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Hillel at Emory

A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0 Hillels of Georgia enables college students to explore their Jewish heritage. These students are the future of our Jewish community.

Hillel at Kennessaw State

Hillel at University of Georgia

Hillel at Georgia State

Hillel at Georgia Tech


ls of Georgia, ilestones are Dear Friends of Hille s and images. The m rd wo in ar ye ne sto pletion mile dents, and, the com al Report presents a stu nu of An t 0 en 01 m -2 ge 09 ga 20 en e d Th programs an parents, rease in numbers of mmunity supporters, co u, yo to ks both a continued inc an Th . ses nter of students on campu the Marcus Hillel Ce s of nd sa ion at ou er th op to ll fu es d nc an wish experie ity, Georgia ided meaningful Je rs at Emory Univers de lea nt de and alumni, we prov stu by iversity nned iversity, and the Un l programming is pla lle Un Hi e . at gia St or aw Ge es ss nn ro ac University, Ke Georgia colleges. logy, Georgia State sh students at other wi Je to es Institute of Techno nc rie pe r ex l provides support fo en---Debbie Dermer, of Georgia, and Hille red three great wom no ho we r ta rS pe Su We conducted year of Campus since the beginning. les ro hip rs At the 7th amazing de lea d ye nts to Israel, on da Wand who all pla took dozens of stude s, nt Jody Feldman and Lin de stu of s nd sa for most of the s, involving thou was full of students er nt Ce l lle hundreds of program Hi s cu ar M e than 300 trips, and more. The which attracted mor rim Pu er ov n to ba Tzedek spring break ekend Shab e initiatives. luding a regional we ste of our many uniqu ta a u yo e spring semester inc giv ll wi rt po e and stories in this re plan and help run th students. The photos a student board that s ha l lle Hi l our lfil ch fu Ea to s. gether key to succes em. They all work to th ng idi Our students are the gu ls na sio es ents so lented group of prof e and graduate stud at du ra rg de un programs with our ta sh of Jewi based on five and enrich the lives r programming is all Ou . rld mission: to engage wo e th d an le h the Jewish peop that they may enric ic Jewish holidays “pillars.” , celebrate pluralist th ow gr t en ud st sh arning: foster Jewi experiences. Jewish Living & Le memorable Jewish h ug ro th ns tio di tra t to Israel plore rich personal attachmen of and Shabbat, and ex e ns se a d an e a passion Advocacy: cultivat Israel Education & to Israel. ess social education, and visits re students to addr pi through advocacy, ins d an ice rv se gful public ek: provide meanin Social Action/Tzed values. ely reflecting Jewish ich help students justice issues creativ ities on campus wh un m m co sh wi Je g: build strong relate to the world. Community Buildin give them a way to d an ity un m m co e s, motivate le in th come critical thinker understand their ro be : ts en ud st lp he ills that le in post-college pment: develop sk understand their ro d an Leadership Develo y, ph so ilo ph rsonal leadership others, enhance a pe iles you see community life. the past year. The sm of s se es cc su e th Hillel is the th us and look at ts across Georgia. en ud st sh wi Please celebrate wi Je r fo t ppor tween the time of portance of your su ish youth Jewish be w demonstrate the im Je r ou ep ke lp ugh their lives. continuity to he d “do Jewish” thro an es iti un key link for Jewish m m co wn in ut the year. We will hen they settle do programs througho in ts high school and w en ud st r ou d rticipate with us an We invite you to pa connection. u to encourage your stay in touch with yo Sincerely,

Steve Levine Directors President – Board of

D Wayne Silverman, Ph Executive Director


Hillel at Emory 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

A n n u a l

R e p o r t

Inspiring students to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life through community involvement and meaningful Jewish experiences. Hillel at Emory made tremendous strides in 2009-10. We opened the Marcus Hillel Center in February 2010, an historic milestone in the history of Jewish life at Emory. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the student board, led by president Ben Shnider, and the Hillel professional staff – Michael Rabkin, Mimi Hall and Daniel Resier – Hillel had a meaningful impact on more than 1,300 Jewish students this year with a total attendance of nearly 7,000 at our 225 Hillel sponsored activities!

40 Emory Students Experience Israel for the First Time: More than 70 students applied to go on Hillel at Emory’s summer Taglit Birthright Israel trip – one of the best recruitment efforts in the country – which allowed Hillel to take a full bus of 40 students in May 2010. Hillel at Emory staff Daniel Reiser and Mimi Hall spent a whirlwind 12 days in Israel on Hillel Bus 873. Trip highlights included bike riding in the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, cooling off at Nachal David in Ein Gedi after a morning hike up Masada and spiritual tour of the ancient city of Tzfat. The last day of the trip students and staff walked to the kotel (over 4 miles each way) to celebrate the harvest holiday of Shavuot and enjoy the feeling of being a part of Am Yisrael. Tritt & Oppenheimer JHealth Leadership Institute Inspires Jewish Values: Fifteen Emory students were selected to participate in the inaugural year of the JHealth Leadership Institute.

This innovative new program invests in pre-med and public health undergraduates through leadership training, public health advocacy, and community service to inspire value-driven careers in healthcare. Students had exclusive encounters with a variety of Jewish leaders in healthcare. Speakers included Jeff Koplan, the former director of the CDC; Ira Schwartz, the dean of admissions at the Emory School of Medicine; and Ramie Tritt, medical entrepreneur and founder of ENT and sleep disorder businesses. Students also led health advocacy and awareness projects in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Breast Cancer, and Jewish genetic diseases.

