$1 Million Gift to Hillel Ontario

For immediate release:

April 23, 2018

$1 Million Gift to Hillel Ontario to Transform Jewish Student Experience on Ontario University Campuses

The Silber Family Foundation has made an investment in talent to attract the best Jewish role models to engage Jewish students on Ontario campuses. Learn more at YouHadMeAtHillel.ca

TORONTO – Hillel Ontario is proud to announce the Silber Family Foundation has generously donated $1,000,000 to the organization in matching funds to invest in talent and attract the best Jewish role models to serve and engage Jewish students at universities across Ontario.

Hillel Ontario was challenged by the Silbers to “identify the single most important investment in Hillel that would have the greatest impact on student engagement.” This transformative investment in talent is inspired by the potential to impact not just Hillel, but also the broader Canadian Jewish community.

In tandem with the Silber’s generous gift Hillel Ontario is launching YouHadMeAtHillel.ca, which will serve as the future home for talent recruitment and professional development.

Investing in “programming over programmers” is outdated and ineffective

Jewish engagement is not dependent on the quality of the chicken on the table, but on the relationship you have with the person who greets you when you walk in the door. Research by Hillel International underscores the importance of student relationships with the campus professional in maximizing impact. 

Marc Newburgh, CEO of Hillel Ontario said, “Hillel is a people to people, relationship-based organization. In order to effectively fulfill our mission, we need to shift our focus from the value of programs to the value of people. Investing in the people who are engaging our Jewish students on campus will create real change and have a substantial impact”. 

When speaking about the impact this gift will have, Allan Silber said, “Our family is proud to invest in talent. We are confident that this initiative will act as a growth catalyst for community giving to an organization that serves over 13,000 Jewish students across the province. By ensuring that Hillel can attract the absolute best role models to engage our Jewish students, we will cultivate the next generation of community leaders.” 

Why invest in Hillel?

With one exception, each university within the Hillel Ontario system has more than 1000 Jewish students on campus. With such an abundance of Jewish undergraduates, Hillel cannot possibly reach the number of students required to achieve excellence in student engagement with solo professionals. Increasing the number of high-quality campus professionals significantly impacts the breadth and depth of our engagement and boosts the number of high-impact Jewish encounters.

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.


Allan & Hinda Silber: Philanthropic Visionaries

Allan and Hinda Silber, together with their children and grandchildren, model the philanthropic value of tzedekah in the 21st century by acting as catalysts to secure the future of the Jewish community. As children of Holocaust survivors, Allan and Hinda have held many leadership positions in the Jewish community and are consistently recognized as thoughtful, strategic and innovative philanthropic partners, here in Toronto and around the world.

“Our family is proud to be a catalyst to strengthen the experience of Jewish students on campuses through Hillel Ontario. Fostering strong community involvement among Jewish students on campus will enrich our community and build lasting bonds that endure well beyond their graduation.”

-Allan Silber, Executive Chairman, Street Capital Group Inc.

“Hillel builds the foundation that is critical for the future of our Jewish community. I am honoured to serve as Chair of Hillel Ontario’s Board of Governors and to lead collaborative community-wide initiatives that will strengthen the future of our Jewish community by investing in our students today."

-Hinda Silber, Chair of Hillel Ontario’s Board of Governors


MEDIA: For more information or to arrange an interview with Allan Silber, Hinda Silber, or Marc Newburgh, please contact Jamie Ellerton at je@conaptus.com or 647.475.5659