Letter to the editor

Bettering Hillel

As student leaders and advisers of Hillel, we noted The GW Hatchet’s recent coverage of an initiative by a graduate student to make “a good Hillel” even better (“Student petition criticizes GW Hillel,” Nov. 19, p. 10). We do keep records of participation in Hillel activities and are proud to report that as of the middle of the semester, we already have sponsored 126 programs, which have attracted 3,068 participants (not including the High Holy Days).

Hillel is a dynamic student organization structured to represent a variety of student interests at GW. The Jewish Student Leadership Coalition (JSLC), the student governing body of Hillel, is a coalition of 17 different projects or organizations, each with their own leadership and purpose. They range from a Jewish women’s group (Voices) to a social action group (Tikkun Olam); from an a cappella group to intramurals; from different religious expressions (conservative, orthodox, reform) to different political expressions (Jewish Political Forum to GW Friends of Israel); from philanthropy (UJA) to pro-Israel activism (SAFI).

JSLC has an elected executive board, which encourages the formation of new groups and supports individuals who want to sponsor programs in their area of interest. We have just finished our elections for new leadership and every position but one was contested, another sign that Jewish students at GW care.

Hillel is supported and supervised by a volunteer board of governors, made up of GW alumni, faculty, staff, students and other community members. Hillel has a beautiful physical home, the Gewirz Center, and five full-time staff members to support Jewish campus life and projects.

We were impressed that in The Hatchet article that students care enough about Hillel and Jewish life at GW to create and sign petitions to improve our effectiveness. We would like to invite all those students who have similar interests to an open meeting at Hillel Sunday at 3 p.m.

Those who can’t make the meeting are strongly encouraged to share their input via e-mail with any one of us.

-Emily Katz, president, JSLC
Ari Grossman, president-elect, JSLC
Rabbi Gerry Serotta, director, Hillel
Greg Schofer, assistant director, Hillel

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