Home Uncategorized New Hillel at Virginia Commonwealth University selects Joel Bond as executive director

New Hillel at Virginia Commonwealth University selects Joel Bond as executive director

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Joel Bond

Experienced Jewish nonprofit professional to lead recently opened Hillel for VCU students in Richmond

Hillel at Virginia Commonwealth University in early July named Joel Bond as its inaugural executive director. He began his new position on July 3.

Hillel at VCU was recently incorporated in May 2023 and will begin serving students in the 2023-2024 school year.

Bond will be the first full-time Hillel professional to lead programming, education, and experiences for the VCU community of more than 1,000 Jewish undergraduate students and over 300 graduate and professional students.

Over the past two years, leaders at Hillel International, the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, and others in Richmond’s Jewish community identified the opportunity for a Hillel to support VCU students. The creation of the new Hillel represents the first time Jewish students at VCU have been served by an independent Hillel devoted exclusively to the university.

The Hillel executive director enters this new role with deep experience supporting both students and Jewish life in Virginia. Most recently, he served as the director of the Jewish Community Relations Council at the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater in Virginia Beach.

Beginning this role marks Joel’s return to the Hillel movement, as he previously served as an innovation specialist and was an inaugural Springboard fellow at the Hillel of Long Beach, Calif.  Joel is the first Springboard Fellow to assume the Executive Director role in the Hillel movement.

Reflecting on the announcement, the incoming executive director of Hillel at VCU,  Bond shared, “I am honored to return to the Hillel family as executive director at Hillel at VCU. I have spent my career helping Jewish communities grow across the country. I look forward to joining the community here at VCU to continue working here in Richmond so that students can benefit from the same meaningful experiences and lifelong connections that I have cherished.”

Adam Lehman, president and CEO of Hillel International, said, “I’m thrilled to be adding another campus Hillel to our network, and expanding access to opportunities for robust Jewish life on campus. As we establish this new Hillel, Joel Bond is the ideal leader to have at the helm.”

Lehman continued, “It’s especially meaningful to have a professional who got his start as a Hillel Springboard Fellow bringing his incredibly relevant experience strengthening Jewish life on campus to this new Hillel leadership role in support of Jewish students at VCU.”

Sara Rosenbaum, Chief Impact Officer of the JCFR, added, “We are confident that Joel’s experience and dedication will enable Hillel at VCU to be home to a welcoming and vibrant Jewish community for students on campus and beyond.

She added, “At the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, we know that Richmond’s Jewish students are a key component of our larger Jewish community and look forward to supporting Joel as he embarks on this new effort.”

Melanie Fine, Hillel at VCU Search Committee member and VCU alumnus, said, “The Jewish student community at VCU is lucky to have Joel Bond as executive director of its new Hillel. His passion for Jewish engagement and commitment to empowering young minds will undoubtedly shape the future of our vibrant community in Richmond.”

About Hillel International

Founded in 1923, Hillel has been enriching the lives of Jewish students for 100 years. Today, Hillel International is a global organization that welcomes students of all backgrounds and fosters an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning and Israel. Hillel is dedicated to enriching the lives of Jewish students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.

As the largest and most inclusive Jewish student organization in the world, Hillel builds connections with emerging adults at more than 850 colleges and universities, and inspires them to direct their own path.

During their formative college years, students are challenged to explore, experience, and create vibrant Jewish lives.

To reach out to Joel Bond, email

hillelatvcu@gmail.com.

Hillel at VCU is supported, in part, by an  annual programming grant from the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond.