Campus Affairs & Student Engagement

Mensch’s Guide to Campus Activism

Guide to Campus Activism

A Mensch's Guide to Campus Activism
Connecting college students to worldly issues.


The Hillels of Illinois
Regional Programs
30 S. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60606
phone: (312) 444-2868
fax: (312) 855-2479

Lewis Summer
Intern Program
The Hillels of Illinois
30 S. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60606
phone: (312) 444-2868

College Blog

Hillel Blog

Shalom! from UIUC in photos

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Photos from UIUC's Hillel students enjoying campus life!

The Cookie Decorators

No Thanks

Pretzel Makers

Two Pretzels

Kneading the Dough

Computer Station

At Color World

Finals Frenzy Trio

Hillel at Loyola: Shabbaton & Purimpalooza

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At the end of  February, Hillel at Loyola had its first ever Shabbaton at Loyola University's new Retreat Center in Woodstock, Illinois. Joined by Hillel students from area universities, this was the first time some of the Jewish students had ever celebrated Shabbat. 

Students paid a greatly subsidized rate to use the beautiful Retreat Center facility, and the university paid for the entire Shabbaton, including all the kosher catered food, and even the bus that took students to and from Loyola. The kitchen staff at LUREC (the Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Center) accommodated the Hillel needs for kashrut and Shabbat in every way, and the entire Retreat Center staff came to the Havdalah ceremony held in the stunning glass windowed Dining Room at the end of Shabbat.

"Woodstock Shabbat" included Reform and Orthdox prayer options, Shabbat afternoon workshops such as "Yoga on Shabbat," a "Tikkun Olam Nature Walk," and a "Jews in the News" current events discussion. On Saturday night there was a "90's Party" with a high-tech karaoke system and great decorations!


Woodstock Shabbat   Loyola Shabbaton 


The Saturday night before Purim, Hillel at Loyola and UIC Hillel co-hosted a pre-Purim costume party at the Levine Hillel building as a fundraiser for the JUF. Students from Hillel at Loyola came to UIC Hillel in February and March to plan the party, including baking hamantaschen together at UIC Hillel.

The Levine Hillel building had amazing decorations, including giant Purim masks, and the DJ set the tone for a party in which students "danced the night away!" Many students came in costume, and the costume contests was one of the evening's highlights. And, everyone agreed that the hamantaschen which the students baked tasted delicious!

Purim Costume Party                

Purimpalooza Costumes  

Pre Purim Party


Shabbat 100 at the Illinois Institute of Technology

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 For the past 7 years, Hillels Around Chicago’s IIT Hillel has hosted an annual Shabbat dinner for their campus community.  Shabbat 100 began as a Shabbat Across America initiative but has become a unique campus experience for the Illinois Institute of Technology.  "All of our intro classes are called '100'," explains Jeremy Levin, IIT Hillel President.  "Shabbat 100 is an intro to Shabbat traditions for our non-Jewish classmates.  It’s a fun way to share our culture with the IIT community."

This December, over 60 students - Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Jane, and Christian - from countries as far away as China and Pakistan, sat down together to learn and sing Shabbat songs, recite Shabbat blessings, and share a communal Shabbat dinner.   Fellow Hillels Around Chicago Hillel students from Columbia College, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Russian Hillel joined IIT Hillel to celebrate Shabbat.

Shabbat 100 is only one example of the interfaith and intercultural dialogue that IIT Hillel helps to organize on campus.  On March 30, IIT Hillel will be one of several student groups presenting Jewish religious history and tradition at an interfaith panel. Hillel has also been invited to present Jewish texts at the Muslim Student Alliance's interfaith presentation on Social Justice during April’s "Discover Islam" week.  During Passover, IIT Hillel is planning a fun lunchtime program called "Hillel Sandwiches with Hillel!" to share traditional Seder foods with the non-Jewish community.  Hillels Around Chicago Program Director, Erin Jones, is impressed with IIT’s commitment to respectful dialogue on campus: "I am very proud of our students, Jewish and not Jewish, who are working so hard, and with such success, to build bridges and friendships between our different communities."

ITT Shabbat

Save the Date for the Hillels of Illinois Annual Benefit

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The Hillels of Illinois 21st Annual Benefit - The Catskills Come to Chicago!

Special Guest, Comedian Aaron Freeman
Thursday, June 30, 2011,  6:00 p.m.

Join us at Grossinger Autoplex
6900 North McCormick Boulevard, Lincolnwood

6:00 p.m. - Dinner Reception
7:30 p.m. - Awards and Comedy
8:30 p.m. - Dessert Reception

As we recognize brother and sister duo
Sharon Lederman Burack & Bruce J. Lederman
With The Hillels of Illinois Exemplary Leadership Award

Dietary Laws Observed
Business Attire

Sponsors as of 4/28/2011


The Wagner Foundation


Adrienne & Arnold Brookstone

Cole Taylor Bank

Enid & Kalman Wenig

Delores & Eugene Zemsky


Eve & Richard Biller

Nancy & Maury Fertig

Nina G. Stillman

How Do You Jew?

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DePaul Students

Students at DePaul Hillel put together a captivating regular series in the winter quarter called "How Do You Jew." Over 6 weeks, we invited 6 Rabbis or Jewish Thinkers from across the ideological/cultural spectrum to teach us a bit about Jewish identity, practice, and customs. Students pursued the list of Rabbis, secured funding for food at the event (after all, if you feed them, they will come!). Finally, they brainstormed questions for each Rabbi that would invite comments about how they each personally connect to Judaism, and how their movement or community views issues of Jewish life.
Guests included Rabbi Anna Levin-Rosen, who was ordained at HUC in the Reform movement, Rachel Kohl-Finegold, who is the Education & Ritual Director at Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel (Rachel is one of five women in the country with a prominent Clergy role in an orthodox community). For a campus perspective, we welcomed Rabbi Josh Feigelson from Fiedler Hillel at Northwestern. For an international perspective, and a look into the conservative movement, we were happy to welcome Rabbi Alex Felch, originally from Argentina, and now serving Congregation B'nai Tikvah in Deerfield. Rabbi Brant Rosen from Evantson's JRC represented the Reconstructionist movement. Finally, Rabbi Capers Funnye from congregation Beth Shalom Bnai Zaken came to represent Jews of African origin.
"Being at a Catholic university, and one with a lot of anti-Israel activism, sometimes the biggest obstacle we have to tackle is ignorance. We put together "How Do You Jew" to reach out and educate our community (both Jewish and non-Jewish) about the breadth and diversity within the Jewish world." said Michael Evers, president of DePaul Hillel. Students were so pleased with the positive response to the program, that they are considering organizing a follow-up program that would invite back all our guests to speak on a panel in the spring about Jewish identity across the Jewish world.