Students at Queens College Hillel spent their winter vacation bringing the sights of Israel back to their Hillel building. With the "Home Town" tzedek project, more than 25 students spent several days painting scenes of Israel on the walls of the Hillel lounge.
Led by the Queens College Hillel Jewish Agency Israel Fellow Elit Goldberger and artist Anna Polishchuk, who also works at USD/Hagshama, scenes of Israel from Metullah to the Negev now cover the walls of the Hillel lounge. The northern and Galilee regions,Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the Negev, Dead Sea and Eilat give warmth to space. Members of the Queens College chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) have built a coffee bar from scratch and painted it the colors of their fraternity. The new Cafe Hillel will serve coffee drinks during the coming semester.
The project also allowed several Queens College students a chance to learn about the geography of Israel a few days before leaving on a Taglit-birthright israel trip.
"But I can't wait to see the real thing," Cocoa Jonas said.
But regardless of their travel plans, the students appreciated the opportunity to unwind from the stress of finals and the New York transit strike with some paint and imagination.
"This painting project is a great way for students who don't know each other to come together. They create an atmosphere where students from all backgrounds can enjoy, relax and paint a mural of Israel," said student Alex Zulunov.
"It was a great way to spend Chanukah," agreed AEPi President Eli Weisblum.