Students Head South to Make a Difference
For many students, this year's spring break was more about tikkun olam, repairing the world, than T-shirt contests. Throughout March, over 150 students from 12 schools traveled to South America for Hillel Alternative Spring Break programs. North American student groups participated in week-long alternative breaks in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, spending their time learning about the local community, doing hands-on community service projects and connecting with Jewish young adults. Hillel at IDC-Herzliya Raises Awareness for African Refugees
Recently, Hillel at the Interdisciplinary Center-Herzliya (IDC) brought the sounds and sights of Africa to the Israeli coastal town to call attention to the life of African refugees in Israel. This January, Hillel at the IDC held an all day event to raise awareness of the refugees’ plight. Hillel-sponsored booths played African music throughout the day and offered students information about issues facing refugees.Hillel Kharkov Enriches the Lives of Local Teens
Earlier this year, students from Hillel Kharkov worked with underprivileged Ukrainian teens to bring life skills into the spotlight—literally! As counselors at the “Road the Success” camp, Hillel Kharkov students directed a drama performance and hosted educational classes for almost 90 teen residents of group homes around Ukraine.
Local Jewish Students Bond with Russian Peers
Students from American University joined Moscow Hillel students for a week-long leadership misssion in the Russian Capital.
•Hillel Rio develops Project Viva, which educates underpriveleged teens about health issues.
•Hillel Uruguay welcomes Jewish Agency Shlicha Nati Sperber on staff to establish a bridge between young Israelis and Uruguayans.
•Hillel Argentina student receives Philip H. and Susan Rudd Cohen Exemplar of Excellence award. (read more)
•Fifth annual Russian Shabbaton held in Chicago offers students from across the U.S. the chance to meet new people and explore being a Russian Jew in America. (read more)
•Students from Baltimore and Chicago visited Odessa and Kiev, Ukraine to learn about Jewish heritage and connect with the local Jewish community.
•Grammy-winning violinist Miri Ben-Ari performs at Hillel Montreal Purim Party.
•University of Toronto a capella group hosts "Shul of Rock" fundraiser concert for Israeli humanitarian aid organization Latet.
FORMER SOVIET UNION
•200 students from six countries gather in Moscow for the FSU Hillel Congress, themed "Changing Yourself, Changing the World."
•St. Petersburg Hillel holds an Israel@60 post-Taglit seminar for returnees from winter trips, connecting them to Israel and the local Jewish community.
• 150 Taglit alumni from Ukraine launch the FSU reverse Taglit project bringing students from Kharkov to Odessa and from Kiev to Lvov to explore the rich history of each other’s Jewish communities.
•Students at Sapir College organize Purim festivities for the community including a donation drive, costume party and mishloach manot.
•Ben Gurion University students hold a series of events aimed at furthering the status of women in Israel.
•Hebrew University Hillel uses a popular trivia game to engage the Russian émigré population and build Jewish knowledge.
•Hillel at Tel Hai Academic College hosted a special musical evening for Tu B'Shevat, featuring the band Ein Sof and a discussion about the meaning of the holiday.
Life in Sderot
When I wake up each morning, I ask myself, "Why do I still have any students at Sapir College? What makes them stay in Sderot, where there's no peace and no security?" While the administration of Sapir College is determined to hold classes on a normal schedule, no class can really be considered normal - just imagine sitting at a lecture that's interrupted every few minutes with a "tzeva adom" (red alert) siren, at which everyone runs to a shelter.
The challenge I face as Hillel Director at Sapir College is how to support the students who are living and studying under such impossible conditions, and how to strengthen the ties between students and the community, to make life more bearable for everyone.
Last month, a kassam missle landed on my kibbutz, K'far Aza. Three of the most active Hillel students at Sapir live in Sderot, Kibbutz Gevim, and Nir Am, the three communities that absorb the most rocket attacks in the whole area. When we see one another on campus, everyone is equally bleary-eyed from the lack of sleep. But still we stay here, with the determination to support one another, to strengthen the social ties among the students and between students and the surrounding community, and to work together to make life more comfortable and meaningful.
Eyal Mazliah, Hillel Director at Sapir College
YOUR GLOBAL IQ?
Hillel Rio students enjoy a samba party in the bohemian neighborhood of Lapa. (Photo credit: Hillel Rio)
Which country in which there is a Hillel is home to the only kosher McDonald's outside of Israel? See Answer - Bottom of Page
d) United States
Meet Ilya Pestrikov, Hillel Russia Regional Director
Although he is new to the Hillel world, Russia Regional Director Ilya Pestrikov is no stranger to the Jewish community. Ilya has spent his career working in various organizations that support the Jewish community, including multiple positions within the Joint Distribution Committee. His career began in a Russian governmental organization where he was the Director of the Regional Center of Jewish Culture, implementing Jewish holiday celebrations in the community and representing the Jewish community in public meetings. Reflecting on his new job, Ilya shared, "I love working in such a modern, dynamic organization that is growing and always looking towards the future." Ilya's new position within Hillel's Russia Regional Center is not unlike that first job, as he is now charged with overseeing the fifteen Hillels throughout Russia as they work to provide a Jewish community to the tens of thousands of young Jews in the region. "It is amazing to know that we are serving thousands of young, energetic, enthusiastic people who are seeking their way in the world - Hillel is there to guide and encourage them."
Hillel's International Division
Hillel in Vancouver
Hillel of Greater Toronto
Hillel of Montreal
Hillel in Argentina
Hillel in Israel
Hillel in Russia
Hillel in CASE
ANSWER: c) Argentina. The only kosher McDonalds outside of Israel opened in Buenos Aires in 1998.