Molly Bloom, a Bradley University junior from Northbrook, Illinois, writes in about her growing Hillel and some exciting news, including their new facility:
Bradley University, in Peoria, Illinois, is a small school of 5,000 students, but our Hillel is pretty big, regularly engaging one out of every three Jewish students with weekly Shabbat dinners and bagel brunches, and with speakers such as Gil Hoffman of the Jerusalem Post, Krav Maga instructor Moshe Katz, and Holocaust survivor Marian Blumenthal Lazan. BU Hillel always has something going on. The campus can count on Hillel to host the big Welcome Back barbecue at the start of the year, as well as sponsoring the annual Last Lecture, which has quickly become an institution at Bradley. The first last lecturer in 2008 was given by the school's first Jewish--and first female--president, Dr. Joanne Glasser, and the speaker for the second year was an immensely popular teacher, Dr. Robert Fuller, Caterpillar Professor of Religious Studies. We are currently seeking nominations for the third annual Last Lecturer.
My name is Molly Bloom and I am a junior at Bradley. I met most of my college friends through Hillel, so Hillel has been the best part of my college career. There is nothing more comforting for a new college freshman than to be welcomed in by such a great community. Not only has Hillel provided me with students that I know I will be friends with for life, but also with the opportunity to have a great internship job. I get to work on helping make the organization run better, and I get to help plan and run major programs, like our upcoming groundbreaking. For the past few years BU Hillel has been located in a temporary house. However, the Peoria City Council has just approved our request to renovate a 1907 Arts-and-Crafts building and to expand it into a 4,000 sq. foot state-of-the-art facility. The groundbreaking will be on November 5th at 4:30 PM--we hope Bradley Hillel parents, alumni, and friends will be able to come join us in Peoria for the biggest event in our 62-year history. We are so excited for our Hillel to finally have the facility that it deserves.