Hillel International welcomes interim CEO and new board chair
July 12, 2019
WASHINGTON-Adam Lehman will take the helm of the world's largest campus Jewish organization as interim CEO after serving as the organization's chief operating officer since 2015. Hillel International also announced today that Samuel E. "Skip" Vichness, Ph. D. will begin his term as the chair of the Board of Directors after serving for three years as vice chair.
For the past four years, Lehman has managed the day-to-day activities and operations of Hillel International and played a pivotal role in helping the organization meet and exceed the goals set in its Drive to Excellence strategic plan. A successful executive and entrepreneur, Lehman previously served as a senior vice president and group COO at AOL; as president and COO of software company Lotame Solutions; and as a founder, CEO and operating partner in several other entrepreneurial and mission-driven ventures. As he laid out in a recent op-ed in eJewish Philanthropy, Lehman has used his entrepreneurial background to strengthen Hillel's orientation as both a data-driven and customer-centric organization.
"At Hillel International we are blessed with a clear plan for achieving excellence and an incredible team of Hillel professionals serving students on more than 550 campuses in the U.S., Canada and 17 other countries around the world" said Lehman. "As I take on this new role, my focus and Hillel's focus will continue to be on providing the most relevant and valuable resources and supports to our campus professionals so that we can achieve our mission of enriching the lives of Jewish students so they enrich the Jewish people and the world. Building on our recent successes, I'm confident the Hillel movement will engage and inspire more Jewish students than ever in the coming year."
Vichness has served as a director, investor and partner in the summer camp industry for 45 years and is a past chair of the Foundation for Jewish Camp and the National Ramah Commission. He is also a past president of the American Camp Association, New York Section, and a former chair of the TriState Camping Conference, the largest gathering of camping professionals in the world, as well as former president of the Golda Och Academy (then known as the Solomon Schechter Day School of Essex and Union Counties).
"I am excited to continue serving the mission of Hillel International as chair of the board," said Vichness. "Sustaining support for the future of Jewish learning and engagement is some of the most important work I can do. As the Jewish community grows, we need to be prepared to grow with it, creating more capacity to inspire a commitment to Jewish life and Israel. I look forward to working with Adam and our board to secure the investment needed to ensure Hillel's success."
"Skip has been a critical part of realizing Hillel's vision and we are grateful and excited to welcome him as the next chair of our board," said Lehman. "His deep background creating engaging and meaningful experiences for Jewish youth, which spans from camp to campus, is helping us to continually innovate in how we create strong, inspired Jewish communities. In his role as vice chairman of the board, Skip has already demonstrated his deep commitment to serving students and our Hillel professionals in the field, through his visits to dozens of Hillels around the world. I look forward to partnering him as we usher in the next phase of work in support of Hillel professionals and the students and campus communities we serve."