Hillel Enters New Era: the Marcus Hillel Center at Emory: Hillel at Emory and Hillels of Georgia officially moved into the Marcus Hillel Center on April 7, 2010, and it is quickly becoming a nexus of vibrant Jewish life at Emory offering unparalleled resources to building the Jewish campus community. Programming took place all semester, even before the move. As of July 2010, a total of $300,000 is needed to reach our capital campaign goal. Emory University alumni, parents, and friends are invited to help complete the campaign.


Artists in Residence — Israeli Hip-Hop Duo AXUM: One of the hottest groups on the Tel Aviv dancehall scene, AXUM, spent two months in Atlanta as Hillels of Georgia’s artists in residence. Tedross, who is Ethiopian, and Jackson, whose parents are Yemenite and Moroccan, represent the rich diversity of Israel and challenged the common perceptions students hold about Israel. They performed on Asbury Circle at iFest, at the “Minds on Mic” slam poetry performance at the DUC, and at a Hip-Hop Passover Seder at the Marcus Hillel Center. Emory alum, Russell Gotschalk (‘07C) served as their manager while in Atlanta. AXUM transcended the political issues about Israel and engaged students in Israeli popular culture. The residency was made possible by a grant from the Schusterman Family Foundation and support from the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast. Bredow Scholars Demonstrate Excellence in Leadership: Mazal tov to the 2010 Sam Bredow Memorial Scholarship recipients, who demonstrate excellence in student leadership at Emory: Leah Dodell, Reina Factor, and Stephen Ratner. Sam Bredow (z”l), a friend and mentor to literally

thousands of Emory students, served as an advisor to Tau Epsilon Phi, Mu chapter, at Emory University for over 35 years. The Sam Bredow Memorial Fund was established to honor the memory of this man and to assist Jewish students at Emory who are in need of financial aid and who have demonstrated leadership within one or more of the recognized Jewish organizations on the Emory campus and/or within the greater Emory community. Since 1997, there have been more than 60 recipients of this scholarship, which is distributed jointly by Emory University and Hillel at Emory. Students Rebuild Homes in New Orleans: A group of Jewish students from Emory and UGA turned their spring break into an opportunity to do service. They traveled to New Orleans with Hillel to help with the rebuilding homes affected by Hurricane Katrina, including that of Willie and Charlotte Major. Willie was born in and lived in that same house for all 79 years of his life. During the flood, he, his wife, and daughter Terenthia evacuated to North Carolina. They finally moved back to New Orleans in

January of 2010. With the students’ help, they will be back in their home by the beginning of the summer. “Talking to Terenthia, I really understood the void that Hurricane Katrina created in her life. Terenthia became emotional as she watched us rebuild her house, because it represented a sign of normality from before Katrina. This really made me appreciate the value of having a home and a community.” – Jonathan Kessler, Emory class of 2011

Jewish Perspectives on Healthcare Reform: As the nation debated reforms to the healthcare system in America, Hillel student leaders at Emory transcended the political discourse in order to explore the issue through a Jewish ethical and religious lens. Emory sophomore and Hillel Vice President Jordan Stein organized and moderated a panel of experts – Dr. Melvin Konner, Rabbi Dr. Analia Bortz, and Rabbi Michael Broyde – at the Emory Center for Ethics to respond to questions about how Jewish tradition views the issues associated with healthcare reform.


Freshmen Connect with Hillel and Build New Friendships: Coming to college can be scary. In an unfamiliar city, with unfamiliar people, without family nearby to help, freshmen can easily feel lost. Hillel at Emory helped ease that difficult transition this year by creating a welcoming orientation week with fewer, higher quality events. A record-breaking 500 students and their families came to the annual Hillel Bagel Brunch. As they perused the buffet of 16 Jewish campus organizations, students got a taste of the variety of ways to connect Jewishly at Emory. More

than 120 Jewish students came to the Hillel BBQ to socialize, enjoy live music, and meet the incoming freshman class. More than 70 freshmen joined Hillel’s successful “Fresh Connections” program to be matched with older students and

other freshmen to get to know their peers in smaller group settings. “In the weeks following orientation, we had many returning and enthusiastic faces. I am very pleased with the turnout and the involvement of the entire Jewish community, the atmosphere that was created, and this first success of many in reaching our goals.” – Hillel Orientation Week coordinator, Kenny Liebowitz (class of 2011)

More than 600 Celebrate Passover at 30 Seders at Emory: Now in its third year, Hillel at Emory’s Passover initiative has created a new paradigm for celebrating Passover on campus. The program engages over 600 students in 30 student-hosted and student-led Seders across campus. Hillel provides students with “Seder Mini-Grants” to prepare and host a Seder meal, offers Seder leadership training workshops, and provides a Seder-to-Go kit with all necessary materials. Austin van Grack, served as Hillel’s Passover program intern to coordinate this hugely successful initiative, widely recognized as one of the most innovative and meaningful Jewish experiences for Emory students. Made in Israel Week Highlights Israel’s Diversity: Israel groups across campus joined together for Made in Israel week, a series of speakers, concerts, workshops, and travel opportunities

