Q Jenna Citron has finally been named as Executive Director of QC Hillel after years of becoming close to the Jewish community of Queens College.
“Queens College is a phenomenal institution of higher education. I am inspired every day by the dedication and passion of its students, staff, faculty and administration,” said Citron. “I am honored that I get the opportunity to continue to work on this campus, and lead QC Hillel to new heights.”
Jenna joined QC Hillel in 2012, with prior experience at the Hillel of Florida State University. In the seven years she has been here, she has held the positions of Director of Student Life and Assistant Director. Recalling her past, she said , “In both those roles, I managed our programming and engagement portfolios, supported student leaders, volunteers and participants, and oversaw Jewish calendar-based opportunities like holidays and Shabbat.”
As Executive Director, there are a multitude of ideas Jenna is looking to make a reality. “What I am most excited about doing, is creating a vision and strategy for the future that includes our many successes over the past few years,” she said. “I also took on new financial and fundraising responsibilities – I am excited by both. In this role, I get the chance to tell our story to people who want to support our work, and I consider that an honor and privilege.”
Queens College boasts some impressive statistics when it comes to its Jewish population. There are 4,000 Jewish students officially enrolled at QC, as Citron announced, making it the eighth “largest Jewish campus population in the country”.
“We need to do everything we can to make sure that every Jewish student knows they have a home with Hillel and that Hillel is a place they can explore and discover who they are” she stated. “This means creating more opportunities with lower barriers to entry, being thoughtful about pluralism and inclusivity, highlighting our diversity and coming together as a community.”
With the conclusion of the Fall 2018 semester, the Jewish community took a brutal hit when it was announced that the beloved Dairy Stop, the only kosher cafeteria on campus, would be closing its doors indefinitely. As many struggled with the prices of kosher food in the past, the new, alternative Grab-and-Go locations, installed in every building with a cafe, proved to be just as expensive, making students exasperated. Kosher food became scarcely bought, with old-sushi and wrapped-sandwiches averaging seven to eight dollars a piece.
Thankfully, Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi and QC Hillel each stepped in to save the day. SAEPi, QC’s only Jewish sorority, began selling Pizza Professor once to twice a week, while Hillel’s devoted students created a system with Holy Schnitzel for students to preorder lunch and be able to pick it up right on campus.
With the unexpected surprise of her promotion, Citron has a message to every student of Queens College.“My message is ‘you’re welcome here.’ I would love to meet you, hear your story and help you find what you’re looking for! If you are a new student struggling to make new friends and find community, I encourage you to stop by and chat with our staff,” she said. “We have so many phenomenal opportunities designed to help you find the community on campus ( the Jewish Learning Fellowship is the author’s favorite).”
One can reach Citron at firstname.lastname@example.org, call her office at 718-793-2222 x101 or message her on Facebook (Jenna Qchillel).