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June 15, 2006


One of Only Eight Colleges Nationwide Selected for Prestigious Program

NEW YORK, June 15, 2006 – The City College of New York’s (CCNY) Hillel Chapter has received a $5,000 strategic grant from its parent organization, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. CCNY was one of eight campuses nationwide selected for Hillel’s Soref Advancement Initiative (SAI), an intensive program that helps Hillel chapters on campuses with small Jewish populations strengthen their existing programs and plan for future growth and development.

As a participant in the Soref Initiative, CCNY Hillel leaders benefit from a variety of programs intended to support the chapter’s growth. These include a two-day training seminar held in Washington last March as well as ongoing counsel from Hillel professionals through regular conference calls, listservs, Web-based seminars and on-site and telephone consultations. In addition, chapter members will be eligible for special funding to attend students leadership programs.

The grant will be used to expand the chapter’s programming, which runs the gamut of holiday, cultural and political topics, according chapter advisor David Rumschitzki, Professor of Chemical Engineering. One idea under consideration is a day trip to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, he added.

CCNY’s Hillel Chapter currently serves about 100 participants, according to Professor Rumschitzki. He noted that over the past year events have routinely drawn between 20 and 30 participants, versus a handful just a few years ago.

SAI, a program led by Hillel’s Soref Initiative for Emerging Campuses, began in 2005 on six campuses, and the participating Hillels have since reported a tremendous growth in Jewish life on their campuses. All have increased attendance at events, enhanced their programming content and engaged new students to fulfill leadership roles. Improved relations with the local community and university have led to increased fundraising efforts, press coverage and ongoing co-sponsorship with other student organizations.

The other schools currently participating in the Soref program are: Bowdoin College, Butler University, Colorado College, Louisiana State University, SUNY New Paltz, University of San Diego and University of Toledo.

The largest Jewish campus organization in the world, Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life seeks to inspire every Jewish student to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life through its network of more than 500 campus foundations, program centers and affiliates. Hillel enriches the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students of all backgrounds so they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.