in November. The initiative was a collaboration between Emory Students for Israel (ESI), Hillel, and Masa, highlighting the diversity of Israel and how that diversity is expressed on campus. Israeli hip-hop super-group Soulico transformed a fraternity basement into a Tel Aviv dance party, and Hillel organized a group of 30 students to go to the Idan Raichel concert downtown. More than 50 Emory students packed into White Hall to learn about Israel advocacy from leading communications specialist David Olesker, who discussed the difference between educating and advocating for Israel. Sgt. Benjamin Anthony, founder of Our Soldiers Speak, illustrated the power of the human story by telling of his service to the Israel Defense Force, the honor of the Israeli soldier, the emotional impact of war, and the soldier’s deepest prayer for peace. “It’s easy to talk about how much you love Israel, but bringing the country’s radiant culture to Emory is a challenge. Last week that challenge was overcome proudly with a rush of new, exciting energy.” – Adar Morag, ESI VP communications


MARCUS HILLEL CENTER OPENS WITH PURIM PARTY On Purim last year, the first backhoe was digging the foundation of the Marcus Hillel Center. A year later, 300 students were partying on Purim with DJ Courtney for the premier student event in our new home. Students from across the southeast joined for a weekend Shabbaton, which culminated in the party open to students from all Metro Atlanta campuses.

There is much success to celebrate about this year! These highlights are a glimpse into the hundreds of programs and initiatives Hillel at Emory produced during the year. Thanks to the Hillel professional staff, student leaders, and all of our supporters who made these activities possible so that we can continue to enrich the lives of the 2,500 Jewish students at Emory University! Visit us at www.emoryhillel.org to learn more or call Hillel at Emory Director Michael Rabkin at 404-963-2548 ext. 102. Hillel at Emory is a division of Hillels of Georgia, which is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and an affiliate of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.


Hillel at Georgia State 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

A n n u a l

R e p o r t

Inspiring students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity through meaningful Jewish experiences so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. Hillel at Georgia State University had an incredible year with new student leadership, inspiring programming, and new opportunities that have woven us into the campus fabric. Thanks to the dedication of the Hillel professional staff, student leaders, lay leaders, and our supporters we consistently engage over 50 students and continue to see those numbers rising!

EXCITING PROGRAMMING WITH A JEWISH TWIST: Whirlyball, ice skating, planting flowers with the elderly---these opportunities and other programs brought the GSU Jewish community together this year as we build community and engage new friends. Fall semester finals coincided with Chanukah, but students didn’t hesitate to come out for pizza and candle lighting. And Hadassah partnered with us this year to provide finals care packages full of fun goodies, pencils, and snacks.

DAVID PROJECT VISITS CAMPUS: Partnerships with organizations like The David Project have become critical to help students confront negative messages about Israel on campus. This fall, Director of Education for the David Project, Todd Young, visited campus to engage students in two intensive learning sessions. Missed Opportunities for Peace gave the community a chance to look

at Israel’s attempts at peace and compromise; Misuse of the Apartheid Analogy equipped participants with the language and information they need to effectively communicate about the security fence.

REGRESSIVE DINNER: In late April, 19 students boarded a lavish charter bus to enjoy an evening of fine dining-in-reverse--provided at the homes of three members of the Hillels of Georgia Board of Directors! They started with dessert and ended with appetizers with steak in between, all while riding in a luxurious coach (did we mention the flat


screen television and couches in the bus?). This event wasn’t just about schmoozing with other students, though; board members were able to connect with the young adults who directly benefit from their hard work. 2nd ANNUAL AMAZING RACE: This student-designed program is now in its second year and we welcomed new and returning participants for a crazy day of competition. With the creative energy of student leader Naomi Klein, this year’s surprises included scavenger hunts, a PB&J competition, and trivia. Each competition includes a service project, and, this year, we were able to donate more than 70 healthy bag lunches to The Genesis Shelter, a family-oriented program in the city aimed at providing nurturing environments to homeless families with young children. This year, student teams were led by volunteer drivers from the staff, a KSU Hillel alumnus and a member of our Board of Directors. SHABBAT & RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS: For the second year, monthly Shabbat dinner is available on campus! The Georgia State University Shabbat Experience has really transformed into an intimate community event

with a core group of students who look forward to good food and great conversation. Student leader Micah Colletti worked with other student leaders and participants to design themes for each meal. With the initiative of a new advertising campaign and person-to-person outreach, we had new faces show up to see what Shabbat dinner was all about! Chanukah this year came at the tail end of finals and included a pizza party at Broadway Café. Student leader Jonathan Feldman led the students in Chanukah candle lighting.

ruach of Shabbat and Purim and were able to make new connections and friends with Jews from all over the Southeast region. Georgia State University students also volunteered to host out-of-town guests, showing them the southern hospitality that Atlanta provides! This memorable weekend was full of opportunities to connect and engage the students’ Jewish experience through educational sessions, reflective moments and social opportunities. The weekend was topped off with a Megillah reading and a Purim party on Saturday evening.

SHABBATON AT THE MARCUS HILLEL CENTER: Georgia State University students partnered with other schools in the region for our first Hillels of Georgia regional Shabbaton. Held at the new Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University, students truly engaged in the

ISRAELFEST 2010: For the second year, students and staff collaborated to engage the campus community to celebrate the spirit and accomplishments of Israel! This year, we built new displays, and engaged more student volunteerism to create a more vibrant experience. Despite rain, we had a successful day with more than 400 guests in attendance. Just as the skies cleared and the rain stopped, Israeli hip-hop band Axum held a concert and before you knew it, GSU’s Unity Plaza was full of


students eating falafel, dancing, and having their pictures taken with our “camel.� Visitors were able to write prayers and place them in our Kotel, have a hand-spa treatment with Dead Sea products, and learn amazing facts about Israel. Our Hillel participants walked away from the event energized and proud of the hard work they have done on campus this year.

LUNCH AND LEARN: Our Lunch and Learn series is a signature event on campus, and provides consistent programming throughout the school year. In the spring, the program expanded to include two Wednesdays a month. Our most significant change this year has been the new rabbinical leadership. We continue our relationship with Rabbi Shlomo Gelbtuch from the Kollel. In addition, we now also work with Rabbi Berg from The Temple, Rabbi Brad from Temple Sinai, and Rabbi Karmi Ingber from The Kehilla.

THE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY COMPETITION: When Jewish Family & Career Services announced their city-wide sandwich drive, student leaders hopped on the chance to do an engaging Tzedek project. Top that by making it a competition with the Hillel at Kennesaw State and we have a recipe for success! We partnered with Alpha Xi and Alpha Epsilon Pi and the results were more than 450 sandwiches for the homeless community in Atlanta.

MAZEL TOV TO THE NEW AEPi CHAPTER AT GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY: After more than two years of tireless effort, Alpha Epsilon Pi at Georgia State is now a recognized fraternity on campus. We wish them success in the future and look forward to more opportunities to network and program together on campus! NEW CAMPUS PARTNERSHIPS: This year, we focused on reaching out to other organizations on campus and creating partnerships to strengthen

our Hillel. Working with the Middle East Institute, we co-sponsored an appearance by former Consul General Reda Monsour in the spring. Our relationship with the new AEPi chapter also has grown with one of the brothers participating as a Hillel student leader. We also look forward to working with Dr. Robbie Freedman and the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) project at Georgia State University as we plan for more engaging Israel education opportunities on campus.


WELCOMING JEWISH ARTISTS TO CAMPUS: This year, Atlanta native and artist Debra Mazer partnered with Cantor Shira Batalion to create a new, progressive Haggadah, Open-Eyed Heart-Wide, which is gaining national attention. Georgia State University

students were lucky enough to meet the artists and authors for a prePesach luncheon of Chinese food and conversation about the meaning behind the Seder. Students were able to brainstorm ways to make their own unique Jewish experiences more creative and personal as they noshed on their last bit of bread before our annual Passover diet change.

These events are a glimpse into all of the wonderful programs that have been offered over the course of the year. We have much to celebrate and thanks to offer to the Hillel Professional staff, student leaders, and all of our supporters who made this year possible. For more information, please visit www.hillelatgsu.org or call Director of Jewish Student Life for Hillel at Georgia State University Ginny Adams at 404-437-0088. Hillel at Georgia State University is a division of Hillels of Georgia, which is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and an affiliate of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.


H i l l e l a t G e o r g i a Te c h 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

A n n u a l

R e p o r t

Inspiring students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity through meaningful Jewish experiences so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. This has been a year to rejoice at Hillel at Georgia Tech as we continue to inspire Jewish celebration, strengthen Jewish commitment, and promote Jewish community. Thanks to the dedication of the Hillel professional staff – Shira Rothman – student leaders, lay leaders, and our supporters we had a meaningful impact on more than 200 unique Jewish students this year with a total attendance of over 3,300 at our 124 Hillel sponsored activities!

ORIENTATION: Students and their families were welcomed to Tech at the Hillel-AEPi Freshman BBQ where they had a chance to meet Hillel student leaders, Hillel staff, and other Jewish students on campus and learn how they can participate and even become future leaders. Bonding began when more than 90 students enjoyed the first of many Bagel Breaks and continued as students rafted down Tennessee’s Ocoee River. HOLIDAYS AND OBSERVANCE: As Rosh Hashanah approached, students had a great time educating the

campus by handing out apples and honey (and free High Holiday services tickets). Thanks to Jesse Zell this year’s Sukkah was the biggest ever built at Tech. Hookah in the Sukkah took place under the stars while watching the hilarious comedy You Don’t

Mess with the Zohan. For Purim, GT students joined others at the Southeastern Regional Shabbaton. With Stephanie Gold on the core planning team, the Shabbaton and Purim celebrations included a thoughtful Shabbat discussion led by David Jaffe, a large scale party at the new Marcus Hillel Center and delicious Hamentashen. First-time Trips to Israel: Hillel at Georgia Tech sent 20 students on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip for their first peer-group experience of the Jewish Homeland. Highlights of trip included releasing


homing pigeons and doves on a kibbutz, signing a copy of the Declaration of Independence on the table it was originally signed at Independence Hall, and singing and dancing at sunrise on Masada after a B’nai Mitzvah. PASSOVER: For the third year in a row, Hillel at GT provided a free Kosher for Passover Meal Plan to students thanks to The Caller Family Foundation. This year, we provided more than 250 meals to students during the week of Passover. With no Kosher for Passover meal options on campus, students like Derek Podowitz were appreciative of the delicious meal and the chance to eat lunch with friends. Each day the students were provided with Jewish learning resources covering topics highlighting global Passover rituals, the reason behind certain Passover observances, and more. Additionally, community members were generous enough to open up their homes and extend invitations to their first and second Seders for those students who were unable to travel home for the holiday. SHABBAT EXPERIENCE: Studentled egalitarian kabbalat Shabbat services attracted 350 participants at Hillel and dinners throughout the year. We hosted our 5th Atlanta Metro Campus Shabbat at GA Tech in February with 90 people in attendance and delicious Kosher Chinese food. “We have a lot of pride in our GT Jewish community and its great when we can share that Shabbat ruach (spirit) with the other Atlanta Campuses” – Seth Dubin, VP of Religious Life

We also co-sponsored a Parent’s Weekend Shabbat with AEPi so that parents could share in the Shabbat experience with their children. In addition to the Shabbat experience on campus, students were able to welcome the Shabbat Bride with residents of the William Breman Jewish Home for the elderly and disabled.

