As Jews, we don’t agree on much. Two Jews, three opinions, or the old joke that two Jews stranded on a desert island build three synagogues — one for each of them, and one synagogue that no one will visit on principle. The one thing we do agree on is that we send our kids to college. There are roughly 400,000 Jewish undergraduate students in North America, with an additional 100,000-150,000 grad students. For the first time in their lives, these students are making their own independent decisions, presenting Hillel with the greatest opportunity to build and strengthen Jewish identity.
Campus based Jewish programming is demonstrably effective in building and strengthening Jewish identity. According to Professor Len Saxe, “the common perception that college is too late to affect Jewish identity is the opposite of the truth. A growing body of research suggests that college is possibly the most impactful time to help set the course of a young adult’s Jewish journey.” Hillel’s Measuring Excellence system of student surveys and other campus data demonstrates that engagement with Hillel makes a statistically significant difference in the Jewish identity of young adults and that the attachment grows with each contact.
I am excited to be a part of this critical organization as we seek to engage and inspire every Jewish student on campus to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. I am also fortunate to have Skip Vichness, a fellow WHP Alum (MetroWest), and former Foundation President, Larry Moses on our executive committee.
Tina Price, WHP Alum (NY/Westchester 07), is Chair of Hillel International’s Board of Directors and the immediate past Chair of the Israel on Campus Coalition. She is an active member of the New York Jewish community, serving on the board of the UJA-Federation of New York, where she has previously served on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Caring Commission. She also serves on the board of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and the Columbia/Barnard Hillel. A graduate of Barnard College, Tina lives in Scarsdale, NY with her husband Steven, also a WHP Alum (NY/Westchester 07) and their two children. Tina can be reached at email@example.com.