Hillel Names Dickinson a Campus of Excellence
Terri Soifer ’12, a Middle East and Judaic studies major, accepted the award
November 11, 2011
The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life draws together Jewish students from all denominations. The center collaborates with the local congregation Beth Tikvah to co-sponsor events, including High Holy Day services, Passover seders and other religious gatherings.
The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life has awarded Dickinson its 2011 Philip H. and Suzi Rudd Cohen Campus of Excellence Award. The college’s Hillel chapter received the small-campus award in recognition of its efforts to empower student leadership and foster engagement, activism, education and institutional partnership. It was one of two campus awards given at the recent Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly meeting in Denver.
Terri Soifer ’12, a Middle East and Judaic studies major from Columbia, Md., accepted the award on behalf of Dickinson. The chapter received a monetary prize as well as a plaque and trophy in recognition of its achievements. The University of Michigan Hillel was the large-campus award recipient.
“We are thrilled that the tremendous strides we have taken in building Jewish life at Dickinson have gained national recognition and visibility,” said Ted Merwin, director of The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life, who also teaches in the religion department. “We look forward to the continued growth and strengthening of the college's amazing, marvelous and diverse Jewish community.”
Associate Professor of Religion and Judaic Studies Andrea Lieber also attended the conference, where she received a Young Leadership Award from the Harrisburg Jewish Community. Each year one member of the Harrisburg Jewish leadership attends the Jewish Federations of North America General Assembly meeting.
Dickinson has increasingly become a major center for Jewish life and an exciting place to explore Jewish heritage with a constant stream of new programs and initiatives. As one of the first liberal-arts colleges to establish a major in Judaic studies, Dickinson is expanding academic opportunities for students with additional course offerings, new study-abroad options in Israel and opportunities to explore Jewish communities in different parts of the world.
The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life is adding more extracurricular groups. Not only is it the parent organization for the college’s active Hillel chapter, it is also home to the Jewish men’s group Achim, Dickinson’s Israel Group, Students Interested in Chabad Programming and the Kosher Cooking Club. Dickinson’s KOVE (kosher + vegan) station in the Dining Hall recently celebrated its first anniversary of serving food certified as Star-K kosher, giving both Jewish and non-Jewish students an even bigger taste of Jewish tradition. Louise Powers and Ricki Gold serve as Dickinson's mashgichot (kosher food-preparation supervisors), directing the kosher kitchen at the college to ensure that all the food meets kashrut (Jewish dietary laws) standards.
Since its founding in 1923, Hillel has become the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, providing opportunities for Jewish students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity at more than 550 colleges and communities throughout North America and globally, including 30 communities in the former Soviet Union, nine in Israel and five in South America. Hillel chapters help create a welcoming environment for Jewish students on campus where they can hone their leadership skills, bolster ties to Israel through programs such as Taglit-Birthright Israel and volunteer in social justice work.
Learn more about Jewish life at Dickinson.