at its Washington, D.C., headquarters amid the coronavirus pandemic that has all but shut off daily life, including on the 550 colleges where Hillel has a building servicing Jewish life on campus.
The moves were made last week, according to an email sent Friday to Hillel faculty nationwide. There are an estimated 1,000 employees at Hillels across 18 countries, most of which are independent organizations but collaborate with Hillel International on fundraising and other operations.
“Major areas of our activities and operations have been disrupted,” wrote CEO and Hillel International president Adam Lehman. “The far-reaching financial implications of the pandemic are negatively impacting our current fiscal-year results, and producing a very challenging and uncertain fundraising and financial outlook for the future.”
Hillel International did not disclose who was laid off and who furloughed.
In the mass email, Lehman stated that the soon-to-be former staffers would be employed “for the next several weeks,” during which laid-off personnel would get a “generous severance package,” in addition to a stipend to cover health costs and assistance in seeking new employment.
Those furloughed will continue receiving health benefits throughout their leave.
Hillel International vice president of communications Matthew Berger confirmed the decisions to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, which first reported the Hillel International development, He assured that the organization will still be able to serve students despite classes moving online.
“We have taken numerous steps to support the professionals impacted by these changes,” he said, “and we’re confident these moves will best position us to continue supporting Hillels across our movement and to serving students, who will need us more than ever in the weeks and months to come.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.