I arrived at Columbia University — totally alone. Hillel allieviated my homesickness.
“I arrived at Columbia University — totally alone. That changed my second semester when Jaimie Krass, director of engagement at Columbia/Barnard Hillel, asked me to grab coffee. She asked if I’d like to become involved in The Actualization Project, a fellowship that empowers students to use their passions to redesign the possibilities of Jewish life on campus. I used the opportunity to mount an original space-western-comedy musical that I wrote over winter break. With the help of the Hillel staff, we transformed our main hall into a makeshift theater. Our cast was a mix of 15 Jewish and non-Jewish students from over four countries. Most of them had never acted or sung. The play was a success, with more than 350 people filling the seats. But most importantly, Hillel created a new opportunity for students like me to spend quality time with close friends and to meet new ones. They alleviate any homesickness I might be feeling, and they’re as supportive as my own family.” — David Treatman, Columbia University