Megan McLean, Director of Hillel
It’s hard to believe the school year is already over. It feels like Rosh Hashanah was just a few weeks ago. I am so proud of what we did this year. The students have done incredible work and the Community has been so supportive of our programs. Since our last issue we have celebrated Hanukkah, Purim and Passover together as well as countless Shabbats. We hosted an inspiring speaker from Israel, former Member of Knesset Dr. Rachel Adato and what was possibly the liveliest Latke-Hamantash Debate to date. Our weekly programs: Community Torah Study, Jewcy Details, Modern Hebrew and Shabbat Shalom, have continued throughout the year and welcome any and all participants who wish to join. The first-ever Birthright trip for small Virginia colleges took eight VMI and W&L students and alumni to Israel together. We also took two students to the AIPAC Policy Conference in D.C. where they reunited with old friends, connected with students from all over the country at Hillel International’s programs and saw an exceptional array of speakers.
Our Student Board held a successful election and we are so pleased to see several students continue on the Board next year who will be fantastic mentors to our new members. We are now planning our fall Board Retreat to get the year off to a great start. These students will be instrumental in welcoming the 19 Jewish students who will be joining us from the Class of 2020 (which includes a recipient of the highly-completive Weinstein Scholarship).
I am pleased to report that we are close to reaching our fundraising goals this year. As I am writing this we have raised $46,000 towards this year’s operating budget (goal: $54,000) and $883,000 towards our Programming Endowment Fund (goal $1.1 million). We are so appreciative of all of our donors. Without these funds we would not be able to have a Hillel program at Washington and Lee University.
The last two years here have truly been such a blessing to me. I have worked with so many wonderful people – including students, staff, faculty, alumni, parents and Community Members. And I have been able to oversee fun, educational and enlightening programs. So it is bittersweet for me to announce that this is my last Star Newsletter. While I am excited to pursue new opportunities, there are so many people here that I will greatly miss, especially the students who have been my family here in Lexington. I wish you all of you the best and look forward to watching how W&L Hillel continues to grow and how Jewish Life continues to thrive in Lexington.
Questions about W&L Hillel can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-458-8443.
Thank you all again for everything you have done to support my work here – it means the world to me.