The image doesn't get better than this: a wonderfully built Sukkah, stars lighting the night, platters full of sushi, and anxious students waiting to hear the words of a great speaker. On Monday, September 23rd, the 6th day of Sukkot, the students of Hillel YAD gathered inside the Sukkah in order to enjoy some sushi and a talk led by Chaim Shacham, Consul General of Israel to Florida and Puerto Rico.
Even though the night was very hot, students had a great time eating inside the Sukkah and engaging in meaningful conversations about Israel. As I walked around and mingled with different students, I saw at least 10 new faces, who are now part of our growing family. This was just one of the many great events organized by Hillel YAD, where our student base is a commuter base and come from all over Miami and its surrounding areas. Our community is extremely large, so it is very common to find someone new and eager to find out what Hillel YAD is doing and offering. Best of all, the night ended with an amazing announcement: Hillel YAD is bringing the Idan Raichel Project to perform at Florida International University this month.
I love being part of this amazing organization that is Hillel YAD. All of our events are organized in a fun and relaxed environment, where inclusion, tolerance and pluralism are standard. If students want to start a project, create an activity, or plan something out, we always find the way to make it happen. I enjoy interacting with so many different students from many different backgrounds, but with one thing in common: we are all Jewish. If you come to any Hillel gathering, there will always be someone to talk to, something to eat (what Jew doesn't like to eat?), and an atmosphere that makes the South Beach nightclubs to wish they were us! It is always great to see new faces and know that Hillel YAD serves as the community center for many college people.
Melisa Bebchik is a student leader of Hillel YAD.
Hillel YAD serves students throughout the greater Miami area, including Florida International University, Miami-Dade College, Barry University, and others within the Miami-Dade community.