More about Hillel’s New Orleans Alternative Break Program What is Hillel's New Orleans Alternative Break?Who will staff this program?Is this a religious program? What is the cost of the program?
Will there be time to visit my friends and family in New Orleans?Participation and EligibilityWho else will be going on these trips?If I apply, am I automatically accepted into the program?Where do I apply? Do I have to submit my application on line?Who decides whether or not I am accepted? When do I find out if I am accepted?Will my $200 be refunded if I am not accepted? What if I am unable to participate at the last minute, and the deadline for withdrawal has passed?What is the $200 fee for?Travel and Logistical Arrangements
Before the Trip
How much luggage can I bring? Is there a limit to the size of my bags?What should I pack?What if I can't leave on the assigned departure date for my school? Can I go early?Can I extend my stay in the Gulf Coast?What happens when I arrive at the airport?During the Trip
What is the work like?Do I need to be skilled in the above?What are the accomodations like?Are there any expenses while on the trip that I am responsible for?What if I get sick? Do I need my own medical insurance?What if I am unable to go at the last minute?What happens in case of an emergency?Program, Meals and Free Time
Where is the program taking place this year?What are the dates of the program?Where will we stay?Who will we be working with?What will the meals be like?What does a typical schedule of a day look like? How much will we work?What happens on Shabbat?What is Hillel's New Orleans Alternative Break?
Hillel's New Orleans Alternative Break is an immersive experience in which a student travels to the Gulf Coast region affected by the hurricane with a group of students from their campus community to participate in tzedek
or social justice work. The trip is 7 days long and includes 5 days of physical volunteer work, in addition to nightly programming, interactive discussions, and Shabbat observance. Who will staff this program?
Each campus will be responsible for staffing its campus program. Staff will be comprised of local Hillel professionals, other Jewish community professionals, or university faculty/officials - all of whom will have been specially trained to ensure the highest quality experience in the Gulf Coast. Is this a religious program?
This is a Jewish program that celebrates the Jewish value of repairing the world. All Jews, regardless of background, affiliation or practice, are welcome on the program. Hillel's program will provide opportunities for participants to celebrate Jewish life together, though you will not be required to join in organized religious activities. In order to be as inclusive as possible, kosher food will be served and no travel will be required on the Jewish Sabbath.What is the cost of the program?
The fee for participation is $200/participant, plus travel to and from the Gulf Coast. Additionally we strongly suggest an additional $15 for tips for the bus driver.
Individual campuses may provide additional subsidies. This program is highly subsidized by multiple funders wishing to support the Gulf Coast rebuilding efforts.What expectations are there upon my return to campus?
The expectations are that you have a great experience that hopefully will inspire you to get involved in social justice and Jewish life when your return. If you would like to get involved in Jewish life on campus or help recruit others for this great experience, contact your campus Hillel. Will there be time to visit my friends and family in the Gulf Coast area?
Participants must participate in all program activities and will only be able to visit with friends and family after all scheduled program activities are over (usually late in the evening). You are encouraged to extend your trip to have more time to visit with friends and family.
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] Participation and Eligibility
Who else will be going on these trips?
Young adults from campuses and communities from across North America will participate in Hillel's program. You will travel with individuals from your community, and have a great time with old and new friends. There will be 10-15 campuses participating each week.If I apply, am I automatically accepted into the program?
Your online application is the first step in the process, after which you will be contacted by a Hillel professional for a personal interview. The interview will acquaint you with details of the program, and we expect that the majority of individuals will qualify. Where do I apply? Do I have to submit my application on line?
All applications must be submitted online. Information about 2010 registration dates and deadlines will be available in the fall.
Who decides whether or not I am accepted? When do I find out if I am accepted?
Your application is read by a Hillel staff on your campus. They will contact you for an interview and then make a decision. You will hear within two weeks of the registration deadline. Will my $200 be refunded if I am not accepted?
Students not accepted to the program will be reimbursed the $200 fee after Hillel's New Orleans Alternative Break Program is over.What if I am unable to participate at the last minute, and the deadline for withdrawal has passed?
