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A Hillel Professional Reflects

"I needed to understand why the Jewish community is unique at a deeper level."
by Jason Leivenberg, Hillel at UCLA Director of Student Life |May 20, 2013|Comments

Jason Leivenberg.I've been having a year-long epiphany based on my participation in Beth Cousen's Explore Judaism class. I am starting to understand that being Jewish is a way of life, and not just an extracurricular activity. When I was a student at Berkeley Hillel, being Jewish meant community and having something in common with another person. Here I am, seven years later, working as a Hillel professional to broadly engage students. But for me – I needed to understand why the Jewish community is unique at a deeper level.

I feel that as a Hillel professional, this opportunity to learn diverse Jewish texts with fellow young professionals enables me to understand that our work at Hillel is about depth. I think we shortcut ourselves by calling our work Jewish just because one Jewish students engages another. Creative Jewish learning from the Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Learning provides Hillel professionals with Jewish ideas and values to directly fuel our engagement with students, and has given me the confidence and drive to explore how Judaism can be applied to all facets of life.


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