SOCIAL ACTION: Philanthropy Chair Juliet Jacobson engaged students in numerous opportunities to help our community and experience the true joys of Tzedakah and Tikkun Olam this year. For Juliet, it is important that Hillel students serve as a role model for peers to show how they can give back to their campus and community. Students participated in Relay for Life (where they offered a tie-dying fundraiser), participated in Earth Day where they shared information about Israel’s environmental contributions, and co-Sponsored a Gift of


Life Bone Marrow Drive with AEPi. In honor of Tu B’shvat, Jewish Arbor Day, Georgia Tech students joined the Jewish National Fund to plant trees with Trees Atlanta.

“It was the easiest way to meet lots of Jewish students on campus and I love coming every week.” – Lior Koren, Class of 2013

Hillel student leaders announce upcoming campus programming and other events city-wide. In addition, speakers are often invited to provide informal Jewish content to the weekly program. It is the single best entry point to engage students new students and keep others engaged.

IsraelFest: More than 600 people attended IsraelFest, the annual outdoor cultural festival, which promotes awareness to the Georgia Tech community that there is more to Israel beyond ‘the conflict.’ The festival featured displays which highlighted important areas and facts about Israel, resources for students to travel and study abroad in Israel, a performance by Hillels of Georgia Artists-in-Residence Israeli Hip-Hop band Axum, delicious Israeli falafel sandwiches, Bamba and Bislie, and for many, the highlight was a live camel. With high energy and a pride for Israel, students showed their support for Israel at GA Tech. BAGEL BREAK: Each week for the entire year, students come for the bagels, lox, cream cheese, and other noshes, sponsored by the Meiselman family. Bagel Break provides engagement among undergraduate and graduate students in a casual, low-key environment.

CASINO NIGHT: More than 400 Jewish and non-Jewish students participated in the Third Annual Hillel Casino Night, co-sponsored with Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) which allowed students to test their gambling skills at Poker, Black Jack, Roulette, and Craps. The event provided an opportunity for students of all backgrounds to learn about Hillel and provided a means of getting our name on campus. Winners received prizes ranging from restaurant gift certificates to Georgia Tech apparel to a Wii. Plans are already in the works for the 4th annual event which will incorporate a social action component.


Israel Speakers: Hillel partnered with a variety of organizations to provide lecturers on Campus. The Israeli National Roads Company held a workshop with Civil Engineering students to discuss the technological and environmental advances that Israel has been making in their road system. Students also participated in a provocative discussion about Religion and free speech led by Amos Guiora, Professor of Law and former IDF Commander.

Girls Night is a very special JEWISH LEARNING: Students have initiative. the opportunity to participate in amazing learning seminars. Lunch ‘N “Freshman year I met most of Learn with Rabbi Golding provides my friends through Hillel, students with a chance to explore the especially by attending Girls Night meaning behind upcoming holidays programs and I’ve built my most and get answers to questions on important and lasting friendships everyday life all while enjoying free with other Jewish girls thanks kosher pizza! to these events.” – Naomi Benveniste GIRLS NIGHT: Whether it’s a fun Girls Night Chair outing of roller skating or ice skating in Centennial Park, or a day of craft OUT AND ABOUT: It’s not always or cooking together, about learning…students like to get off campus and explore all that Atlanta has to offer. Students had fun all around the city as they enjoyed Go Karting, Whirly Ball, Laser Tag, and Trivia Night! Watch out, these Yellow Jackets are competitive!

These highlights are a glimpse into the programs we produced that allow us to enrich our important Jewish student presence on campus. We have much to celebrate and thanks to offer to the Hillel Professional staff, student leaders, and all of our supporters who made this year possible. Visit us at www.gthillel.org for more information or call Hillel at Georgia Tech’s Director of Jewish Student Life Shira Rothman at (404)963-2548 x 105. Hillel at Georgia Tech is a division of Hillels of Georgia, which is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and an affiliate of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.


Hillel at Kennesaw State 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

A n n u a l

R e p o r t

Inspiring students to explore and celebrate their Jewish identity through meaningful Jewish experiences so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world. Hillel at Kennesaw State University had an incredible year with new student leadership, inspiring programming, and new opportunities that have woven us into the campus fabric. Thanks to the dedication of student leaders supported by the Hillel professional staff, lay leaders, and our supporters we consistently engage students and continue to see numbers rising!

