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New Haven federation head tapped for senior Hillel post

Connecticut Jewish Ledger
WEST HARTFORD, Conn., March 16 (JTA) — Jay Rubin is more than a Jewish community official. He is a Jewish folk singer and musician, too. So don’t be surprised if the song he’s singing these days is “Shalom Chaverim.” Rubin, who has served as executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven since 1991, is leaving to become executive vice president of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, in Washington. “Hillel has been a passion of mine for many years,” Rubin said. “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to work in the area of college services, both in terms of campuses here and on some national issues.” Rubin, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., expects to assume his new duties in May. “Hillel is a passion of Jay’s,” said Carol Robbins, president of the federation’s board of directors. “He is not simply leaving us, he is going to something that is close to his heart. It is definitely a step up on his career ladder. While we will miss him here, we look forward to working with him on the national and state scene in the future.” A former teacher and instructor at three colleges in Missouri and Texas, his imminent return to the campus environment excites Rubin. “A Jewish renaissance has begun on college campuses around the country. I am thrilled to become an active participant in the effort to strengthen Jewish campus life worldwide,” Rubin said. “Hillel also offers a real opportunity to engage with Jews who are committed, who are not committed, who are challenging and who have never been challenged, and to really focus on developing Jewish identities.” According to the Hillel Annual Report for 1996, the United States has 101 active Hillel’s in 32 states serving 114 colleges and universities. There are 13 other Hillel programs in universities around the world. Richard Joel, Hillel president, expressed pleasure at Rubin’s decision to come to Hillel. “After a lengthy search, we found in Jay the same qualities of caring leadership that has served New Haven so well,” Joel said. “Jay has been wonderfully helpful in working with Hillels at Yale and [the University of Connecticut], has helped provide support statewide and was a key member of the [Council of Jewish Federations] Task Force on Service to Jewish University Students,” Joel said. “His background as a faculty member and a community builder is a key combination. We see him as a renaissance man for our `Renaissance Agenda.’ ” Rubin came to New Haven after heading combined Jewish federations and Jewish Community Centers in Augusta, Ga., and Canton, Ohio. Over the past 16 years he has been active in every aspect of Jewish community service, including fund raising, leadership development, Jewish education, refugee resettlement, community relations, and planning and social services. “The campus represents, in many ways, a laboratory for the Jewish community,” Rubin said. “It’s an opportunity to take a sizable group of Jews who are living together in a neighborhood and in need of certain services and connections.”