Another year of great memories with Hillels Around Chicago!
Summer's here! As much as we DO love looking forward to new adventures, Hillels Around Chicago would like to pause for a moment to reflect on a truly awesome year of Jewish campus life!
Last summer, for the first time, our Hillel programming didn't end when school let out. Students from all seven of our campuses--and Jewish friends and family visiting our students here in Chicago--kept our Hillel up and running with volunteer days, learning opportunities, and Shabbat services. Whether we were pulling weeds for our city's urban farming initiative, lunch & learning with visiting rabbis, or singing Kabbalat Shabbat songs by the lake, we braved the summer heat with Hillel!
Fall semester began and soon the High Holidays were underway. Hillels Around Chicago hosted services at DePaul University for over 500 students and community members. We built sukkahs and celebrated as a community, creating programs that bridged interfaith communities and reinforcing our Hillel's commitment to social justice.
As the semester went on, our Hillel students committed themselves to Israel education, serving as advocates for Israel on campus and in their classrooms. DePaul Hillel hosted advocacy workshops and an ADL workshop on confronting anti-semitism; Columbia Hillel students and the Israel Education Center worked together to correct the anti-Israel bias students encountered in an "Israeli and Palestinian Conflict" class.
Winter arrived, and with it, our Fifth Annual Green Menorah celebration! Students from several campuses joined Columbia Hillel to build Hanukkiot from recyclable materials. Over Winter Break, Hillels Around Chicago students joined UIC Hillel to make and serve 400 meals with The Night Ministry, an organization bringing gemilut chasadim to some of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago. These students worked tirelessly for twelve hours, cooking, schlepping, and working to serve others.
Spring semester did not slow down! Our Hillel students organized to plan an intercollegiate Purim party, host Israel Peace Week on campus, and volunteer in Miami on Alternative Spring Break. SAIC Hillel and DePaul Hillel both raised money for the Israeli humanitarian organization, Save a Child's Heart. We commemorated the Shoah with public programming across our campuses, and celebrated Israel's Independence at Daley Plaza with the greater Chicago Jewish community. It was a crazy, challenging, WONDERFUL year, and we could not be prouder or happier of our students and our campus communities!
As we look forward to new adventures this summer and next year, Hillels Around Chicago would like to thank our students, our faculty advisors and campus partners, the Hillels Around Chicago Board, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago Campus Affairs Department, and our Hillel colleagues across Illinois and around the world. Thank you for helping make this year a success! Kol hakavod and Toda Raba!