Hillel at Kent State’s Jennifer Chestnut Begins Exclusive Hartman Fellowship
Hillel executive director one of 15 campus professionals chosen for yearlong program
Jennifer Chestnut, executive director of Hillel at Kent State University, recently started an exclusive fellowship program for Jewish college professionals from around the world.
She is participating in the Hartman Fellowship for Campus Professionals, a program created by the Shalom Hartman Institute in Israel in partnership with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.
The 12-month fellowship began with a weeklong intensive study program from July 2-9 in Jerusalem, Israel. Chestnut was one of 15 early- and mid-career campus professionals selected for the fully-subsidized fellowship program. It is the first fellowship experience for Chestnut, who has served as the executive director at Kent State Hillel for the last 13 years.
During her time in Israel, Chestnut says the fellows spent every day studying and learning with prestigious Hartman faculty and staff.
The curriculum for the fellowship is based on the Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project. Chestnut says that the project focuses on “elevating the conversation about Israel on campuses to a nuanced values-based one as opposed to a black-and-white, right-and-wrong conversation based on a crisis mentality.”
“We were learning with other campus professionals who are working on this topic globally,” Chestnut says. “Having the content from these world-renowned educators matched with these practitioners working on the ground at these campuses was a special combination.”
Of the global pilot group of participants, 20 percent are Cleveland natives: Chestnut, Rabbi Julie Roth from the Center for Jewish Life and executive director of Hillel at Princeton University, and Rabbi Michael Uram, director and campus Rabbi of Penn Hillel. Ohio also is represented by Rabbi Benjamin Berger, senior Jewish educator at Ohio State University Hillel.
The fellowship program will continue with a meeting during the annual Hillel Institute conference in August in St. Louis, Mo. Participants also will connect via bi-weekly video conferences and a three-day mid-year seminar in the United States in January 2013. Finally, the fellowship will conclude with another weeklong seminar in July 2013 in Jerusalem.
The Shalom Hartman Institute is a center of transformative thinking and teaching that addresses the major challenges facing the Jewish people and elevates the quality of Jewish life in Israel and around the world. A leader in sophisticated, ideas-based Jewish education for community leaders and change agents, the institute is committed to the significance of Jewish ideas, the power of applied scholarship, and the conviction that great teaching contributes to the growth and continual revitalization of the Jewish people.
For additional information on the Shalom Hartman Institute, visit www.hartman.org.il.
For more information about the Hartman Fellowship for Campus Professionals, click here.