Hillel Rio Organizes City-wide Protest Against Ahmadinejad Visit
"We knew we had to do something to protest his arrival. We knew we couldn't stand by without action." With these words, Hillel Rio Director Bruno Bondarovsky describes how Hillel students in Rio set out to bring together over 2,000 community members in demonstration against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's planned May visit to Brazil. (read more)
Global Hillels "Spread the Light" in Honor of Hillel’s 85th Birthday
From Moscow to Jerusalem, Anchorage to Rwanda, and Montevideo to New York City, Hillel's 85th Birthday celebration on June 14, 2009 was felt worldwide. Keeping with the event's "spread the light" theme, Hillels outside of North America brought the festive celebration to thousands of Hillel's students and supporters in all corners of the globe.(read more)1,500 Participants Pull All-Nighters at Haifa Hillel's Tikkun Leil Shavuot Celebration
The evening of May 28, 2009 was like no other for Haifa Hillel—through the course of almost 8 hours, over 1,500 Jewish students, young adults and members of the Haifa community engaged in Torah study, meditation, discussion and of course, a dairy feast in celebration of Shavuot at Haifa Hillel's Carmel Center. (read more)
|FORMER SOVIET UNION
• More than 30 future community leaders from Khabarovsk, Russia participated in a three-day leadership seminar in April that blended themes from the Exodus story, text study and lectures on Jewish topics with leadership development.
• Odessa Hillel hosted its third annual Intellectual Festival May 10-12, gathering over 200 students from across the region to compete in games ranging from chess to trivia about Jewish history.
• Moscow Hillel partnered with the Jewish Agency for Israel to bring twelve students on a Holocaust education trip to Lithuania from May 21-24.
• Over 60 students participated in day-long Shavuot celebration in Minsk, featuring Jewish learning, sports, and food.
• Hillel Latin America held its first regional tzedek trip from April 30-May 3. Thirty students and young professionals from across the region repaired schools and spent time with local children in the village of San Pedro Norte, Argentina. (read more)
• On May 7, Hillel Uruguay partnered with other student organizations to host a Yom Ha'Atzmaut party for over 150 attendees, complete with live music and Israeli cuisine.
• Hillel in Australia and the Australasian Union of Jewish Students teamed up with JNF for a "Green" Purim Party, attracting over 250 students. The event was designed to be carbon neutral and encouraged all students to be environmentally friendly.
• 30 Jewish university students in Sydney participated in Hillel's first six-week Israel advocacy training course, TAP.
• On May 13, over 300 students and young adults participated in Tel Hai Hillel's Ethiopian Culture program, which featured Ethiopian coffee, food, music, dance and a screening of the movie Zerubavel.
• Hebrew University Hillel's Bein HaShurot theater group performed their play, "Ghosts" (Shedim), before 700 people. The theater group, composed largely of immigrant students, wrote, produced and performed the play based on an Isaac Bashevis Singer story combined with Jewish folk stories and midrashim.
• 35 Tel Aviv Hillel students visted a jail in Ramle as part of the "Beit Midrash for Human Rights", a project combining learning, enrichment and social action on topics of human rights in Israel.
• Daniel Ferman, a student member of Hillel's Board of Directors and President of York University Hillel, delivered greetings at the inaugural National Congress of the Canadian Federation of Jewish Students in Toronto, Ontario in May. Students from more than 30 Canadian campuses attended the Congress.
• From June 20-25, a group of five medical students from Stony Brook University Hillel traveled on a student mission to Israel to explore the Israeli health care industry. This marks the second year of this successful program.
• 11 students from across the United States spent the month of June immersed in Hillel Uruguay's Spanish Program, learning Spanish, volunteering and interning within the Montevideo Jewish community.
Student Reflection: Meaning Found in Unexpected Places at the Durban UN Human Rights Conference
Alisa Malki, pictured left, is a rising senior at the University of California at Los Angeles. Alisa offers a glimpse into her experience attending the United Nation's Durban Review Conference.
In April 2009, I was on my way to Geneva, Switzerland to be witness to the UN Durban Review Conference which was intended to evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.
But after I took part in several meetings and watched countless speeches including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, I realized the enrichment of dialogue was not going to come from the UN at this point. The powerful exchanges were going to occur on the sidewalks outside and in the lounges of our youth hostel.
My first real high came from our newfound alliance with the Darfurians during our protest demanding the UN address the genocide. Our voices hoarse from yelling—we were exhausted and smiling together. It came from the support pledged by the Darfurians that they stand with us and with Israel and our promise that we stand with them to fight until the genocide in Darfur ends. So we can say, without cringing at our guilty consciences, "Never again".
My new friends—in particular Yousef, a forty-three year old Darfurian who had immigrated to Canada wearing a jacket too large for his narrow shoulders, and Ibrahim, a nurse who had immigrated to France—shared their heartrending stories of survival with other Jewish students from around the world and me as we sat in the youth hostel lounge.
Hours later, the two men embraced us with gratitude, hope, and perplexity. They could not understand why a group of Jewish students cared so intensely about their stories and their people that they were willing to stay up all night to listen and to cry.
While these stories permeate my consciousness in a world where it is permissible to ignore the inhumanity that exists everywhere, I carry the faces of Ibrahim and Yousef in my heart and in my mind. I know as a Jewish human being I am not obligated to complete the task, yet I am not free to withdraw from it. (Rabbi Tarfon)
This piece is adapted from a longer essay. (read full essay)
Do you want daily updates on Hillel happenings around the world? Then "follow" Aaron Goldberg, Hillel's Associate Vice President of the International Division, on Twitter at aaronjgold!
This past May, the Hillel at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya held a traditional Lag B'Omer bonfire for over 450 students on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Lag B'Omer is the 33rd day of the counting of the Omer between Pesach and Shavuot..
|YOUR GLOBAL IQ?
Q: How many couples who met at Minsk Hillel have gone on to get married?
d) 42See Answer - Bottom of Page
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