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Tufts Hillel Records

Call Number: UA244

Scope and Contents

This collection contains event and program flyers, physical photographs of Hillel events and programs, publications, media, and digital photographs and video recordings of events sponsored or attended by Tufts Hillel. This collection also contains subject and office files created or collected by Rabbi Summit during the course of his work as Jewish Chaplain and Director of Tufts Hillel, including administrative material, information on Judaic Studies courses, program reports and grant records, correspondence, and material related to the Granoff Family Hillel Center and its Ark.


  • Creation: 1979 -- 2018



This series contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list. This series may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

Tufts Hillel was founded during World War II with the goal of promoting Jewish life and culture at Tufts. It was founded by and remains affiliated with Hillel International, which works to promote Jewish life on college campuses.

Tufts Hillel is a student-run organization that sponsors social, cultural, educational, and religious programs and events that reach the entire Tufts community. These activities have included lecture series, Yiddish and Hebrew language classes, Shabbat services, and a Holocaust and genocide studies program. Tufts Hillel also runs a full range of religious services and meals for all Jewish holidays and has partnered with Tufts Dining to provide kosher dining options on campus.

In 1994, Tufts Hillel built and opened the Granoff Family Hillel Center at 220 Packard Avenue, which provides offices, meeting spaces, and kosher kitchens and still serves as the home of Tufts Hillel.

Rabbi Jeffrey Summitt was the Executive Director of Tufts Hillel from 1979-2018. Rabbi Naftali Brawer was appointed Tufts’ Jewish Chaplain and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel in May 2018.

Biographical / Historical

Jeffrey A. Summit (1950 - ) served as Jewish Chaplain and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel from 1979-2018. He became Jewish Chaplain Emeritus in July 2018. Summit has served as a Research Professor in the Department of Music and Judaic Studies at Tufts since 2012.

Jeffrey A. Summit graduated from Brandeis University in 1972. He received his rabbinic ordination and an M.A.H.L. from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1975. He holds an M.A. (1988) and Ph.D. (1995) at Tufts University in Ethnomusicology through the Interdisciplinary Doctoral.

Summit came to Tufts in 1979 as the Jewish Chaplain and Neubauer Executive Director of Tufts Hillel, a position he held until 2018. Under his direction, the Hillel program at Tufts was nationally recognized for its focus and active engagement on issues such as social justice and active citizenship, interfaith and intercultural cooperation, and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts. He received the inaugural Edgar M. Bronfman Award for Lifetime Accomplishment in Hillel Professional Leadership from Hillel International in 2014. In 2018, he received the Hosea Ballou Medal at Tufts for his leadership and service at Tufts Hillel. As of 2018, Summit continues to serve as a Senior Consultant at Hillel International, directing the program “Living Our Values.”

Summit also played an important role at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France, where he taught and led summer programs, and has been a research professor in the Department of Music and Judaic Studies at Tufts since 2012.

Summit is the author of two books: Singing God’s Words: The Performance of Biblical Chant in Contemporary Judaism (2016), and The Lord’s Song in a Strange Land: Music and Identity in Contemporary Jewish Worship (2000). In 2001, Summit founded the Abayudaya College Scholarship Project, which works with the Jewish Abayudaya community in Uganda and raises and administers funds to send students from the community to colleges and universities. Collaborating with photojournalist Richard Sobol, Summit co-authored Abayudaya: The Jews of Uganda, published in 2002. He also recorded, compiled, and annotated the music album Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, released in 2003. The album was nominated for a GRAMMY Award for best album in the category of Traditional World Music. In 2003, his album Delicious Peace: Coffee, Music and Interfaith Harmony in Uganda, also for the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, won “best traditional world music CD” at the Independent Music Awards.


4.45 Linear Feet

53 Gigabytes

197 Digital Object(s) (197 digital objects comprising 5825 files. )

Language of Materials



This collection contains the records of Tufts Hillel, including physical and digital event and program documentation, publications, and files created or collected by Rabbi Summit, former Jewish Chaplain and Director of Tufts Hillel.


This collection is arranged in three series: 2018 accessions; Born digital materials; and Rabbi Summit papers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred by Tufts Hillel, 2018.

Processing Information

Processing of this collection was completed by Leah Edelman, Fatima Niazy, and Rose Koven in 2018. Physical materials were placed in archival boxes if the original housing was damaged, and loose materials were placed in folders where needed. Received order was maintained. CDs and DVDs were transferred to a stabilization queue for the Digital Archivist. Other digital materials were bagged using Bagger and made available through Box via links in the finding aid. File or box level inventories and series-level descriptions were created, and the finding aid was also created at the time of processing.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States