President's Perspective Ben Brams '15, W&L Hillel President

When I first arrived on campus as a wide-eyed first-year in 2011, I had no idea what a "Hillel" even was. Now, older and wiser than ever before, I realize that my time at W&L has seen our organization undergo some big changes. Jewish enrollment is up, engagement has increased exponentially, and the passion for this place continues unabated and unmatched. In some small way, I take pride in all that we've been able to accomplish, but I also acknowledge that our success would not be possible without the younger generation of W&L Hillel.

About a month ago, Hillel elected a new student board for the 2015-2016 academic year. I sincerely congratulate each and every one of them and thank them for their enthusiasm, their dedication, and their willingness to make sure that W&L Hillel continues to be the best student organization on campus. The new executive board consists of President-Elect Maddi Boireau ('17), Vice President Laura Wiseman ('16), and Treasurer Keith Denning ('18). Maddi and Laura are seasoned Hillel veterans, and Keith brings a pragmatic attitude to our programming decisions that will surely prove beneficial. The student board is comprised of Engagement Chair Rachel Reibach ('18), Social Action Co-Chairs Batsheva Honig ('17) and Caroline Birdrow ('16), Shabbat Chair Jordan Goldstein ('18), Holidays Chair Ron Perets ('18), Speakers Chair Shlomo Honig ('18), Communications Chair Jacob Rosen ('18), Israel Chair Rebecca Orsak ('18), editor-in-chief for the Star newsletter Hannah Falchuk ('18), and our VMI Liaison Stephen Reibach (VMI '18).

Two things I want y'all to notice: first, this is the first time we've ever had one set (much less two sets!) of siblings on the board! Kind of crazy. Second, I hope you've noticed how many rising sophomores have taken leadership positions. This means much more than successful retention; it also speaks to the power of our younger generation. It is no secret that W&L Hillel is what you make of it, and in light of this fact, I implore the rising sophomores and incoming first-years to take it upon yourselves to make W&L Hillel the best it can be. Now, as a washed-up senior, I can only do so much. The time has finally come for you to take your experience into your own hands, to fashion it carefully and thoughtfully, to strive for excellence and quality, but most importantly, to enjoy every moment of it while you can. And, looking at the incoming board, I have no doubt that this mission-our mission-is entirely possible.