On July 29 and 30 at the Hillel Institute in St. Louis, Mo., Hillel at the University of Washington was presented with a Visions and Values Award from Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life for its innovative development program.
Four other Vision and Values awardees include Hillel at Kent State, Santa Barbara Hillel, MIT Hillel, and the University of Maryland Hillel. Each Hillel was given the award for its own exemplary characteristic. Hillel UW was chosen because of its accomplishments in its development program.
Hillel UW’s executive director Rabbi Oren Hayon is enthusiastic about the staff involved in receiving this award, stating that it is the “staff’s hard work that brings students through the door.”
The Hillel has been able to “bolster and enlarge the development team,” said Hayon. According to Hayon, what makes Hillel UW unique is that it has “support from the whole community, not just students, parents, and alumni.”
Indeed, it is the support from the whole community that was harnessed in Hillel’s new development strategy that made it possible to receive this award.
The “key to successful development is being really good at cultivating relationships,” said Hayon. By creating meaningful and long-term relationships with donors and investors, UW Hillel has taken leaps and bounds in the development aspect of the organization. According to Hayon, if the staff’s enthusiasm and energy is palpable to the investors, students, and community at large, they will be more inclined to get involved with the Hillel as well.
Galit Ezekiel, director of development and operations at Hillel, plays an instrumental role in the new development strategy, said Hayon. Ezekiel is “an extraordinary star of our team here,” he said, and it is “because of Galit’s tremendous success and abilities” that Hillel was honored with this award.
“At Hillel UW we strive to create innovative development strategies and seek out new opportunities and strategic partnerships,” said Ezekiel by email. “That said, this award is a testament to our outstanding volunteers, lay leaders and staff.”
Hayon said it is a “point of pride” that the UW Hillel has gotten national
“We submitted a nomination for the award months ago but were surprised to be selected as this year’s award recipient,” said Ezekiel. “We were told by Hillel International that there were a number of excellent Hillels vying for the development award, and we are extremely honored to receive this recognition.”
The award brings Hillel UW national, even international, recognition among the Hillel community.
“I’d also like to acknowledge and thank our exceptional donors and supporters,” said Ezekiel. “Through the difficult economic climate the past few years, they have stood by us, demonstrating a commitment to our work with young Jews.”