Alumnus, foundation make gifts in support of vibrant Hillel at Brandeis

Mike Lovett

Since its founding, Brandeis University has offered a uniquely rich environment for Jewish student life and leadership. Now, a Brandeis trustee and a foundation that supports young adults in their embrace of Jewish identity are making a significant gift to support Hillel at Brandeis and the vibrancy of Jewish life on campus.

Trustee Meyer Koplow ’72, P’02, P’05, and The Shapira Foundation have each made $300,000 challenge grants, intended to encourage new gifts to Brandeis Hillel. The $1.2 million total in grants, inclusive of the amount to be raised in the challenge, supports the launch of a search for a new executive director of Hillel at Brandeis and is designed to position Brandeis Hillel for operational and programmatic excellence as defined by Hillel International’s Drive to Excellence.

“We thank Meyer and The Shapira Foundation for these generous investments in Jewish life at Brandeis,” said Ron Liebowitz, Brandeis University president. “The University is committed to continuing to provide our Jewish students with an enriching experience — both in and out of the classroom — by combining our commitment to excellence in Jewish studies with dynamic Jewish programming across the campus.”

Brandeis alumni, many of whom were active in Hillel as students, hold prominent leadership positions in the Jewish community around the world. Brandeis Hillel oversees more than 20 student-run Jewish clubs, performing arts groups and special project committees that create a uniquely expansive atmosphere for students to connect and develop with other Jewish students.

“Since its establishment 68 years ago, Brandeis has served a special role in American Jewish life,” said Koplow, who has served as a Brandeis trustee since 2006 and has supported Brandeis Hillel for many years. “This gift should help assure that Brandeis Hillel serves as a model for Jewish life on campus, supporting students in celebrating and deepening their Jewish identity, for many years to come.”

The Shapira Foundation, based in Pittsburgh, invests in organizations and programs that help young Jews form strong Jewish identities and attachments to Israel. Cynthia Shapira, who joined the Brandeis Board of Trustees in 2013, serves as the foundation’s president.

“The Shapira Foundation believes in Hillel International’s vision that every Jewish student be inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel,” said Cynthia Shapira. “We are thrilled to partner with Meyer and Brandeis University to jump-start the strategic investments needed to make this a reality for Brandeis students.”

Categories: Alumni, General, Student Life

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