Penn State Hillel’s Aaron Kaufman Wins Top Professional Hillel Award


Aaron Kaufman

— by Alex Bolotovsky

Aaron Kaufman, executive director of Penn State Hillel, is one of seven people to win the 2013 Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award from Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. The awards were given during Hillel’s professional institute, held this year at Washington University in St. Louis.

The Example of Excellence Award is given each year to professionals in various stages of their careers, who have offered especially innovative approaches to enhancing campus life for Jewish students. “Although receiving this award is a great honor and one that I very much appreciate, the student leaders of Penn State Hillel, our staff, and the student body are the ones who are owed this award,” said Kaufman.

More after the jump.

Our mission at Penn State Hillel is to provide enriching Jewish experiences to students at Penn State, so that they can go on to enrich the world; we take this mission seriously and strive for excellence each day.

Rob Goldberg, Hillel’s Vice President for Campus Services, said as he presented Kaufman his award:

A dedicated mentor, generous friend, and respected colleague, he volunteers time to unselfishly help others at Hillel, while also supporting colleagues throughout the network. He is committed to mentoring and supervising emerging professionals.

The president of Penn State University, Rodney Erickson, agreed that Aaron is a great leader and mentor: “Aaron has been an outstanding executive director of Penn State Hillel, and our students and community have benefitted greatly from his leadership and mentoring.”

Kaufman attended the University of Michigan, where he received a degree in Judaic Studies, Cultural Anthropology, and Studies in Religion, as well as a Master’s Degree in Social Work. He has worked in Penn State Hillel since 2007, and previously was the director at Eastern Michigan University Hillel, and the associate director at Cornell Hillel.

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