The Columns

Washington and Lee Names New Hillel Director

— by on July 27th, 2011

Washington and Lee University has named Brett M. Schwartz as director of its Hillel,

effective July 15. As only the second person to hold the post, he succeeds Joan Robins, who retired this past June.

Brett Schwartz, Director of Hillel at Washington and Lee University

“We are delighted to have Brett join Washington and Lee,” said Tamara Y. Futrell, associate dean of students in the W&L Office of Diversity and Inclusion, who oversees student religious life. “He brings a wealth of energy and experience to the position of Hillel director. I’m sure he will do a fantastic job.”

Schwartz comes to W&L from Wilmington, Del., where he spent two years as the director of youth and family programming for the Congregation Beth Emeth. He oversaw community programming and developed leadership opportunities for lay leaders and teenagers.

Before Beth Emeth, he spent two months as the site director for the Mitzvah Corps in New Orleans, which engaged teenagers in volunteer projects. From 2007 to 2009, Schwartz directed youth and family programs at the Adath Israel Congregation, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Schwartz holds a B.S. in exercise science from Ithaca College and an M.S. in organizational development and leadership from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. While at Ithaca, Schwartz worked as a student intern at the college’s Hillel, for which he still serves on the board as president, webmaster and program chair.

W&L Hillel is a member of Hillel International: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. Hillel seeks to create a vibrant Jewish life on campus for students of all backgrounds. Its mission is to enrich the lives of Jewish students so that they may make an enduring contribution to the Jewish people and the world.

W&L’s Hillel House opened in the fall of 2010. It contains the kosher E Café and a multipurpose room that is available for community use. Hillel sponsors First Fridays at 5, a monthly Shabbat service and potluck dinner for all students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the local community. On other Friday evenings, it hosts a Shabbat Shalom service for students.

In addition to religious life, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at W&L encompasses multicultural, international and GLBQT student life on campus.