As the semester comes to a close, we at F&M Hillel have been able to take a moment and reflect on how successful this academic year has been for us. Our average Shabbat dinner attendance has gone up, our students have raised over $4,000 that was donated to various charities, and the general turnout at most events has been spectacular.
In this newsletter, we talk about our Alternative Spring Break Trip to El Paso, Texas, Hillel's Passover Seder, and we ask graduating students and alumni how they will take their Judaism with them into the world.
During Spring Break 2013, students from F&M Hillel participated in a Week Long Alternative Service Trip to El Paso Texas to work with Habitat for Humanity. F&M Hillel teamed up with Dickinson Hillel for a week of work, Jewish discussion, adventure, laughter and fun.
“I met a lot of incredible people during our time in El Paso. I had a great time getting to know the students from Dickinson as well as becoming closer with those of us from F&M. All of the people that we worked with who were from El Paso displayed an unbelievable sense of passion, which made the work we did so much more meaningful and fun.”
– Zoe Yellen ’13
“My experience working with Habitat for Humanity in El Paso, Texas with F&M and Dickinson Hillel was unforgettable. I got to know the most inspiring and caring people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting while working along side them to better people's lives. Hillel did an amazing job sponsoring and organizing the trip and I couldn't be more thankful that I was able to go. I will be applying to every ASB trip I possibly can.”
– Jacob Mooney ‘16
“El Paso was one of the best experiences of my life. The people I met and conversations I had gave me a new outlook on life and made me exponentially happier and more grateful for everything I have and everything I do. I learned so much and worked so hard, in the best way possible! It was refreshing, fun, and exciting! I hope to go again soon.”
– Rachel Abramowitz ‘16
Passover is many things and it is certainly a family oriented holiday. Many of us spend at least one Seder with family, extended family, or our “friend” family. It becomes an annual event we look forward toward each year. When our children are away at college it presents some trepidation for many parents. Can our children make it home for Seder? If not, what will they be doing for Passover?
This year, it was evident that many students were not able to head home and miss so many classes. Consequently, we had a huge turnout at our Hillel Seder with over 110 students in attendance.
The students who planned the Hillel Seder focused on hosting one that was meaningful, memorable, fun, and of course done the Hillel way. Therefore, we had over 50 students leading or reading during the Seder. We received a great amount of positive feedback, including the thank you note I have inserted below.
Dear Dean Taber,
I wanted to thank you very much for hosting such a warm and wonderful Seder last night. This year was the first year that I wasn't with my family for Passover and last night really reaffirmed that if I couldn't be with my family, Hillel was the first place I would choose to be.
Thank you for hosting such a fulfilling Seder.
All the best,
Tanya Krieger ‘13
As you can imagine, making a Seder and providing kosher for Passover food for over 110 people is expensive. For those of you who have made contributions to Hillel in the past, we thank you. For those yet to do so this year, we ask you to consider making a donation now to defray our costs for Passover as well as our end-of-the-year programming. If you would like to donate again, we welcome that. Please use this LINK to make an electronic donation or feel free to mail us a check.
As always, we thank you for your continued support and hope you have a wonderful summer.
Dean Ralph Taber, P’16
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During their years of undergraduate studies, F&M Hillel students take their Jewish Journey. For our outgoing seniors and alumni, we know that this journey will continue, and F&M Hillel will always be here to help them.
"I plan to take my Judaism with me through every phase of my life. As a graduating senior, I look forward to getting the recipe for Challah and making Shabbat for myself every week if possible. The rituals, holidays, and fun Jewish moments will last a lifetime and definitely encourage me to seek new experiences in the future to add to my Jewish journey."
– Natali Naveh ‘13
"After I graduate, I know that Judaism will be an even bigger part of my life than it was before I entered college. Although I’ve carried out the same Jewish rituals for my entire life, doing them with my Hillel family brought a bigger meaning to them. I know that I will always carry with me the values and sense of community that I learned about and felt at Hillel and will incorporate these into not only all of my Shabbat and Holiday ritual services, but also my everyday life in the real world in the future."
– Samantha Pravder ‘13
" Moving over 1,200 miles away to Tulsa, Oklahoma, I knew I wanted to find a Jewish community to help make me feel more at home. With some initiative, it was surprisingly easy. I now attend various events at both the Conservative and Reform synagogues in town about once a month, as well as volunteer with the Hillel at a local university. Rabbis, Jewish grandmothers, and other young, 20-something Jews can be found anywhere! "
– David Faich ‘12