Dan’s Farewell to FSU Hillel


  • A Farewell to FSU Hillel

FSU Hillel is now halfway through its 8th decade at Florida State University. Through each era and student and staff transition, we have impacted the lives of the entire Florida State and Tallahassee community. Since I joined FSU Hillel in 2018, our team has helped navigate the meaning of Kehilla (sacred community) for more than 16,000 Jewish Noles (4,000 each year!). Through Passover seders, cohort learning, and many more activities, your support made all of these things possible.


It’s true that in the past two years students like Jillian have lost out on so much. But in this season of renewal, there is excitement in the air. I am inspired and uplifted by the resiliency of our students and by their optimism for the future. This spring, there is so much to celebrate:


  • With creativity, we offered meals for all Jewish holidays for students to celebrate on their own terms. As many as 75+ students became hosts which allowed Jewish Noles to step into leadership roles amongst their closest peers. Hosts received training on prayers and hosting from the FSU Hillel team.

  • Challahassee (formerly known as Challah for Hunger) bridges the gap between education and food insecurity by baking over 180 challahs and raising over $1100.

  • Our student life team launched Panhellenic – a partnership between Hillel and the greek community which resulted in 170 attendees at the kick-off event and an understanding of diversity education.


  • Not one but two FSU Hillel busses made it to Israel on #Birthright. Through their ten-day journeys, over 50 Noles explored Israel and learned the meaning of mishpocha (family), and are excited for the days in which they reunited with peers to recall their shared experiences.  

Because of you, I know I am leaving FSU Hillel as we are on the rise – to be stronger, larger, and better than ever. Our incoming staff collectively have years of experience in programming, social action, Israel education and fundraising – you’ll be introduced to them soon!


I am incredibly grateful for the generosity you’ve shown in the past. Your support makes a difference or our current Noles – and the many more FSU Hillel will impact in the future.


With gratitude,

Dan Leshem, Executive Director

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