Moscow Hillel “Lights Up” Chanukah with World Record
A great miracle happened there! Hundreds of Jewish students from across Moscow gathered at a nightclub the night of December 13th to celebrate Chanukah. Topping the celebration's agenda? An attempt to set the Guiness world record for most Chanukah candels lit simultaneously . (read more)
View CNN's coverage >
(Hillel segment begins 50 seconds in.)
Hillel Goes Global with New Professional Development Initiative
Hailing from Santa Barbara, California, Tbilisi, Georgia and a dozen points in between, the 15 early career professionals selected to participate in LAPID, Hillel's new professional development initiative, are making history. (read more)Hillel Argentina Opens New Doors in Buenos Aires
On December 10, Hillel Latin America said an official Bienvenidos! to its latest addition: Hillel Norte (North Hillel), the newest Hillel center in Buenos Aires. (read more)Hebrew University Hillel Turns Dreams into Realities
Aspiring young filmmakers given a showcase for their work. Three passionate immigrant communities sharing their cultures. Two disparate cultures united by dance. These are just a few achievements of Hebrew University Hillel's Center for Student Initiatives. (read more
) Study Abroad Initiative Launches Spring Semester
Connect students studying abroad in London or Buenos Aires with the local community through Hillel's Global Campus Initiative. GCI provides study abroad students in Buenos Aires and London with opportunities to meet local Jewish students, share in social justice projects, attend local family Shabbats and more. Find out more at hillel.org/studyabroad
FORMER SOVIET UNION
• Hillel Minsk conducted its fifth annual Jewish Show Tour bringing Jewish music and dance to an estimated 1,200 Belarusians.
• St. Petersburg Hillel was awarded JDC’s 2009 Charles Hoffman Award for its Judaism through Handicrafts project.
• Ekaterinburg Hillel partnered with the Jewish Agency to hold a Shabbaton for summer Birthright alumni during which participants explored Israeli society and opportunities to remain connected with the Jewish state.
• Hillel Rio organized over 1,000 people of all backgrounds to protest against the visit of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
• Nearly 100 students from across South America gathered in Punte del Este, Uruguay for the second annual Student Leadership Conference focused on Israel advocacy. Read more >
•More than 200 students gathered at Hillel Uruguay for a Chanukah celebration which included trivia about Jewish heroes, candle lighting, and Chanukah songs.
• 25 students from Emek Yezreel Hillel partnered with the local student government to distribute jelly doughnuts for the handicapped in Afula during Chanukah.
• Tel Aviv Hillel brought together 55 students – half Israeli and half overseas – for a Shabbaton focused on Israel – its culture and society.
• Haifa Hillel brought students on a December nature hike in the Carmel as part of Derech Eretz, an initiative which combines outdoor activities with text study.
• Hillel Australia and the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) brought 15 young leaders from across Australia on its annual Leadership Development Program. The students travel to the United States, Amsterdam and Israel, meeting with Jewish organizations and gaining leadership skills over a six week period.
• 15 students took part in AUJS's inaugural service-learning travel initiative, Volunteer Nepal, a month-long volunteer experience in partnership with Jewish Aid Australia and Tevel B’Tzedek.
• Over 85 students gathered for “Safran Uncensored and Exposed,” an event sponsored by Hillel's whY Be Jewish engagement initiative. John Safran, a Jewish comedian, entertained students with his humorous and non-traditional views on Jewish culture.
• Over 200 students participated in UJS/Hillel’s annual Juefa Cup soccer tournament in October.
• Alex Dwek was elected UJS Chair for the 2010-2011 academic year. The election was the culmination of a heavy campaign season in which candidates visited 8 campuses and garnered 600 votes from students nationwide.
• 40 newly elected committee members of Jewish Societies around the UK convened for the annual UJS Summit where the officers received training for their new position for the coming year.
• The Sheffield Hillel reopened on November 22nd after summer renovations. The Hillel now features an updated lounge and a kosher kitchen.
Student Reflection: A Semester Abroad Brings Home Jewish Identity
Michael Fox, a junior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, offers a glimpse into his experience studying abroad in Buenos Aires in the fall of 2009. Michael participated in Hillel’s Global Campus Initiative (GCI), which seeks to connect Jewish study abroad students with Buenos Aires’s vibrant Jewish community.
The chorus to one of the most popular songs at my summer camp back in New Hampshire goes along the lines of, "Wherever you go, there's always someone Jewish; You're never alone when you say you're a Jew; So when you're alone and you're feeling kind of newish, the odds are, don't look far, 'cause they're Jewish too."
Thanks to my experience with GCI in Buenos Aires, I was able to see this song played out as a reality. Through the religious, social, and community service-based programs organized by GCI during my time studying abroad in Argentina, I was able to feel a part of the larger Argentine Jewish community and strengthen my own connections to Judaism. GCI gave me the opporunity to build a strong network of Jewish friends and relations in Buenos Aires and this anchor kept me from feeling adrift or disconnected, despite suddenly finding myself on the other side of the world.
A study abroad experience is an ideal opportunity to reflect on one's own self and assess what’s important. The GCI programming in Argentina provided me with the perfect opportunity to explore my perception of my place in Judaism, both culturally and religiously, as part of this introspection.
I don't consider myself a particularly religious person, but I have always identified strongly with my Jewish heritage. During the times I've experienced the most profound personal growth in my life (for example, time I spent at camp and in Israel), Judaism has played a significant role. It seems only fitting, then, that GCI was there to integrate Jewish ideals during my period of self-development in Argentina.
So now when I return to camp and hear that familiar song's refrain, I'll know from personal experience that it's true and it means so much more.
Hillel's International Division
On December 2, Hillel Rio organized a concert for nearly 2,000 people featuring The Idan Raichel Project - an Israeli musical group which blends musical styles from around the world with a message of coexistence.
|WHAT'S YOUR GLOBAL IQ?
Q: In Russia, what is customarily done to ensure a new year's wish comes true?
a) Write it down
b) Burn it
c) Drink it
d) All of the above See Answer - Bottom of Page
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ANSWER: d) all of the above! As the clock strikes midnight, Russians write their wish for the new year on a piece of paper, burn it with a candle, mix the ashes in a glass of champagne and drink it down before the last stroke of midnight to guarantee it comes true.