March 28, 2012 Skip Schrayer, Chair Steven Nasatir, President Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago

30 S Wells Chicago, IL 60606 Dear Messrs. Nasatir and Schrayer, At last night's meeting (March 27, 2012), the members of the Board of Directors of the University of Chicago Hillel directed us to communicate the Board’s continued interest in restructuring our relationship with JUF such that the University of Chicago Hillel goes forward as an independent entity and to convey the Board’s desire to try to establish a new mutually beneficial relationship between the University of Chicago Hillel, the Federation, and the University of Chicago. We are grateful for Federation’s ongoing support, but at this time we are unable to fulfill our mission if Federation will not allow us to make budget cuts from the building management and administrative charges it controls and assesses to our Hillel. This leaves us in the position of either having a building without a program or a program without a building. We have explained this in great detail at our earlier meetings with you. We continue to believe that a solution exists. By restoring the corporate independence of the University of Chicago Hillel—a status that it enjoyed for most of its history and the very same status that is enjoyed by nearly every other Hillel in the country—the Board of Hillel would take steps to manage the building and the administrative needs of the organization in a more cost-effective way than is possible under the Federation system, thus maximizing the organization’s capacity to serve students. We therefore request again that Federation agree to a working group process (with the possible participation of Hillel International and of the University of Chicago) to effectuate Hillel’s return to corporate independence. Nancy Newberger has suggested involving a neutral party to serve as a mediator, and we would be more than willing to agree to do so, both in order to honor the wishes of the family that has given so generously to the organization and because we believe that a mediator might give us the best chance to achieve a solution. Over the past six years, the University of Chicago Hillel has achieved enormous success, including, for example, the #1 recruitment rate for campus Birthright trips for two years in a row. More profoundly, in just a few years, we have developed a new approach to student engagement that has attracted national attention far beyond the Hillel world. Over the same period, and on our own, we have more than tripled our fundraising. Unlike the budget cuts we have proposed, you have only suggested a course of action regarding the budget that would undermine what our remarkable staff, led by Dan Libenson, has built. We cannot accept that result. A restructuring of the Federation/Hillel relationship is therefore the best way to serve the mission of Hillel: we seek to retain our public identity as the University of Chicago Hillel, our home in the Newberger Hillel Center at 5715 S Woodlawn Ave., and the financial benefit of the endowment funds established by our donors. We believe that we have a legal right to recoup these assets and to have Federation unwind its affairs from ours. Rather than “owning” Hillel, in our view Federation has been serving in a manner more akin to a trustee or fiscal sponsor, with our organization retaining its right to restore independent status. Federation, however, has stated that it is unwilling to consider unwinding its affairs from ours and has threatened us with litigation if we use the Hillel name. But we have no interest in wasting our time and the resources of those who support our critical work in litigation.

We very much hope that Federation will change this position. If Federation is unable to participate in a mediated conversation to consider restoring our independence, we will establish a new organization under a different name and in a different location so that we can maintain 100% focus on our mission of engaging students in Jewish life. If Federation maintains its current position, the members of our Board and our executive director will resign from our respective positions effective June 9, 2012 (at the end of the academic spring quarter, so that we can arrange an orderly transition and so as to minimize the harm to student programming) in order to build a new organization that will be able to continue to deliver on our critically important mission. We look forward to your reply and to moving forward in a cordial and open manner no matter which direction you choose, as befitting our shared commitment to the Jewish future. Sincerely,

RO
Ruth O’Brien Chair, Board of Directors

J
James A. Cherney Past Chair, Board of Directors

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