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.

Contact

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

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

College Blog

Hillel Blog

L'Shana Tovah Umetucha!

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Shana Tova from Hillel

Volunteer Needed for Lake Forest College Hillel

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 WANTED

The Lake Forest College Hillel student group is looking for an enthusiastic, energetic college graduate interested in an opportunity to volunteer a few mutually convenient hours a week as an advisor to their Hillel, providing guidance and help implanting their programs.

Lake Forest College is a residential campus of approximately 1700 students, located at 555 North Sheridan Road. Approximately 10-15% of their students are Jewish. 

If you would like to make a direct difference in the lives of Jewish students, here is your opportunity. Please contact Daniel Rosenstein (class of 2012), Outreach Liaison – Lake Forest College Hillel, at 847-420-7901 or at Rosendj@lakeforest.edu.

Hillel at Lake Forest

Spotlight on Lewis Summer Intern Leah Hakimian

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By Lisette Dolgin

Leah Hakimian at CJE

The 2010 Lewis Summer Interns have been working throughout Chicago to learn about the Jewish professional world and help our community thrive.  This year, we have a number of students working at CJE SeniorLife, a Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago affiliated organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for seniors by providing a variety of services and programs.   Lewis Summer Intern Leah Hakimian was eager to talk about her internship at CJE SeniorLife and why she believes the agency is so crucial to our community.  Leah  is working in the Religious Life department and has enjoyed and learned a lot from her experiences working with the elderly.

“CJE SeniorLife’s main goal is to please its residents, and religious life is a big need of our clients,” Leah explained, “A lot of what I do is educate staff on Jewish topics so they can better serve the CJE SeniorLife community.”  She is proud to work for CJE SeniorLife, commenting on how important it is to provide a resource not only for older Jewish adults but all older adults and their families throughout metropolitan Chicago.  Leah has spent a lot of time producing materials to educate the CJE SeniorLife’s very diverse staff on Jewish culture and religion so that they can best serve their clients. “Leah has come up with some wonderful ideas and has put them into form with the games, displays and materials she has created,” Susan Buchbinder, Director of Religious Life and Leah’s supervisor, commented. “It has been wonderful having her. She has brought so much creativity to her work and a fresh new perspective to our department.” On Fridays, Leah works at the Lieberman Center for Health and Rehabilitation. Going to Lieberman Center has left a huge impact on Leah, “It is very rewarding to work with the elderly population because they have a lot to give back to the community, especially their wisdom and perspective on life.”

Leah is one of 28 Lewis Summer Interns who will be completing the program this August 5th.  She has enjoyed getting to know the other students in the program as well as her co-workers at CJE SeniorLife.  Leah graduated from Glenbrook North High School in 2008 and went on to study Speech Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  “Because I want to work with the elderly population, it was good to have hands on experience at the Lieberman Center and learn the essential ways to communicate with an aging population.” Leah has been involved in the Jewish community throughout her life, attending day school and Jewish summer camp and always wanted to find a a  way  to give back to the Jewish community.  According to Leah, “The Lewis Summer Internship was a great way to do so.” 

Nick Liebman accepted into Hillel’s Leadership And Professional International Development (LAPID) program

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Nick Liebman Photo

Nick Liebman, Program Director for Hillels Around Chicago, has been accepted into Hillel’s LAPID (Leadership And Professional International Development) program. Lapid in Hebrew means torch, and the select 15 who get to be part of the program will be given the training, tools and resources to better “light the way” as Jewish professionals and leaders.  LAPID offers these dedicated professionals a unique training experience that includes seminars, monthly personal mentoring from a lay leader, web-based training, an opportunity to be part of a unique cohort of International colleagues, and support to significantly develop leadership and social justice activities on campus. Nick shares his thoughts with us on this honor:

“The first thing that caught my eye about LAPID was the opportunity to learn from more experienced Hillel professionals, lay leaders, and my own Hillel peers from around the world. I have been with Hillel now for about a year and a half. In that time, I have already learned so much about our Hillel, the campuses we work on, and the work we've been doing up until now. Like any Hillel, though, we are always looking for ways to reach more students and to develop within them a sense of ownership of their Jewish lives. I cannot wait to learn from others' successes in the field.

Additionally, the focus of this year's LAPID program will be the creation of a campus based Jewish Social Justice initiative. This focus resonates with me personally and with our student populations. I began working in the field of Jewish Education by introducing high school students to a Jewish way of looking at poverty and injustice in our world. Using a model that incorporated direct action, text study, and inter-communal cooperation, I was able to see in my students, as well as in myself, an increased commitment to Jewish principles, the Jewish Community, and our traditions. That commitment stemmed directly from their experiences of putting Tzedek principles into action across Chicago's diverse communities. Think about it: many of us are taught throughout our lives to help those in need. We learn about this through a civic lens in public school, we learn about it through a Christian lens via cultural osmosis. But very rarely do we examine the biblical, talmudic, and midrashic texts that command us to pursue justice. Discovering the Jewsish response to suffering and poverty, and discovering that we have been grappling with these issues for thousands of years, is powerful. It can be a healthy source of pride, a call to action, even an invitation to explore other parts of Judaism, like Shabbat or keeping kosher.

At DePaul University, the very same values of uplifting the poor and disadvantaged, correcting the flaws in society, and healing the world are embodied by the school's namesake, St. Vincent DePaul. While there are many reasons why students choose to attend a school, DePaul's commitment to social justice is a major draw. Designing a new initiative, which explicitly identifies the Jewish values of Tzedakah, Tikkun Olam, and the constant pursuit of justice will give the Jewish students at DePaul a connection to Jewish life that is tangible and meaningful for them, and easy to translate into wider, more universal language.

I'm so excited that I won't have to be feeling around in the dark, so to speak, but that I'll have guidance, resources and support as I begin expanding our Hillel's reach and programming. I cannot wait to begin sharing what I've learned with my colleagues and students. But I most eagerly await that very special moment of connection, when a Jewish student comes into my office, overflowing with enthusiasm for the work he is doing, for the meaning she has found, and the commitment they are making to live a vibrant and exciting Jewish life.”

The Jewish community is fortunate to have professionals like Nick who continue to enhance Jewish life on campus, and who empower our students now and for the future.

Building bridges and connecting communities on campus at UIC

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By Lisette Dolgin

Levine Center

Levine Hillel at UIC is about to take campus community organizing to the next level.  It has been accepted into a pilot internship program through the Schusterman International Center called “Facing Change” which hopes to promote civil discourse and collective dialogue on campus.   The program gives students the resources and training to connect with other communities on campus using community organizing approaches to build lasting relationships on campus.

The internship requires students to look beyond their own community to engage groups on campus different from themselves through activities, including but not limited to: cross-cultural, ethnic, religious and gender dialogues and programs.  The interns must commit to a training session once a month, produce at least one initiative and continually develop relationships with other students. Marla Baker, Levine Hillel Director, is excited for her Hillel to be part of this ground-breaking program. According to Marla, the program has potential to change Hillel culture for years to come, even when the interns have graduated.  The relationships these groups develop will last beyond the individual interns, creating a coalition of organizations built on common goals and mutual respect. Marla believes that building relationships with other groups on campus can have a lasting, powerful impact for her Hillel and the UIC campus as a whole, “When you have moments of difficulty and crisis on campus, having relationships with other groups over common causes makes for real friends who will be there and support you in a time of need.”

Five interns have been chosen from UIC Hillel to be part of the program: Marina Pulik, Nick Lieber, Kiko  Burten, Maya Gejman and Fae Ravin.

We look forward to seeing how these students will transform cross-campus relationships at UIC!