Texas Hillel's Garden of Eatin' group.
With spring break running almost entirely through break, University of Delaware Hillel could have easily let the holiday come and go without doing anything more than offering Seders and kosher-for-Passover alternative foods. Instead, they had an array of exciting and interesting events to bring Jewish life and the message of Passover to their campus.
Delaware Hillel held a Freedom Seder, which used the traditional ritual celebration of the Passover Story to tackle some of the greatest social justice issues facing our world today and was co sponsored by a variety of on-campus groups and attended by more than 60 people. With help from Senior Jewish Educator Jeremy Winaker, students chalked the ten plagues on the campus walkway and discussed their significance.
Delaware Hillel wasn't alone in offering a variety of creative Passover celebrations.
At Emory Hillel, the Schusterman Visiting Artists Program supported a multicultural, multimedia Israeli hip hop/reggae Seder with the Israeli musical group Axum. Axum is spending the semester at the Atlanta university, and have run a number of programs for students and community members. Read more about it here.
At the University of Texas, Austin, Texas Hillel hosted its second annual LOVE Seder: Local, Organic, Vegetarian, Eco-friendly. It was put together by a committee of participants from the Garden of Eatin’ group, which meets weekly for a vegan potluck dinner, gardening in the Hillel community garden, and learning about environmental and farming issues of today through a Jewish lens. This initiative has raised awareness at Texas Hillel by upgrading the recycling program, beginning a regular composting practice at Shabbat dinners (a composter was donated by a Hillel alumnus to support our work), and using biodegradable paper goods.
Students from the Tanger Hillel at Brooklyn College focused on helping needy Jews this Passover: The Hillel distributed Passover food packages to 400 families in the area and another group of students spent the entire holiday helping elderly Jews at the Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in Connecticut.
At Yale University, Seders are held at each of the school’s eight residential colleges. Yale Hillel also holds separate Seders for students and community members. The Yale Daily News ran a feature on March 31 on the plethora of Seders offered at the school and their varying appeals.
A Seder in American Sign Language was held at Gallaudet University and at the Rochester Technical Institute for the Deaf.
Off the usual Jewish radar, seders were held by Bowling Green State University Hillel and Elizabethtown College Hillel Club.
Among the many other Hillels that held seders: Penn State Hillel, Cornell Hillel, Hillel of Rochester Area Colleges, Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh, University of Florida Hillel, Hillel House at Boston University, and St. Louis Hillel.
By University of Maryland Student David Meyer, Hillel's Communications Intern.