’Dore L’Dore From One Generation of Commodores to the Next
In this issue… Jewsic City ........................Pg. 1 Pho-Lafel ..........................Pg. 2 FYSH .................................Pg. 2 Falafel at Midnight ...........Pg. 3 Russian Food Night ...........Pg. 3 Czopp Reflection ...............Pg. 4 Hillel Leadership ...............Pg. 4
Jewsic City Shabbat Jacob Ruden rd
On Friday, November 3 , Jewsic City Shabbat partnered with Vanderbilt Hillel to put together a fun, music-filled Shabbat evening. Jewsic City Shabbat is a monthly musical Shabbat service for young Jewish professionals in Nashville, where attendees are encouraged to participate and bring their instruments. Ellie Flier, Sarah Motis, and I cofounded Jewsic City Shabbat in early 2016 and since July of this year, we are grateful to be funded by the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. At this special edition Jewsic City Shabbat, we got a glimpse of the musical talent of the Hillel students. Emily Groff, Hillel’s VP of Religious Life and song leader, co-lead the service and played guitar, while Rachel Haber, Jewish Life Committee member, accompanied on the viola.
Editor-in-Chief: Hannah Smilansky Vanderbilt Hillel 2421 Vanderbilt Place Nashville, TN 37212 1 (615) 322.8376 www.vuhillel.org @VandyHillel
We were also happy to host 35 Israelis visiting Nashville as part of Federation’s Leadership2Gether program. We hoped to give the Israelis a taste of what young adult egalitarian Jewish worship can look like in America, and maybe even inspire them to create their own projects. With over 120 undergraduate and graduate students in attendance, you could hear the ruach all the way down the street!
Vol. 10 / Issue 2
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Pho-Lafel: A Cross-Cultural Exchange Max Engel Pho-Lafel was an event where students came together to enjoy two very delicious foods: Israeli falafel and Vietnamese pho. Led by the David Project, an Israel advocacy group, and in collaboration with the Asian American Student Association, over 100 students came to share a meal and mingle. The goal was to bring the two communities together through food. As a member of both organizations, I love learning about how separate cultures connect in various ways. For example, it’s fascinating how almost all cultures place both material and symbolic significance in certain foods. This is important because it provides an avenue to overcome differences that may divide groups of people. The David Project seeks to capitalize on the similarities to foster positive relationships.
First-Year Students of Hillel Find Friendship and Leadership A Reflection By Melissa Dunn Over the summer, an upperclassmen proactively reached out to me and encouraged me join Hillel’s Big/Little FYSH program. This program pairs together any interested First Year Students of Hillel (FYSH) with two upperclassmen “bigs” who share similar backgrounds, interests, and majors. I enthusiastically filled out a short survey, and my two bigs contacted me over the summer. It was so beneficial to have two familiar faces within the Jewish community before I even stepped foot on campus, and the Big/Little FYSH mixers have served as a great springboard to meet other students involved in Hillel as well. I’d been involved in Jewish activities throughout high school, but I was unsure how my involvement in the Jewish community would manifest itself once I arrived on campus. Motivated by the success I had through the Big/Little FYSH program, I eagerly applied to join FYSH Board, Hillel’s other student program directed solely towards first years. FYSH Board is a student-run programming board composed of around 30 freshmen eager to plan activities for other freshmen, members of Hillel, and the Vanderbilt community to experience. We were just divided into five distinct committees with the goal that each committee will plan and execute on a unique program for the rest of FYSH board, Hillel, or the student body. So far FYSH Board has been a great experience to bond with other freshmen, learn about Hillel resources, and get involved on campus.
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Falafel at Midnight Sydney Hanan On Halloweekend, DFI hosted another Falafel at Midnight event. It was a huge success! Almost 150 students of all different backgrounds arrived hungry and in costumes! They enjoyed eating falafel and hummus, listening to Israeli music, and of course, taking home some t-shirts. This year, we also had cards spread over the tables that celebrated diversity in Israel. While people ate and chatted, they were able to read about the different “faces of Israel.” Although we wish the event could’ve lasted all night, we closed up at one o’clock in the morning, already excited to do it again next semester.
