(September 24, 2019 / JNS) The David Project, an Israel-advocacy group, has evolved into Hillel International’s Hillel U Center for Community Outreach.
It became part of Hillel International’s Israel Engagement and Education department in 2017 after it was founded by Charles Jacobs in 2002 to empower “student leaders to build mutually beneficial and enduring partnerships with diverse organizations so that the pro-Israel community is integrated and valued on campus,” according to its website.
“In the last two years as part of Hillel International, The David Project has further developed itself into a leader in bringing diverse communities together for dialogue and understanding around Israel, anti-Semitism and other pressing issues relevant to Jewish students and our community partners on campus,” Hillel International interim CEO Adam Lehman told JNS. “As the Hillel U Center for Community Outreach, we will expand this work by providing new tools and resources for Hillel professionals across the country and around the world to engage students in relationship building and building connections around cross-cutting identities, shared values and experiences.”
Phil Brodsky, who served as The David Project’s executive director, is currently the executive director the Center for Community Outreach, reporting to chief talent and experience officer Mimi Kravetz and Adina Epelman, vice president for talent growth and Hillel U.
“The Center for Community Outreach will train and support local Hillels to design relationship building strategies to build bridges with student leaders and their organizations beyond the Jewish community,” Hillel International vice president of communications Matthew Berger told JNS. “By organizing relationship-building initiatives, students will engage their peers in conversation, organize jointly led programs with student groups, and create initiatives such as interfaith seders, dialogue nights and cultural exchanges.”
He continued, saying “these activities will actualize Hillel’s concern for other campus organizations and the issues they advocate for on campus and beyond. Through this work, Hillels will broaden their network on campus, engage students across campus life in dialogues and educational programming, and strengthen the social fabric of their campuses.”
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