Metro Chicago Hillel , which serves Jewish students on campuses throughout the Chicago area, has received the Phillip H. and Susan Rudd Cohen Outstanding Campus Award from Hillel International.
The award, the highest honor given to an individual Hillel, was presented in Orlando at the annual Global Assembly of Hillel International, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. The award recognizes Metro Chicago's success in adopting new ways of connecting with students.
"The staff has mastered both the art of identifying students and the elusive next step, resulting in a seven-fold increase in active student participation," the announcement from Hillel International noted.
"The rapid growth of Metro Chicago Hillel, which is part of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, is thanks to a talented staff of educators and community organizers, a dedicated board, and a community heavily invested in the future of the Jewish people," MCH Executive Director Rabbi Seth Winberg said.
Metro Chicago Hillel serves Jewish students at DePaul University, Loyola University, Columbia College Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, Oakton Community College, Illinois Institute of Technology, Roosevelt University, the School of the Art Institute and other campuses.
It also includes the Silverstein Base Hillel, a Lincoln Park home that welcomes young adults into a diverse, warm and hospitable Jewish family. Silverstein Base Hillel provides a home in which a pluralistic rabbinic couple, Rabbi Megan and Paige GoldMarche, help young Jews explore their Jewish identity through hospitality, learning and service.
"Living Judaism is an immersive experience," Rabbi GoldMarche said. "It's not just teaching; it's modeling that life."
"Metro Chicago and this year's other winners serve as a model of how enthusiasm and dedication can help campus Hillels across the country succeed in engaging and educating students, no matter their size or location," said Eric D. Fingerhut, President and CEO of Hillel International. "We're proud of our professionals for the work they do every day to help achieve Hillel International's mission of reaching every Jewish student on campus."