Hillel International Springboard Fellowship Welcomes Second Cohort, Expands Focus to Include Social Justice: Twenty-five new Springboard Fellows will be trained in innovation and social justice through two-year grants
WASHINGTON – Continuing its drive to cultivate the next generation of Jewish leaders, Hillel International is expanding its Springboard Fellowship with a second cohort of 25 new participants for the next year of the program, building on the first class of 20 early career professionals. The two-year fellowship provides hands-on mentorship, competitive compensation and dynamic professional development opportunities from local and national Hillel staff as well as experts from across the corporate and non-profit worlds. The ‘Bet’ class of fellows will focus on either innovation or social justice, while the ‘Aleph’ class will enter their second academic year, continuing their concentrations on innovation and social media.
This article was originally published in JWeekly, the Jewish News of Northern California on February 8, 2017.
When the Jewish community found out Paul Cohen was being honored for his 25-plus years of community activism, including serving on the board of San Francisco Hillel, the event became the hottest ticket in town.
All it took was a save-the-date announcement. “It sold out before we sent out a single invitation,” said Ollie Benn, S.F. Hillel’s executive director.
Cohen, who has given his time to a wide cast of Jewish organizations and causes, will be honored at a Feb. 12 gala at Lake Merced Golf Club. The event will raise money for the Paul J. Cohen Fund for Student Leadership, which will, among other things, support outreach efforts to incoming Jewish college freshmen.
This statement was sent to SF State University President Les Wong to communicate the feelings of students of San Francisco Hillel.
Dear President Wong,
On behalf of San Francisco Hillel, we wish to express our support for the actions and sentiments you outlined in your Monday, January 30th, statement regarding refugees, visa holders and permanent residents from certain Muslim-majority countries.
Our perspective is rooted in our Jewish values. On 36 different occasions, our Torah commands us to remember the experience of being a “stranger,” recalling our experience as foreigners and victims of oppression. Rooted in the Exodus story, a central Jewish narrative, the ancient Israelites are told “you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 23:9). Throughout our history, and to this day, this serves as a call to action, reminding our Jewish community that we cannot stand idly by as those among us are subjected to discrimination.
We stand in solidarity with those at SF State directly impacted by these orders. As a global people, Jews have lived as minorities in countries around the world. We have often been subjected to restrictions on where we could live and study. Many of us and our families came to this country as refugees and immigrants seeking a better life. We know if an order singled out Jews, we would ask our campus to act. As such, we are ready to stand with our campus to protect our basic freedoms, ensuring our constitutional rights to free speech, press, and assembly remain a core part of our places of learning. As part of a global movement, we readily offer SF Hillel’s allyship and resources as our campus together navigates the consequences of the recent Executive Orders.
SF Hillel Student President