Russian Meatballs & Shashlik Food Night Max Ryabinin The Russian Speaking Jewish (RSJ) club provides a home for Russian Jews in America to explore and cherish their unique identity and heritage by offering Russian-Jewish cultural and educational programs. On September 13th, RSJ hosted a Russian meatballs and Shashlik food night. With Russian music and "Nu pagadi" (a popular Russian cartoon) in the background, students had the opportunity to prepare a traditional Russian meatball and barbecued skewered meat, a popular summer activity done with family in the dacha (summer house). Throughout the night, our RSJ students explained this tradition and provided information about the RSJ community to Vanderbilt students. At the entrance, every student received a star sticker to place on a map of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and mark where their parents and grandparents came from. The students were amazed by the similar ancestries and Russian Jewish geography discussions followed. In addition to the Russian Meatballs & Shashlik Food Night, RSJ recently hosted a movie screening of the documentary Operation Weeding, which presents the heroic story of soviet Jews who wanted to hijack a plane and escape, but were caught and jailed. Before the semester ends, we will host a Russian-themed Shabbat.
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Change A Reflection By Shir Czopp
Staff Ari Dubin ......................... Executive Director Brian Small ....................... Assistant Director Zoe Kress ....... Springboard Innovation Fellow Max Ryabinin ...... Escoll Family Jewish Agency ................................... Israel Fellow to Hillel Debby Wiston ............. Director of Operations Valerie Landa ............................. Accountant Executive Board Mardi Caminer................... Student President Jackie Eissman ........... Co-VP of Programming Yamila Saeigh ............ Co-VP of Programming Andrea Liberman .............. VP of Membership Emily Groff ........................ VP of Jewish Life Sydney Hanan.................. VP of Israel Affairs Hannah Smilansky ........................ Secretary Evan Suzman ............................... Treasurer ‘Dores for Israel Sydney Hanan Omri Bein Max Bernstein Matthew Deutch Leah Field Phil Goldberg Darby Howard Alyssa Kopf Nissim Leibovits Nicole Merken Jonathan Samuels Sam Wolf Max Zirin-Hyman Jewish Life Committee Emily Groff Rose Capin Rachel Gilfarb Rachel Gross Rachel Haber Stephen Reisner Evan Suzman Max Zirin-Hyman Engagement Board Andrea Liberman Rose Capin Emma Cohen
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Maya Creamer Leah Koffler Rachel Nevett Lizzy Noon Erika Slepian Program Board Jackie Eissman Yamila Saeigh Haley Brecher Emma Cohen Jordan Couceyro Maya Creamer Leah Field Phil Goldberg Rachel Haber Darby Howard Leah Koffler Dara Kotek Alyssa Kopf Nicole Levine Andrew Magnus Jonah Mishkel Rachel Nevett Jonathan Samuels Zoe Scheiber Samantha Silberberg Erika Slepian Robert Tabachnik Abby Weiss
My name is Shir Czopp. I am from Scottsdale Arizona, and I am eighteen years old. I started writing songs as I finished my Freshmen year of high school and soon realized that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. When I got into the Songwriting Program at Belmont University, I was a little anxious. I had some fears in that Belmont is a Christian University and I am Jewish. However, when I got here my nerves settled because of the Hillel at Vanderbilt’s campus. Whenever I go there it feels like a second home and I am able to connect with so many other Jewish kids. In the summer of 2016, I attended the six week Alexander Muss High School in Israel Summer Program as an Impact Fellow. For my final project I wrote a song about my summer experience in Israel. In March of 2017, I was fortunate enough to play that song in front of some of the Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) major donors including the CEO, Russel Robinson. At the event, Sharon Freedman, the National Campaign Director and major donor, gave me her business card to keep in touch. A couple weeks later I decided to reach out to her and offered to volunteer my time to write a song or jingle for JNF. I soon got an email from Jodi Bodner, the Chief Marketing Officer, and we set up a phone call. We discussed song topics and she said that she wanted a song that was upbeat, inspirational and that would motivate people to make a change. I started working closely with Shana Sisk, the Associate Director of Marketing, and bounced ideas off of her as we created the story behind the song now called “Change". To me, it represents the idea that it only takes one person to make a change. After the song was written, I flew out to New York to record it in early October of 2017. I am now seeing it all come together. This whole process was a great learning experience and I am looking forward to seeing how this song inspires others to
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Read all about Jewsic City Shabbat, Pho-lafel, and our Russian-Jewish cultural night.