All cancellations must be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 4 weeks before the trip departs. You will receive written confirmation of your cancellation by return email. Cancellations received after this date will not receive a refund. For example: If my trip departs Sunday, March 7, my last day to cancel my participation is Sunday, February 7.What is the $200 fee for?
The $200 is used to secure work sites, materials, transportation and accommodations in the Gulf Coast.
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] Travel and Logistical Arrangements
Before the Trip How much luggage can I bring? Is there a limit to the size of my bags?
One bag will suffice. The accommodations are basic and will not fit excessive luggage. Please see the packing list to get an idea of how much to pack. Do not bring valuables.What should I pack? Packing List
[Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader
version 4.0 or higher.]What if I can't leave on the assigned departure date for my school? Can I go early?
Participants need to leave for the program on their school's assigned departure date. If you choose to go early you will need to arrange to meet your campus at the airport on the scheduled arrival date. Can I extend my stay in the Gulf Coast?
Yes, you can extend your stay in the Gulf Coast. Please be aware that if you do arrive early or extend that you are responsible for your travel and accomodations. What happens when I arrive at the airport?
When you arrive at the airport, there will be a meeting place for all Hillel students and campuses. Please get your baggage and go to the assigned meeting place and look for a Hillel representative. There you will check in with a staff member. Transportation from the airport to the accomodations is already arranged.
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] During the Trip What is the work like?
Each day students will participate in hands-on volunteer work. This may include, but is not limited to: installing siding on houses, drywalling, painting, sheetrock, roofing, cleaning, etc.Do I need to have previous experience in skills above?
You do not need to have previous construction skills and/ or experience. Participants will be trained on-site in all areas of work. If you do have skills in these areas, please inform your Hillel professional.What are the housing accomodation like?
We are still in the process of coordinating our housing arrangements for March 2010. We will update this section as soon as information is available.Are there any expenses while on the trip that I am responsible for?
All food, accommodation and travel are covered. There may be some free time on the trip so $20-$30 for food or souvenirs is recommended. What if I get sick? Do I need my own health insurance?
If you get sick during the break, doctors and hospitals are available. It is necessary to have your own health insurance.
Please see the application for details on health insurance.What if I'm unable to go at the last minute?
It is your responsibility to notify Hillel as soon as you are aware that you are unable to attend by sending an email to email@example.com
. Refund of fees will be dependent on the withdrawal date.What happens in case of an emergency?
Participants will be provided in advance with contact information for their local Hillel and the accommodations in which they will be staying on the program. Each campus will be assigned a local emergency contact while participants are on the trip. Please call your campus Hillel to reach the local emergency contact.
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] Program, Meals, and Free Time Where is the program taking place this year?
New Orleans, LA. What are the dates for the program?
Please check this list
for the dates to see which week your campus is signed up for. These trips are campus-based and therefore each campus has a specific week it is eligible for. Is my campus signed up to participate?
Please check this list
to see which campuses are registered for which break, or contact your Hillel professional directly. Where will we stay?
We are in the process of coordinating our housing arrangments for March 2010. As soon as information is available, we will update this section.Who are we working with in New Orleans?
In the past, we have worked with Rebuilding Together New Orleans
and the St. Bernard Porject
. This year, we will also be working directly with the St. Bernard Parish Government
. [Note: Please do not contact these organizations directly.]What will the meals be like?
All meals will be kosher (in accordance with Jewish dietary laws) and the kitchen will be overseen by a mashgiach (someone who oversees Jewish dietary laws in the kitchen throughout the cooking process). Most of the meals will be vegetarian. Breakfast is cold (cereal, biscuits, fruit), lunch is packed and eaten on-site (PB & J sandwiches, granola bars, fruit), and dinner is hot (burritos, pasta, chili, etc). What does a typical schedule of a day look like? How much will we work?
We will work between six to eight hours a day - roughly 35 hours over the course of the week. Sample schedule for a dayWhat happens on Shabbat?
Hillel is a pluralistic organization and approaches Shabbat with this same philosophy. A student committee of your peers will plan a pluralistic, communal experience that begins sunset on Friday and lasts through sunset on Saturday. There are many options ranging from traditional prayer to yoga to drum circles to discussions to free time. No work projects are scheduled on Saturday but students may be creative in designing Shabbat to reflect their interests.