Mason Hillel has been supporting Jewish students on campus for 20 years. Our mission is to enrich the lives of the Jewish students at Mason, so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. To accomplish this mission, we empower leaders to create a Jewish community that reflects their interests, passions, and talents. Mason Hillel employs an Executive Director, Ross Diamond, and a full-time Israel Fellow.
With more Jewish students attending Mason than ever before, there is an increased demand for a strong Jewish campus life. Mason Hillel provides Jewish university students an opportunity to build a Jewish community by planning and running events that meet their needs and interests. All events aim to add importance to the individual studentâ€™s Jewish experience. We create Jewish spaces on campus where students become connected to the campus Jewish community. Mason Hillel focuses on two main missions, providing meaningful Jewish experiences and Israel education. This is accomplished through encouraging student leadership, grassroots community building, and rich programming.Â
Our Shabbat dinners are the highlight of each week, typically attended by 30-50 students.Â Jewish members of our broad community, including our AEPi chapter and members of other fraternities and sororities, gather on campus for the celebration. Every month we have a special Shabbat, such as our annual German-Jewish Dialogue Shabbat, when we host a delegation from the German embassy and other German nationals.
Our fall semester includes diverse social and traditional programming around the Jewish holidays. In November we host our annual event, â€œExpressions of the Holocaust,â€ honoring Holocaust survivors. This program, organized by students, brings Jewish and non-Jewish students, local survivors, and members of the Northern Virginia community together for an evening of learning and remembrance. Â Â This program draws an audience of 300 people each year and is the highlight program of our fall semester.Â
During our spring semester, we come together in partnership with the university to organize â€œGood Deeds Day.â€ This day of giving back convenes over 25 student groups and dozens of individual volunteers to engage our community in doing good! It allows our students to share their values oftikun olamwith the greater campus.
Israel is an essential piece of our identity. We take an annual summer trip in association with the Taglit-Birthright Israel program. While in Israel, young Israelis join our group for the full 10 day experience. We also send student leadership to annual conferences including: AIPAC, the David Project, CAMERA, StandWithUs, and Israel on Campus Coalition.Â Additionally, Jewish student leaders on our campus, in collaboration with our Israel Fellow, help talk to their peers about Israel to add context to what would otherwise be a one-sided, hostile narrative from opponents of the Jewish State. Â We are preparing our students to be a voice for Jewish and pro-Israel leadership throughout their lives.