Hillel Goodwill Comes Full Circle

Dispatch from Hillel of Silicon Valley

Bella Dosovitsky

In 2002-2003, during the second Intifada in Israel, Bella Dosovitsky was a young Israeli college student studying in the South Bay. “It was a very politically charged time,” she recalled, “and there was no official Jewish presence on my campus.” So Bella, along with several other students, administrators, and faculty, worked to found Hillel of Silicon Valley, which serves the campuses of De Anza College, Foothill College, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and West Valley College.

Bella moved to Southern California to continue her studies and remained in San Diego, where she pursued a career in business development and graphic design, specializing in helping companies and nonprofits grow, specifically those that work within Jewish education.

Eleven years after helping to start Hillel of Silicon Valley as an undergraduate, Bella moved back to the San Jose area and was seeking ways “to reconnect.” This winter she found her way to the Federation’s Pro Bono Consulting Practice web portal and, to her surprise and delight, saw that Hillel of Silicon Valley was seeking the pro bono services of a graphic designer.

Sarita Bronstein

“I have a sweet spot for Hillel,” she said, and was grateful and excited to be able to connect and work with Sarita Bronstein, the executive director. Sarita had been looking to create a pamphlet that would promote the work and vision of the Hillel, and enlisted the help of the Pro Bono Consulting Practice, which connected her with a writer to craft the message of the pamphlet, and with Bella, as a graphic designer to design the pamphlet.

“We haven’t had a trifold brochure since I started working here three years ago,” Sarita said, “and it was one of the major things I’ve wanted to accomplish.” The brochure would be used for donors, students, parents and faculty.

Working with Bella “was very easy,” Sarita reflected. “We had several calls to talk through the layout and design, and then we were in touch regularly, sending edits back and forth until the brochure was complete.”

“I’m very grateful,” Sarita continued. “I think the Pro Bono Consulting Practice is great. I think it’s one way to solve the problem of nonprofits needing things done and not having the money to do it. So, for me, this is a great idea. Without the Practice, we would not have this brochure.”

For Bella, the chance to reconnect with Hillel has since opened up various other opportunities. She was excited to become more involved again with the community, attending the most recent fundraising gala and meeting many students.

“Last year,” Bella recalled, “when I was moving back here, I reached out to some of my old friends from Hillel. Now we are planning a second reunion and hopefully some more alumni programming as well.”

Most important to Bella, however, was her commitment to reconnecting and serving the community of which she was once an active member. “I wish I had more to give,” she commented. “Hillel was a really big part of my life.” She went on to say that she is “a big proponent of in-kind donations, and of capitalizing on the good will of your community.” She emphasized that “photography and design, this is my currency right now. I would be happy to do it again,” she added,” and I think that everyone should.”

Would you like to be a pro bono consultant? Share your skills. Are you a nonprofit seeking assistance? Request pro bono help.

For more information about the Pro Bono Practice, contact Bab Freiberg, Director of Strategic Consulting.


February 11, 2016


Noa Silver