PHOTO: At the end of summer, Oregon Hillel took 17 students from two campuses on a Perspectives Trip to Israel.
Each issue the Jewish Review is featuring a profile of one of the 18 local beneficiary agencies of the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland’s 2022 Annual Campaign.
Service Area: University of Oregon & Oregon State University
oregonhillel.org | 541-343-8920
Mission: Oregon Hillel is the catalyst for connecting students, building community and inspiring leadership through Jewish values at the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. The student-centric organization is the only pluralistic Jewish community on the campuses and is committed to providing a caring and welcoming environment for all students.
Oregon Hillel has been able to expand services to Oregon State University and increase the services provided to students at both UO and OSU. Hillel provides a range of student support services including mentorship, wellness support, opportunities to observe Jewish holidays, both for-credit Jewish learning (at UO) and informal Jewish education, student advocacy at both universities, Israel trips and much more.
“Students are encouraged to explore and express their Jewish identity in whatever way they find comfortable,” says Oregon Hillel Executive Director Andy Gitelson. “Whether you are just beginning your Jewish journey or well on your way, you’ll always feel welcome at Oregon Hillel.”
“The Jewish Federation of Greater Portland has been a critical partner and investor in Oregon Hillel,” says Gitelson. “We would not be able to build the vibrant Jewish communities on each campus without the Federation and every community member who so generously supports both Hillel and JFGP.”
This year, Oregon Hillel added a second full-time staff member at OSU – Zidell Family Ezra Jewish Education Fellow Michala Katz. Katz and Jewish Student Life Coordinator Lev Silberstein together are providing additional programs and support for the Beaver community.
Hillel Senior Jewish Educator Rabbi Meir Goldstein has developed a new course for UO’s winter term. As part of the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Jewish Studies, the course will trace the history of the Jewish community in Oregon and specifically in Eugene. Students will learn about and research the Jewish history throughout the state and build a website that can help tell that story for years to come.
Oregon Hillel runs trips to Israel for students on both campuses: Birthright, offered in winter and summer; Shalom Hartman iEngage Seminar in Jerusalem in the winter; and Perspectives at the end of summer.