Having just concluded the first academic year of the Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement (RHCIE), we have completed a comprehensive evaluation of the initiative to date. This evaluation was internally driven. We want the RHCIE to be as effective as possible, and we want our stakeholders to know that we are committed to accountability and results. We also see the RHCIE as a potential model for Hillels nationally, creating scalable tools for Israel advocacy on campus.
Among the key findings are the following:
- RHCIE faced the challenge that the Rutgers’ pro-Israel community was reactionary and defensive, acting only in response to anti-Israel programs. RHCIE sought to create a pro-active culture, creating a pro-Israel activity for its own sake.
- RHCIE created a steady flow of information aimed at establishing the dominant narrative regarding both Israel and Jewish life on campus.
- RHCIE’s benchmarks were created to track progress and evaluate success. 13 out of the 14 suggested benchmarks were achieved.
- RHCIE has a clear theory of change and goals. RHCIE seeks to create synergy with other Israel advocacy organizations to efficiently use the resources provided by the pro-Israel community.