Jerusalem-based initiative Mosaic United and partner organizations committed to donating USD $23 million to 400 colleges and universities for Jewish student programs. The organization and its partners have made annual donations for the past six years since its inception, to the benefit of about 115,000 students, it estimated.
Mosaic hopes its contribution, which it described as a "strategic investment," will strengthen ties between the state of Israel and Jews worldwide, it said in a statement.
Campus organizations such as Chabad on Campus International, Hillel International and Olami are involved in Mosaic United's Campus Pillar, which focuses on expanding programs for Jewish students.
"Mosaic United’s Campus Pillar remains distinct as a collaborative venture between Israel and global Jewry where the investment and emphasis is on growing Jewish life wherever Jews are," Mosaic's statement read.
The Diaspora Affairs Ministry will provide NIS 25 million in funding while an additional NIS 50 million will be donated by philanthropists, according to the statement.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid proliferation of antisemitism, "our commitment to Jewish campus life through Mosaic United is grounded in our office's understanding of the importance of connecting and inspiring the next generation and our sense of mutual responsibility that exists between Jews in Israel and around the world,” said Diaspora Affairs minister Dr. Nachman Shai.
During the pandemic, professionals at numerous schools developed new programs aiming to invigorate campus Jewish communities and help students connect with their Jewish identity, including online classes and study sessions, as well as outdoor Shabbat services and takeaway Shabbat meals.
“We are very thankful to our partners at Mosaic United who supported us in developing new and innovative ways to meet students where they were (virtually and in small groups) to ensure we were able to continue our critical work on behalf of Jewish student communities,” Hillel International CEO Adam Lehman said.