EXCITING PROGRAMMING WITH A JEWISH TWIST: This year, we kicked things off with a day of croquet, cornhole, and other lawn games followed by an evening out on the town with Hookah Night. Whirlyball, ice skating, planting flowers with the elderly---these opportunities and other programs brought the KSU Jewish community together this year as we build community and engage new friends. Fall semester finals coincided with Chanukah, but students didn’t hesitate to come out for pizza and candle lighting. Positive campus partnerships with organizations like the Muslim Student Association continued to flourish as we partnered on programming throughout the year.

DAVID PROJECT VISITS CAMPUS: Partnerships with organizations like The David Project have become critical to help students confront negative messages about Israel on campus. This fall, Director of Education for the David Project, Todd Young, visited campus to engage students in two intensive learning sessions. Missed Opportunities for Peace gave the community a chance to look at Israel’s attempts at peace and compromise; Misuse of the Apartheid Analogy equipped participants with the language and information they need to effectively communicate about the security fence. REGRESSIVE DINNER & AMAZING RACE: Students at KSU often partner with other campuses in the Atlanta area for programming. GSU’s Amazing Race and Regressive Dinner brought students in town from Kennesaw for these exciting opportunities. For


the Regressive Dinner, students boarded a lavish charter bus to enjoy an evening of fine diningin-reverse---provided at the homes of three members of the Hillels of Georgia Board of Directors! They started with dessert and ended with appetizers with steak in between, all while riding in a luxurious coach (did we mention the flat screen television and couches in the bus?). This event wasn’t just about schmoozing with other students, though; board members were able to connect with the young adults who directly benefit from their hard work. Amazing Race provided a day of adventure and mystery; this year’s surprises included scavenger hunts, a PB&J competition, and trivia. Each competition includes a service project and this year, we were able to donate more than 70 healthy bag lunches to The Genesis Shelter, a family-oriented program in the city aimed at providing nurturing environments to homeless families with young children. This year student teams were led by volunteer drivers from the staff, a KSU Hillel alumnus and a member of our Board of Directors. SHABBAT ON CAMPUS: For the second year, monthly Shabbat dinner is available on campus! The Kennesaw State University Shabbat Experience has become an event students look forward to, and they take active leadership in creating the experience. Prayer services are led by student leader Perry Birbrager and participants lead in Kiddush and Hamotzi. SHABBATON AT THE MARCUS HILLEL CENTER: Kennesaw State University students partnered with other schools in the region for our first Hillels of Georgia regional

Shabbaton. Held at the new Marcus Hillel Center at Emory University, students truly engaged in the ruach of Shabbat and Purim and were able to make new connections and friends with Jews from all over the Southeast region. This memorable weekend was full of opportunities to connect and engage the students’ Jewish experience through educational sessions, reflective moments and social opportunities. The weekend was topped off with a Megillah reading and a Purim party on Saturday evening. ISRAELFEST 2010: One of this year’s most exciting programs was KSU’s first IsraelFest. Our success rests on the shoulders of two student leaders: Rachel Simon and Brigitte Becquet. These two women collaborated to make this day memorable and engaging for the whole campus community. Other campus organizations such as the Catholic Campus Union, Spiritual Life Committee, and Baptist Campus Ministry joined us in making the day special by providing volunteers and adding to the festivities. The Israeli Consulate, Jewish National

Fund, and The David Project were also present. We had a successful day with more than 400 guests in attendance. Israeli hip-hop band Axum held a concert and before you knew it, the student center was full of students eating falafel, dancing, and having their pictures taken with our “camel.” Visitors were able to write prayers and place them in our Kotel, have a hand-spa treatment with Dead Sea products, and learn amazing facts about Israel. Our Hillel participants walked away from the event energized and proud of the hard work they have done on campus this year. LUNCH AND LEARN: Our Lunch and Learn series is a signature event on campus, and provides consistent programming throughout the school year. Leaders like Morgan Shapiro created a dynamic and engaging repertoire of Jewish voices which were represented on our campus. We continue our relationship with Rabbi Shlomo Gelbtuch from the Kollel. In addition, we now also work with Rabbi Berg from The Temple, Rabbi Brad from Temple Sinai, and Rabbi Karmi Ingber from The Kehilla. We also welcomed


IsraelFest, and a concert at IsraelFest was the energetic culmination of months of hard work on behalf of students and Hillel staff.

Reconstructionist Cantor Shira Batillion on campus as we took a creative look at the Passover Seder. CAPTURE THE FLAG WITH THE MUSLIM STUDENT ASSOCIATION: For the second year in a row, Hillel and the Muslim Student Association partnered for a unity event to engage Jews and Muslims on campus and spread the word to the broader community that civility and mutual respect are possible. This year, we co-hosted a cookout with MSA and a great game of Capture the Flag. Almost 100 students participated in this annual event.

AXUM: When the KSU students found out that an opportunity existed to help bring Israeli HipHop artists Axum to the greater Atlanta community, they were more than inspired. Student leaders, including Jesse Feller, worked with a campus organization to secure funding for this experience. Over the course of two months, Axum and Hillel engaged over 800 students in this positive encounter. Master’s classes with the music department gave the campus community a chance to examine Hip-Hop music. A drum circle on the Campus Green brought out the African Dance troop, spread awareness about

THE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY COMPETITION: When Jewish Family & Career Services announced their city-wide sandwich drive, student leaders hopped on the chance to do an engaging Tzedek project. It was also a competition with Hillel at Georgia State University which made a recipe for success! We partnered with Alpha Xi and Alpha Epsilon Pi and the results were more than 450 sandwiches for the homeless community in Atlanta.

