COLLEGE PARK, Md - The University of Maryland announced today its participation in Hillel International’s Campus Climate Initiative (CCI) cohort for the 2023-24 academic year and beyond. A unique effort to strengthen ties between university leaders and Maryland Hillel, CCI provides senior campus administrators with a comprehensive program to foster a campus climate in which Jewish students feel comfortable expressing their identity free of antisemitism, harassment, or marginalization.
CCI’s program is intentionally integrated into the institution’s broader diversity, equity and inclusion commitments to foster a positive campus climate for all students. The program provides campuses with tools to assess their current campus climate and a 16-month educational curriculum through which to explore Jewish student experiences on campus. It also supports campuses in the development and implementation of action plans that seek to create a more inclusive campus climate for Jewish students and all students.
Another notable feature of the cohort experience is the collaborative facilitation opportunities provided to CCI by the American Council on Education (ACE), the nation’s largest higher education organization, on their ACE Engage platform.
The University of Maryland CCI team will consist of Dr. Georgina Dodge, vice president for diversity and inclusion; Dr. Stephanie Shonekan, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities; Tait D. Brooks, director of Diversity Training & Education in the Office of Diversity & Inclusion; Angela Nastase, J.D., Title IX coordinator and director of the Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct; Yvette I. Lerma Jones, director for diversity, equity and inclusion in the Division of Student Affairs; Dawn Savage, M.A., assistant director of student life at Maryland Hillel; and Rabbi Ari Israel, executive director of Maryland Hillel.
Rabbi Israel shared, “It is an honor and a privilege to join forces with university administrators to ensure a welcoming and inclusive campus environment for every student. The work done through CCI will uniquely position the University of Maryland and Maryland Hillel to better understand and support the Jewish student experience on campus and continue to build critical bridges with offices and departments across the institution.”
Dr. Georgina Dodge, vice president for diversity and inclusion at UMD, said, “At Maryland, we strive to ensure that every community on our campus feels a sense of belonging. The Hillel CCI program provides us an opportunity to assess the experiences of our Jewish students and to take actions that will benefit all our students.”
The University of Maryland joins campuses from across the country that share a commitment to rooting out campus antisemitism through effective, meaningful partnership. CCI cohorts include campuses that have faced many instances of antisemitism in recent years, as well as campuses seeking to proactively maintain their positive environment.
CCI plans to announce the participation of additional campuses in its fourth cohort in the coming weeks. Universities in the previous cohorts are listed here.
About Maryland Hillel
Maryland Hillel’s mission is to enhance the lives of Jewish students on campus in order to enable them to enrich the Jewish people and the world around them. Maryland Hillel actively seeks to engage Jewish students on their own terms: to provide them with Jewish opportunities that are meaningful and appealing to them. Maryland Hillel is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism that embraces every Jewish student at the University of Maryland and serves one of the largest and most dynamic Jewish campus communities in the country. Hillel sponsors a diverse and exciting array of activities throughout the school year, including social, cultural, religious and educational programs. For more information on Maryland Hillel, visit marylandhillel.org.