PHOTO: PDX Hillel team from left: Maddie Herrup, Hannah Sherman, Hillel International Campus Support Director Jay Lewis and Linoy Yechieli.
Greater Portland Hillel Executive Director Hannah Sherman received the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award at Hillel International’s Global Assembly Dec. 12-13 in Dallas.
The award honors professionals in various stages of their careers whose remarkable passion and outstanding devotion to the Jewish campus community enrich Hillel students’ lives and set a standard of excellence.
“I am beyond honored to have been awarded the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award at Hillel International’s Global Assembly,” says Hannah. “For the last 8.5 years, I’ve been excited to wake up every day and work with the thousands of Jewish college students between Santa Barbara and Portland.”
Richard Joel led the effort to transform Hillel from a department of B’nai B’rith to an independent, global organization and then served as the first president and international director of that new entity. The Exemplar of Excellence Awards were established in 1994 and were named in Richard’s honor in 2004. Hillel Exemplars represent the attributes that define what a Hillel professional should be.
“I made my best friends working at Hillel, took hundreds of students on five trips to Israel and two trips to Germany, and spent countless hours laughing until I cried, learning and eating bagels,” says Hannah. “To all my coworkers, past and present, thank you for being my partners in this work. To all my students, past and present, you are why I love what I do, and you give my work meaning.”
The first in-person conference in three years attracted more than 1,000 Hillel professionals and supporters from all over the world.
“The resilience and creativity of Hillel professionals and their commitment to Jewish students stayed strong throughout the last three years,” said Skip Vichness, Chair of the Hillel International Board of Directors.
After accepting her award, Hannah said, “To my board and Hillel International colleagues, thank you for being my mentors and guides and trusting me to lead and take risks. This work isn’t always easy, in fact it is oftentimes incredibly challenging, but I know there is no place I’d rather be.”
The Greater Portland Hillel serves students on campuses across the metro area. For more information, visit pdxhillel.org.