New Mizzou Hillel director plans to introduce new programs

Monday, July 15, 2013 | 6:32 p.m. CDT; updated 10:44 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 15, 2013

COLUMBIA — Leading Mizzou Hillel is not a new task for Jeanne Snodgrass, but now interim has been dropped from her title.

Snodgrass started with Hillel, the campus Jewish center, in February as an interim director and was promoted to permanent director in June. The previous director, Brian Mitchell, left because of a new job opportunity in Arizona earlier this year.

Students and board directors reached the final decision after conducting a national search for a new director.

As the full-time director, Snodgrass is looking forward to using her past experience at the organization to work with students she has already met as well as building programs for new students. 

For the past months as an interim director, she has led MU students on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip. Birthright trips provide young adults with Jewish heritage the opportunity to visit Israel and explore holy sites and the local culture. 

"I'm really excited. I had a great experience as an interim," she said Monday morning.

The organization already offers social and religious learning events to its members.

"We are currently in the process of introducing new programs — new programs targeted directly to specific student interests," Snodgrass said. 

Snodgrass said "getting the word out" is also a priority as director. She hopes new programs will encourage students who have considered Hillel in the past to give it another chance. 

Hillel is a nonprofit organization that seeks to provide a space for religious services, leadership development, programming and socializing for Jewish students from MU. Hillel also reaches out to students at Columbia and Stephens colleges.

At Mizzou Hillel, students have a way to meet new people and discuss and explore shared Jewish values, Snodgrass said.

Peter Stiepleman, a Columbia Public Schools administrator and member of the local Jewish community, said he looks forward to seeing Snodgrass transition to the permanent position.

"Jeanne (Snodgrass) brings a blend of experiences to her position," he said.

Supervising editor is Zachary Matson.

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