Comings and Goings:
Staff Changes at Hillel International; URJ Kutz Camp to Close
Rabbi Benjamin Berger is joining Hillel International as Vice President for Jewish Education. In his new role, Rabbi Berger will oversee the Hillel U Center for Jewish and Israel Education, charged with leading the growth and development of all Hillel professionals in the core areas of Hillel’s mission, strengthening all Hillel staff as learners and educators.
Most recently, Rabbi Berger served the Director of the Wexner Heritage Program. During this period, he worked alongside colleagues and faculty to develop a renewed curriculum, focusing on contemporary leadership skills, a more focused Jewish learning syllabus and engaged members as an educator, mentor and program director. Rabbi Berger also co-founded the Wexner Service Corps, a teen service learning initiative, and worked alongside editor Rabbi Larry Hoffman to develop, curate and edit a volume on leadership, called More Than Managing: The Relentless Pursuit of Effective Jewish Leadership.
Rabbi Berger previously served as a Senior Jewish Educator at The Ohio State University Hillel. In recognition of its transformation during his time, OSU Hillel received Hillel’s 2012 Vision and Values Award, Joseph Meyerhoff Award for Meaningful Jewish Experience.
Rabbi Berger was ordained at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in 2009.
The URJ has announced that after 54 years, Kutz Camp will be closing following the summer 2019 sessions. In a statement released yesterday, Rabbi Rick Jacobs said: “Generations of teen leaders came to Warwick, N.Y., to experiment with religious practice, write the music that inspires us today, and learn to act justly and to lead our communities. Today we find that many of our teens are looking for these remarkable programs closer to home and at different times of the year.
Throughout the next year, URJ camps across North America and NFTY will join us in determining how to best bring the Movement’s renowned leadership programming directly to the teens in our network of camps and congregations. I know many of you will want to know what will happen to the facility in Warwick, and the honest answer is that we don’t know yet. We are exploring the possibilities.”