University of Alabama

Hillel Student Organization

Bama Hillel students with UA President Dr. Judy Bonner and Chancellor Robert Witt

Photo of Hillel Student Leaders with Dr. Robert Witt and Dr. Judy Bonner

From left to right: Bryan Kellert, Risa Hayet, Dr. Robert Witt, Dr. Judy Bonner, Avi Nelson, Elise Kahn, Danielle Freedman


On April 9th, members of the Birmingham Jewish community, the Hillel Board of Trustees, and students from The University of Alabama honored UA President Judy Bonner and Chancellor Robert Witt with a reception in Birmingham at the home of Jeffrey and Gail Bayer. It was an opportunity to express their appreciation for The University of Alabama’s outstanding role in growing the Jewish student population and their support of the Bloom Hillel Center. Dr. Bonner spoke about the University’s overall growth, the outstanding academic quality of the students enrolling and the continuing efforts to grow the Jewish student body on campus.  In pointing out the accomplishments of Dr. Witt during his tenure, President Bonner told the group of her plans to continue the focus on campus diversification and increasing the Jewish student population at The University of Alabama.

Chancellor Robert Witt, also in attendance, helped to initiate the rebirth of the Jewish student body over 10 years ago.  He played a vital role in the building of the new Bloom Hillel Student Center on campus and securing a campus location for Tuscaloosa’s Temple Emanu-El, which now shares a courtyard with Hillel. Several speakers noted the importance of this student growth to the future of Birmingham’s Jewish population

Hillel student leaders (seen above with Dr. Bonner and Dr. Witt) shared their perspectives on Jewish campus life and the impact Hillel and a vibrant Jewish population has had on their college experience. Several attendees noted that our continued partnership with The University of Alabama and the Birmingham Jewish community is vital to the continued success of the Bloom Hillel Student Center and our goal of doubling the Jewish student body at the University over the next 10 years.