Toronto, ON — Today, Hillel Ontario announced a new investment in campus advocacy thanks to a $1M gift by The Gerald Schwartz & Heather Reisman Foundation. The gift will be used over three years to hire advocacy professionals that will join local Hillel campus teams across Ontario.

The Hillel Ontario campuses to benefit from the new strategy are Western, Ryerson, York, and McMaster.

“Hillel is the only organization that is on campus every single day, supporting students who are on the front line, fighting antisemitism and opposing those who demonize Israel,” said Gerald Schwartz. “We challenge community members who care about Jewish students to step up and join us in supporting this new strategy so that it can be expanded to other campuses across Ontario.”

The gift will be used to fund staff resources, specialized professional development and training, advocacy programming, and encompasses a comprehensive professional evaluation of campus climate and attitudes towards Israel and the Jewish community.  

“Our mission is to ensure that every Jewish student is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel,” said Marc Newburgh, Hillel Ontario CEO. “An environment in which Jewish students feel safe expressing their identity and connection with Israel is essential to nurturing a vibrant Jewish community on campus and an integral piece of Hillel Ontario’s strategic plan. This transformative gift will empower Hillel students to confront antisemitism, challenge hateful BDS initiatives, and foster strong relationships with university administrators, faculty members, student government and other campus leaders.”   

Additional Background

  • Hillel Ontario has retained Rosov Consulting to conduct a comprehensive three-year study of the impact of this investment on campus climate and attitudes towards Israel at the four recipient campuses. Rosov will report its findings to the community each year to demonstrate measurable and tangible impact, share best practices and continue to refine and improve Hillel’s advocacy strategy.

About Hillel Ontario: As an affiliate of the largest Jewish student organization in the world, and now the largest global regional Hillel system, Hillel Ontario works to amplify Jewish campus life across nine universities, with a combined Jewish student population of over 13,000.

Hillel engages with, empowers, and inspires the leadership of more Jewish university and college students than all other endeavours combined. By promoting Jewish identity through life-changing trips and campus initiatives, cultivating student leadership and embracing religious, and political, diversity in an inclusive environment, students learn to make a meaningful impact on the future of the Jewish people and the world, while they grow intellectually, socially, and spiritually.

For more information please contact:

Ilan Orzy
Director, Advocacy & Issues Management
Hillel Ontario
ilan.orzy@hillelontario.org | 416-913-2424 x 5