NEW CAMPUS PARTNERSHIPS: This year, we focused on reaching out to other organizations on campus and create partnerships to strengthen our Hillel. The Spiritual Life Committee has provided us with support and partnerships. The Muslim Student Association continues to be a friendly face on campus through programming and friendship. And IsraelFest was a big success through


the help with our friends at the Catholic Campus Ministry, the Wesley Foundation, and the Baptist Campus Ministry. With budding relationships developing with the Jewish National Fund and The David Project, this Hillel continues its upward climb to greatness. Partners in Learning with JNF: This spring, Hillel at KSU partnered with Jewish National Fund to host Dr. Raanan Gissin, previous advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Visiting students from the KSU ROTC and Hillel students enjoyed two sessions with Dr. Gissin as he spoke about Israel in the media and genocidal anti-Semitism. Students had a chance to spend personal time with Dr. Gissin and ask poignant questions about Israel and how they relate to our country. Creating Campus Partnerships: Kennesaw State University recognizes the importance of spiritual development in its student population. Professional leaders from many of the campus spiritual organizations have formed the Spiritual Life Committee (SLC) and Hillel is proud of this partnership. This venue has given Hillel the opportunity to create

friendships with other religious organizations on campus and we have grown because of these opportunities. Five organizations from SLC participated with IsraelFest through volunteerism and participation, and we look forward to more interfaith opportunities in the future.

These events are merely a glimpse into all of the wonderful programs that have been offered over the course of the year. We have much to celebrate and thanks to offer to the Hillel Professional staff, student leaders, and all of our supporters who made this year possible. For more information, please visit www.hillelatksu.org or call Director of Jewish Student Life for Hillel at Kennesaw State University Ginny Adams at 404-437-0088. Hillel at Kennesaw State University is a division of Hillels of Georgia, which is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and an affiliate of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.


Hillel at University of Georgia 2 0 0 9 - 2 0 1 0

A n n u a l

R e p o r t

Hillel at UGA has completed another strong year with the work of an amazing student board guided by Hillel at UGA staff, a new Director, along with support from the Hillels of Georgia leadership team. The following events are a glimpse into all of the wonderful programs that have been offered over the course of the year. We have much to celebrate and wish to thank student leaders, the Hillel Professional staff – Joel Marcovitch, Michael Braun, Brad Erbesfield, and Alicia Arnold-Compere –and all of our supporters. We had a meaningful impact on more than 1,900 students this year with a total attendance of over 5,716 at 187 Hillel sponsored activities!

ORIENTATION: Hillel at UGA attracted and engaged students, and enhanced its prominent role in the university and greater Athens communities. Thanks to the student leadership, Hillel at UGA organized and regularly publicized social gatherings for students. Welcome Back BBQ, a signature annual event held upon students’ return to campus each August, brought more than 40 students to Hillel at UGA in order to meet new friends and reconnect with Jewish peers. Whitewater Rafting. 22 students traveled

to Tennessee to brave the Ocoee River rapids and enjoy a picnic lunch. The outing was organized and led by Mara Price. First Year Students of Hillel (FYSH) events included movie nights and nightlife events, organized for first year students by Rachel Kaplan. THE COOKING CLUB: Led by its co-presidents Elaine and Jackie Berkovich, Hillel hosted

monthly cooking classes in which 20-30 students cooked a variety of kosher dishes from different cultures and enjoyed a communal meal.


featured a carnival of games and a performance by Noteworthy, UGA’s allwomen a capella group. The toy drive was extremely successful; we collected nearly 200 toys.

HIGH HOLIDAYS: The Days of Awe from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur brought Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox minyanim to students and community members. Community and student-led services were organized by local Jewish activist Marilyn Gootman, along with strong participation from Doctoral student, Donnie Wood, who led readings and served as cantor. SUKKOT: In addition to the traditional symbols of Sukkot, the Etrog and Lulav, the popular Sushi in the Sukkah event featured a Sushi making class, a warm atmosphere and chance to eat Sushi under the stars in our Sukkah on our front lawn. Uga’s PARTY: Hillel President Hilary Gray mobilized more than 85 student volunteers from across campus for the 3rd Annual Uga’s Party, a toy drive and holiday party for 60 indigent children and their parents and guardians from the Athens community. The party

UGA IDOL: In its seventh year, the celebrated event attracted 600 students to Hodgson Hall to cheer for their favorite of 16 highly talented contestants. SDT coordinated the event in partnership with Hillel to raise money for Prevent Child Abuse Athens. Zach Levy and Sarah Itner served as Event Coordinators, along with SDT Vice President of Panhellenic and Philanthropy, Ariel Fenster.

DAWGS FOR ISRAEL (DFI): DFI completed another successful year under the leadership of Leslie Herskowitz and Lauren Light. DFI has a 13 member executive board. This student organization brought speakers such as Senator Isakson who spoke in front of a crowd of more than 70. DFI held its annual Israel Day in the middle of campus showcasing Israeli culture, food and music. More than 450 students attended.

SHABBAT EXPERIENCE: Coordinated by Erin Kahal, Hillel at UGA now offers a free weekly Shabbat dinner, featuring Friday evening services, which attracted an average of 25 students per Shabbat. Hillel


also offers students a chance to host their own Shabbat dinner in their apartments and invite their friends to experience a unique Shabbat atmosphere and have Hillel pick up the tab.

