Press Releases

September 13th, 2016

Shalom Hartman Institute Receives $1 million Towards its Israel Education on Campus Efforts from Jim Joseph Foundation

Grant supports expansion of “iEngage on Campus” to West Coast and launch of new programs

San Francisco, CA -- The Shalom Hartman Institute, a center for research and education that improves the quality of Jewish life in Israel and North America, has received a grant from the Jim Joseph Foundation for $1 million over three years to expand its iEngage on Campus program on the West Coast and to launch new Israel education initiatives to be piloted at West Coast campuses. This is the Foundation’s second major grant to the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.

“Our campus program, a cornerstone of our work in North America, addresses a critically important community of young American Jews,” said Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America. “With the partnership of the Jim Joseph Foundation, we can broaden our geographic reach through a national expansion and transform college campuses into sites of elevated and ethical discourse on Israel.”

The iEngage on Campus program will include campus professionals, academics and undergraduate students at up to nine campuses from Washington to Southern California. They will participate in intensive training programs in Israel and North America that provide education on Jewish peoplehood and the relationship of the Jewish people to the State of Israel—all in an environment that encourages their own deep learning and consideration of challenging questions and issues. The goal of the West Coast iEngage Initiative is to ensure that college campuses are sites of elevated and ethical discourse on Israel.

The 2016-17 programmatic year will include expansion of multiple iEngage program components to the West Coast, including:

  • iEngage Campus Professionals Program (a Fellowship for Hillel directors, campus rabbis and educators) – The Fellowship, launched in partnership with Hillel International, grew out of an awareness that Jewish campus professionals in North America face a unique set of opportunities and challenges, and rarely have opportunities to pursue their own professional growth. The Fellowship provides a framework for ongoing study to train campus professionals to think in more nuanced terms about Israel as a core element of Jewish life and assists them in cultivating substantive and compelling conversations about, and relationships, with Israel on campus.
  • iEngage Collegiate Seminars on Campus (for Jewish undergraduate students of all denominations and affiliations) – Students engage in a yearlong experience including both a series of three iEngage classes on campus and a weeklong Winter Seminar in Jerusalem. This initiative is designed for students at campuses with alumni of the Fellowship for Campus Professionals. As the seminar grows, this program will empower hundreds of students over the three-year grant period to be change agents on campus and provide them with a profound and life-changing educational experience.
  • Scholar-in-Residence to Campus Communities – iEngage faculty will work in coordination with Hillel professionals to provide greater learning opportunities to interested students throughout the year. This program will draw on the rich resource of faculty in Israel and North America who regularly travel to the West Coast on behalf of the Shalom Hartman Institute.

The expanded West Coast efforts also will pilot new programs, including:

  • iEngage Campus Faculty Research Fellows – The Hartman Institute will identify at least two applicants who will focus their research at the Kogod Research Center in New York on the iEngage curriculum and will collaborate around pedagogic strategies to bring the curriculum to college students on campus.
  • Master Class for Campus Professionals – Engage Hillel professionals and other campus leaders so they maintain an understanding of the iEngage pedagogy and have the opportunity to deepen their own knowledge and expertise as campus educators.
  • Alumni Engagement for Campus Professionals – The 40 alumni of the Campus Professionals program have displayed an interest in sharpening their ability to teach and create programs using the iEngage curriculum; sharing best practices and program success stories, and troubleshooting; and learning to use the iEngage discourse to respond to current events. In addition to year-round engagement, there the Hartman Institute will engage Fellowship alumni in training seminars, coaching and facilitated networking.

Over the next three years, through these programmatic components, the Hartman Institute envisions creating a depth of resources on West Coast campuses by educating their existing campus professionals and academics to better engage and lead students.

“The Shalom Hartman Institute has crafted multi-faceted, thoughtful initiatives to support campus leaders and students who face a sometimes deeply troubling campus environment vis-à-vis Israel and outward Jewish expression,” says Al Levitt, President and Board Chair of the Jim Joseph Foundation. “The Foundation Board is especially pleased that these programs leverage the close relationship between the Hartman Institute and Hillel International, offering the opportunity to positively influence tens of thousands of Jewish students on West Coast campuses.”

About Shalom Hartman Institute
The Shalom Hartman Institute is a pluralistic center of research and education deepening and elevating the quality of Jewish life in Israel and North America. Through our work we are redefining the conversation about Judaism in modernity, religious pluralism, Israeli democracy, Israel and world Jewry, and the relationship with other faith communities.

 About Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
The Shalom Hartman Institute of North America enriches the resources, vision, and commitment of the leaders and change agents who shape the future of Jewish life in North America and set the agendas of its educational, religious, and community institutions. Through text study, peer learning, and interdenominational dialogue, the Institute is shaping a future for North American Jewry of intellectual renaissance and renewed inspiration.

To learn more about the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America or to make a charitable donation, visit or call 212-268-0300.

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The Jim Joseph Foundation invests in promising Jewish education grant initiatives. We partner with effective organizations that seek to inspire young people to discover the joy of living vibrant Jewish lives.