By Laura Wigodner
Jewish students at Bradley University have a wide variety of experiences with Hillel. Sophomore Rachel Vass from Northbrook has been very involved in Hillel since she arrived at college.
"I wanted to maintain my Jewish identity in college so I went to one of the Hillel activities at the beginning of my freshman year and I loved it," she said. "I always feel welcome and Hillel is a place where I am very comfortable."
Vass said that her favorite event this semester was the meeting about Birthright. She was able to hear people share stories and pictures of their experiences. She hopes to have her own unique experience when she goes on a Birthright trip herself.
One of the things Vass has learned from Hillel so far is the different ways that people practice Judaism. She grew up in a Reform congregation, so learning about Conservative Judaism has been very interesting to her.
Before Vass came to college, she was very active in Temple Am Shalom in Glencoe. She even helped her temple start a youth group during her senior year of high school. She was only able to experience it for a year, but she hopes to bring her enthusiasm and passion for Judaism to Bradley's Hillel.
"Hopefully I will get the opportunity to be on Hillel board and I will always continue going to events and spreading the word on Friday night dinners and Sunday bagel brunches so the entire Jewish community feels welcome and knows that Hillel is a fun place to be," she said.