Today, Hillel has grown into the largest Jewish campus organization in the world. But it had humble origins.
Hillel at Michigan 1926/27-1945: Struggles of Jewish Identity in a Pivotal Era provides the first in-depth analysis of the founding decades of a Hillel chapter and the organization’s surprising roots in the Midwest. Following a close examination of the extant copies of the Hillel News, Markovits and Garner explore the triumphs and tribulations of an organization founded on the “catch-all” inclusivity of Jewish identities; an array of ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds, ideologies, and denominations.
At a time when when the world witnessed the rise of fascism and the spread of anti-Semitism, the foundations of Hillel as a small democratic Jewish community provide insight into the cross-sections of the modern world and the lives of those inhabiting it.