from Daniella Hoffman in The Jerusalem Post:
The opening of Hillel Houses across Israel has met with enormous success, not only among international students, but also by native-born Israelis – a surprising phenomenon, considering the purpose of the Jewish centers. In America, Hillel Houses were instituted to reconnect Jewish students with a sense of yiddishkeit (Jewishness), primarily in an attempt to protect against intermarriage and assimilation. Hillel is meant to serve as a social network for Jews, a place for revival of the Shabbat experience, and a way for Diaspora students to connect with Zionist values and the State of Israel. For a student who grew up in Israel, such an organization seems superfluous.
Yet Hillel Israel has opened offices on four new campuses since 2000, and every one of them has been welcomed with open arms by the student body.