24/7 FINALS WEEK AT HILLEL: Hillel opened its doors for students to find a quiet place to study for finals exam week during each semester. We were the only student facility that was open for students during reading day. The entire

PASSOVER: Hillel opened its doors again for Passover. We hosted free Seders for students and offered a daily Kosher for Passover lunch & dinner meal plan to 44 students. More than 220 people joined us for four Seders. We cooked 40 pounds of brisket and sang Dayenu well into the night.

week we provided a variety of free services that included: photocopying, wireless internet, food, snacks, waffle bar and 5-minute chair massages. Over 200 students took advantage of our quiet study rooms and early morning breakfasts.

HA YAROCK: Hillel’s newest group brings important environmental issues to Jewish students and through exploring Jewish teachings the group has participated in a number of projects including the building of an organic, local, sustainable garden near the front steps of Hillel. The garden has been providing fresh vegetables and herbs that are used in our weekly Shabbat dinners. The group led by Alex Cogan is also responsible of making all of Hillel at UGA a more environmentally friendly organization.

MOVE OUT WEEK: At the end of the year, Hillel at UGA helped students move out of their dorms and houses, while giving back to the Athens community. Campus-wide move-out week was co-sponsored by Alpha Epsilon Pi, Sigma Delta Tau, Zeta Beta Tau, the UGA Panhellenic Council, the Department of University Housing, the UPS at Beechwood, and the Subway at Five Points. Students donated various unneeded items such as school supplies, furniture, clothing, food and cookware in reusable condition and they were distributed to local nonprofit organizations. A collection station was set-up at the Russell Hall bus stop.“We are happy to be giving back to the Athens community, considering it is the 6th poorest county in the US” said Marni Bronstein, event organizer and Vice President of Community Outreach at Hillel. This philanthropic event benefited many people in Athens and it’s an innovative outreach program for University of Georgia students. On the “Mini-Mission to Athens” Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta Chair of the Board Carol Cooper and President Steve Rakitt join Ha Yarock students and staff in planting the organic garden in front of the Hillel House.


The $16,000 worth of items collected were donated to many non-for-profit organizations around the city. Benefiting organizations included Goodwill, the Athens Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia, Project Safe, Inc., Athens Area Homeless Shelter and the Boys & Girls Club of Athens.

There is much success to celebrate this year! These highlights are a glimpse into the many programs and initiatives Hillel at UGA produced during the year. Thanks to the Hillel student leaders, professional staff, and all of our supporters who made these activities possible so that we can continue to enrich the lives of the 2,000 Jewish students at University of Georgia! Visit us at www.ugahillel.org to learn more or call Hillel at UGA Director Joel Marcovitch at 706-543-6393. Hillel at University of Georgia is a division of Hillels of Georgia, which is a beneficiary agency of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta and an affiliate of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life.


Mission: to engage and enrich the lives of Jewish undergraduate and graduate students so that they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.

Steve Levine Heidi Berger-Geller Bruce Gaynes Warren Binderman Jessica Dickson Pam Rosenthal Greg Bluestein Sammy Grant Mike Wien

Executive Committee and Officers President President Elect & Co-VP Financial Resource Development Co-VP Financial Resource Development Treasurer VP Human Resources & Secretary VP Leadership Development VP Programming & Presidential Appointee Presidential Appointee Immediate Past President

Members at Large Yoni Bedine, Raanon Gal, Andy Grant, Michele Hirsch, Dan Karen, Rabbi Paul Kerbel, Steve Oppenheimer, Eileen Price, Janet Schatten, Bari Schlam, Jeffrey Stein, Marcy Steinberg-Klehr, Arin Tritt, Bruce Weinstein, Jack Wexler, Ava Wilensky

Hillels of Georgia Student Members Dorothy Abrams & Graeme Ossey – Emory University Perry Birbrager – Kennesaw State University Naomi Klein – Georgia State University Hilary Gray – University of Georgia Harold Rivner – Georgia Tech Honorary Board Members Jody Franco, Ann Kay

Alan Cohn Billie Greenberg

Past Presidents (Honorary Board Members) Fran Rottenberg Nancy Isenberg

Rita LeVine Stan Sonenshine

Hillels of Georgia – Professional Staff Wayne Silverman, PhD Hillels of Georgia, Executive Director Judy Abraham Hillels of Georgia, Financial Assistant Ginny Adams Hillels at Georgia and Kennesaw State, Director of Jewish Student Life Bradley Erbesfield Hillel at University of Georgia, Program Director Mimi Hall Hillels of Georgia, Director of Building Operations Marilyn Hass Hillels of Georgia, Internal Operations Manager Julia Katz Hillels of Georgia, Director of Development Joel Marcovitch Hillel at University of Georgia, Director Michael Rabkin Hillel at Emory University, Director Chloé-Anne Ramsey Hillel at University of Georgia, Engagement Associate Daniel Reiser Hillel at Emory University, Senior Program Director Isaac Rothbart Hillels of Georgia, Business Manager/Controller Shira Rothman Hillel at Georgia Tech, Director of Jewish Student Life

Hillels of Georgia Student Engagement

Total Events 687

Total Attendance 19,067

Unique Students 2,864


735 Gatewood Road Atlanta, GA 30322

Hillels of Georgia 2010 Annual Report  

A review of the programs and activities from the 2009-10 academic year for the five campuses in the Hillels of Georgia organization.

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