Multimedia Feature: On Spring Break, Students Committed to 'Acts of Citizenship'
April 20, 2009Comments (3)
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By Max W. Orenstein
Alt Break Overview
Watch this video to see an overview including all of the students below, or click on the students' pictures to see their individual journeys.
Neil DiBiaseLarissa Gibbs
University of Manchester
(studying at University of Maryland) Margo Johnson
University of Kansas
University of Kansas
(Click on their pictures to watch)
University of Kansas junior Joey Polsky has been to New Orleans twice on Hillel alternative break trips. Tufts sophomore Larissa Gibbs participated in six Habitat for Humanity trips at home and abroad. Danny Rothberg is an exchange student from University of Manchester studying at the University of Maryland and has never participated on a service trip.
Their experiences are diverse, but all of them share the same drive to lend a hand where help is needed. These students came together March 15-22 to participate on a Campus Entrepreneur Initiative (CEI) alternative spring break trip to work with Rebuilding Together in Tampa, Fla. repairing homes in the historic West Tampa neighborhood.
These students were among the more than 1,200 who engaged in social justice work, and Jewish learning, during their spring break in 2009. Projects included everything from working in homeless shelters, to rebuilding New Orleans, to rehabilitating wetlands.
With over 2,700 students in New Orleans over past four years, the city government estimates that Hillel has donated more than $1 million in volunteer labor. For more information on what Hillel students did this year, see Getting Down and Dirty on Spring Break.
Hillel's alternative breaks program removes students from their everyday surroundings and takes them to new environments to engage in community service and experiential learning. By volunteering on short-term service projects, participants are challenged to see and understand difficult social issues such as poverty, literacy, and natural disasters and to explore questions of Judaism and social responsibility.