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News & Views - Blog

  • Hillel’s ‘Mr. International’ Looks Back on 20 Years of Hillel in the Former Soviet Union

    Jan 13, 2021, 11:56 AM by Jared Gans
    Let My People Grow book cover
    In the early 1990s, as the Iron Curtain fell in Europe, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Hillel Director Yossie Goldman noticed something of a trend—Russian Jews were arriving at the university and joining Hillel in droves. Through conversations with these Russian students, Goldman realized that there were more than 1.5 million Jews who remained in Russia, and he began to reflect on how Hillel could help them seize this newfound opportunity to form a strong Jewish connection.
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  • How This Plague Made Us Stronger

    Jan 13, 2021, 10:09 AM by Yael Brenner, Leanne Sinsky, and Ilya Bratman
    Individuals wearing masks place flowers into a memorial
    At 2:30pm on March 11, 2020, just as our sephardic Jewish learning programs were finishing, Governor Cuomo shut down the CUNY schools for the rest of the semester. We were worried. Not because many of our secular students would lose their only Jewish outlet, or our traditional and orthodox students would lose their only secular environment, and not only because our students would lose their communal space for programs and personal growth, but because so many of our students relied on Hillel for some of their most basic needs.
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  • Scaling Small for Deep Impact

    Jan 13, 2021, 10:02 AM by Rabbi Benjamin Berger, Hillel International Vice President for Jewish Education
    Two students wearing masks look at a laptop
    While Gen Z, those born after 1995, are often known for being “digital natives,” like all humans before them they overwhelmingly crave in-person connection. Their adolescent digital lives are often disrupted in college by life-changing interactions, which we all recall from our own college experiences. Of the many assaults of 2020, the deleterious effects of the pandemic on college students and their quest for human connection should rank high.
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