“I am so proud that KU Hillel can continue Daniel Brenner’s legacy through this annual event,” explains Jay Lewis, KU Hillel’s Executive Director. “Young people and leadership were such passions of his, this program is the perfect way to honor his memory.”
This year’s celebration was especially meaningful for Lewis as it was his final Brenner Leadership Reception as KU Hillel’s Executive Director.
“This is a very bittersweet moment for me,” Lewis shared. “I hope these students are lucky enough to love their jobs as much as I have loved being the Executive Director of KU Hillel for the past 15 years.”
Throughout the school year, KU Hillel engaged more than 175 students in leadership roles ranging from internships, serving on a committee, or participating in KU Hillel’s Beren Leadership or Freshmen Leadership Series.
To start the evening, students enjoyed a variety of hors d’oeuvres and had the opportunity to meet KU Hillel’s new Program Director Leah Swartz. Following hors d’oeuvres, there was a formal presentation including a video highlighting the past year. To conclude the evening, Rabbi Schuster addressed student leaders reflecting on past memories shared together and the exciting future that lies ahead for the organization.
“I am so thankful for my final Brenner Leadership Celebration. Not only did we get to come together for one last time, but we got to celebrate each other. Staff celebrating students, students celebrating staff—it was a true representation of successes of KU Hillel’s staff-student partnership,” says KU Hillel student leader and graduating senior Zahava Davis.