Work from Home Diary: How Hillel Unites its Network During COVID-19 Using Simpplr

By Hani Khan

As a part of Simpplr’s ‘Work from Home’ series, we wanted to hear from our customers and get insights for what communication tools are working best as they keep their workforce updated and engaged.

Hillel International shared how they had to shift communication strategy with their professionals using their Simpplr intranet in the wake of work from home to communicate with their network. The organization is a network of dedicated student leaders, professionals and volunteers that celebrate Jewish learning and connect to their peers and the global Jewish people. 

Hillel launched their Simpplr intranet called “Hillel Hub” in December 2018 at Hillel’s Global Assembly where over 1,200 Hillel professionals, community organization representatives, and key stakeholders were in attendance. 

Hillel Hub Homepage

As a nonprofit organization that staffs over 200 Hillel campus organizations, field professionals are dispersed across the world. The Simpplr platform helps support individual campus organizations by sharing best practices, resources, knowledge and fostering communication and collaboration between the local Hillels and Hillel International’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

Utilizing their intranet, Hillel created different sites for topics pertaining to engagement, staff organization and marketing to help streamline and organize content for Hillel field professionals. Creating a central repository of content has helped shorten communication through email and direct everyone to Hillel Hub. Before COVID-19, people valued the communication and information that was shared on the platform. Simpplr was used to push out content around Jewish education, Jewish culture, and holidays like Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah.  

As COVID spread, Hillel created a page for resources with its own table of contents linking to partner updates, pandemic information and best practices. As Hillels have been economically affected, headquarters has been providing resources around grants, loans and paycheck protection loans and centralizing all the information in one place. The organization was also able to provide technical support on Zoom on how to protect themselves from Zoombombing and best practices. Video calls have been vital during this time to conduct virtual coffee dates, Passover and Seder activities, virtual campus visits by prospective students, and, most importantly during this time, virtual graduation ceremonies. 

Crucially, the Hub helped Hillel International coordinate a donor campaign during Global Giving Week and publish resources and partner campaigns across campuses. It was convenient to streamline best practices, and social graphics and have a repository for updated information instead of digging through constant email updates. Through this initiative, they were able to raise nearly $2 million for local Hillels.

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