Women’s History Month: Jewish Leadership

Hillel Women's PosterIn honor of Women’s History Month, the Colorado State University chapter of Hillel is co-hosting women leaders from across the country who are effecting change in their communities, and helping make life for students on campus more inclusive and meaningful.

Patti Ray, the first woman director of Hillel and now Hillel Director Emerita of Loyola University Chicago, will present a keynote address at 7 p.m. March 30, in the Lory Student Center Ballroom. Ray will discuss the dramatic changes over the past 50 years in the roles of Jewish women in their ritual lives and their communities.

Not only did Ray become the first Hillel director who was not a male Rabbi 40 years ago at the University of Illinois–Chicago Circle, but she also became the first founder of a Hillel chapter at a Catholic University, Loyola University Chicago in 1987.  It was the first non-Catholic organization on campus.

“I am still inspired every day by the students I work with,” says Ray, who continues to serve as a resource for Loyola academic departments to develop new initiatives. “You often do not realize that you break new ground until you look back and reflect upon what you did.”

Other events

Hillel is helping present a number of additional events throughout Women’s History Month:

A Community-Wide Shabbat Dinner, 6:30-8:30 p.m. March 25 at the CSU Hillel House, 720 W. Laurel St. Expect an exciting evening with Rabbi Shoshana Leis from Congregation Har Shalom, Fort Collins’ only woman Rabbi. She will be leading services, followed by a kosher Shabbat meal. This is a great opportunity to learn about more interfaith initiatives in Fort Collins and women in Jewish leadership.
The 11th Annual Women’s Conference, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 26 in the Lory Student Center will include Sheila Katz, Hillel International’s Vice President of Social Entrepreneurship. She will speak about her experiences with Title IX and how gender has affected her personally. Katz also helps lead a group that works to support hundreds of sexual assault survivors on campuses around the country.

All events are free and open to the public through funding and speakers provided by the Associated Students of Colorado State University, Congregation Har Shalom, Hillel, Women and Gender Advocacy Center, and The Women & Gender Collaborative.

Each of the Hillel speakers will also present a private session of Training Tomorrow’s Leaders throughout the week. All student leaders on campus are invited to attend.
• Sheila Katz, March 27
• Patti Ray, March 30
• Shoshana Leis, March 31
Times, locations and registration information will be announced on CSU Hillell’s social media channels closer to the event.

Hillel International connects with students at more than 550 colleges and universities across North America and around the world. More information at the CSU Hillel website or contact Alex Amchislavskiy at alex@hillelcolorado.org or 970-224-4246.