Buracks Step Up for UVM Hillel
- By Jay Goyette
Buracks Step Up for UVM Hillel
When Dan Burack ’55 was an undergraduate at UVM, there was an established Hillel organization on campus. “I never went,” he says. The locus of campus social life in those days, he recalls, was in the fraternities and sororities, and that’s where his circle of friends gravitated. “We wanted to meet the girls,” he says with a grin.
Today, however, Dan Burack is UVM Hillel’s biggest champion. So much so that he and his wife of fifty-three years, Carole, have made a $1 million gift to support and grow the Hillel organization at UVM. Hillel, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world, today has a presence at some 550 colleges and universities representing more than 850,000 students worldwide and is devoted to creating lasting connections with students, inspiring and training them to become leaders and build their own communities.
While Hillel’s primary focus is on fostering an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel, it welcomes students of all backgrounds. “We want UVM Hillel to be a big tent on the UVM campus,” Burack says. “We have an exciting new executive director this fall in Matt Vogel, who came from Baruch College, where he held a similar position.”
“Wherever you have an active, thriving Hillel on a college campus it’s good for campus life, good for the institution as a whole, good for students, faculty and the entire campus community,” Burack says. “The future is investing in young adults in the most formative period of their lives. This generation wants to be leaders, not only in the Jewish world, but to recognize and care about the state of the world. They want to be involved in the solutions.” In fact, he adds, “second only to providing a safety net to the most vulnerable, investing in the Hillel movement is the single most important investment one can make in the Jewish world today.”
Dan Burack says he’s excited that the UVM Foundation was created to coordinate fund raising activities at UVM, and he expects to see more donors supporting recognized student organizations like Hillel than ever before. His and Carole’s own contribution, he says, will augment the programs and services that have been ongoing at UVM Hillel for years. “Growth will happen,” he affirms. “This is a fertile, amazing time for us to build on the success of what’s happened in the last ten-plus years. Hillel is one of the most exciting stories in philanthropy today.”
Burack’s passion for the vision of Hillel is captured in a framed quote in his office by Harold J. Seymour. “Leaders are the ones who keep faith with the past, keep step with the present, and keep the promise to posterity.” Burack wants alumni, students, parents, and grandparents to keep this in mind when they envision the future.
“This is an extraordinary commitment from Dan and Carole Burack that will benefit every student who wants to participate in Hillel’s wide range of activities and services,” says UVM Foundation president and CEO Rich Bundy. “The UVM Foundation looks forward to working with Hillel in their fundraising programs and helping to make UVM Hillel one of the best in the country.”
To learn more about Hillel International and UVM Hillel, visit www.hillel.org and www.uvm hillel.org.