Your latest update on Jewish student life at Penn State!

Parent & Alumni Newsletter - December 2016

Penn State Hillel awarded top Measuring Excellence Hillel at the Hillel International Global Assembly
Orlando, FL. December 5, 2016 – Penn State Hillel awarded as a Top 5 University with Greatest Improvement in Breadth, a certificate for achieving significant improvement in student engagement as part of Hillel International’s Measuring Excellence program.
This week marks the 3rd annual Hillel International Global Assembly. The Hillel International Global Assembly brings together over 850 Hillel professionals from across the world to celebrate our successes on campus, learn with each other, reflect on our growth, and to think critically about our goals ahead. This year’s opening night began with the 2016 Drive to Excellence Awards, recognizing Hillels that demonstrate Excellence in Hillel’s movement-wide Strategic Implementation Plan, The Drive to Excellence, and the 2016 Exemplar Awards, recognizing outstanding individuals who demonstrate outstanding devotion and passion to Jewish campus life.
The Drive to Excellence – Measuring Excellence program, now on 80 campuses, articulates a set of engagement goals to help a significant number of Jewish students make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel.
"With the Drive to Excellence, we commit to building open, welcoming, pluralistic Jewish communities to inspire every Jewish student to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel, thereby building and helping secure the future of the Jewish people in the 21st century," said Eric D. Fingerhut, president and CEO of Hillel International.
To really accelerate the Drive to Excellence effort, an entrepreneurial foundation from Pittsburgh identified campuses with the potential to achieve Excellence through a Comprehensive Excellence Pilot (CEP) grant. Penn State University is one of them. The Comprehensive Excellence Pilot grant is an experiment to see if a fully-funded Hillel, with resources set up through Hillel International, can set a new, higher bar for what a high performing Hillel looks like.
Through the Drive to Excellence and the CEP grant, Penn State Hillel aims to know the names of 90% of Jewish students on campus; interact at least once a year with 70%; form an ongoing relationship with 40% and provide high impact experiences (think Birthright Israel, leadership roles, fellowships, service learning, Jewish study) with at least 20% of Jewish students each year. Penn State Hillel has achieved those goals by tripling its engagement numbers and reaching nearly 2,400 Jewish students on campus.
Penn State Hillel’s mission is to enrich the lives of the estimated 5,000 Jewish students at Penn State so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.
Contact Information: Hannah Giterman, Director of Community Engagement – Penn State Hillel,
Mazel tov, Aaron!
This year we are honoring our Executive Director's 15-year milestone with Hillel. Thank you, Aaron, for your dedication to Penn State Hillel's students, staff, and community! We are so lucky to have you as a teacher, mentor, innovator, and friend in the Jewish community. 

Kol Hakavod!  
Soup for the Soul
Huge thank you to and Centre County Report for highlighting our Chicken Soup Hotline. Thank you to our Soup Interns for bringing a taste of home to sick students around State College, and thank you to our parents and community members for your continued support! The Chicken Soup Holine is made possible by the generous donations of our parent, alumni, and community supporters. For more information, check out our website!
This video is produced by and for Centre County Report and shared through a partnership with
We're In The News

12/8/2016 - and Centre County Report - Soup for the Soul

12/7/2016 - Penn State News - Penn State Hillel receives top award at the Hillel International Global Assembly

12/7/2016 - The Collegian - Penn State Hillel ranks among the top universities as recipient of Hillel International Global Assembly Award

10/14/2016 - Penn State News - Inaugural Nadav Ezra Day of Giving set for Oct. 16

10/7/2016 - The Jewish Chronicle - Metro News Brief

9/27/2016 - Penn State News - Penn State Hillel hosting events for Jewish High Holidays

Alumni Spotlight
Abby London, '15, world traveler, influencing the world around her!

"I never thought I would live in a city that’s thousands of years old, sing and dance in front of a whole Fijian village, or shadow doctors in a rural town in South Africa. Studying abroad is an incredible adventure that pushed me out of my comfort zone and into corners of the Earth I never thought I would see. "

Recent travels include: 
Fiji: Sustainable Tourism and the Environment (May 2015)
South Africa: Global Health Fieldwork Experience in South Africa (Summer 2016)
Israel: Onward Israel (Summer 2015)

Student Spotlight
Matt Mendelson, sophomore, forward on the Men's Hockey team. This summer Matt was asked by Maccabi USA to represent the USA in the 20th World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July of 2017. In order to participate in the games, Matt needs our help! Read his story here and learn how you can help Matt get to Israel!
Happy 80 Years!
This year, we celebrate 80 years of enriching the lives of Jewish students at Penn State! Help us reach our goal of 80 gifts for 80 years and wishing Penn State Hillel a Happy Birthday!

Thank you for helping us celebrate!
Penn State Parent? Click Here!
Penn State Alumni? Click Here!
Want to learn how Penn State Hillel has spent the last year working to build the Jewish future? Take a peek at our Annual Report.
Support Jewish life at Penn State Today!
Announce your happiest of occasions.  From engagements to marriages, anniversaries to births, new jobs and awards, and so much more. Share here!
Copyright © 2016 Penn State Hillel, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Penn State Hillel
114-117 Pasquerilla Spiritual Center
University ParkPA16802