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

There is still time to apply to be a Lewis Summer Intern

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Summer in Chicago? Be a Lewis Summer Intern!

LSIP Interns

Gain work experience this summer in Chicago in journalism, marketing, accounting, development, political advocacy, human resources, public relations, grant writing, educational programming and direct service with children, elderly etc.   Opportunities at the Illinois Holocaust Center, Spertus , EZRA, Response Center, JUF and more…

Apply now for one of 26 paid work/study Lewis Summer Internships in agencies and departments of the Chicago Jewish Federation. Apply on-line at To schedule an interview email or call (312) 444-2868.

Application Deadline: February 26, 2010     Interview Deadline: March 19, 2010

An Interview with Nick Liebman

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nick and student

What do you do for Hillels Around Chicago?
I am the program director for DePaul University, Northeastern Illinois University, and Oakton Community College.  I support students in their endeavors to plan programs, develop as student leaders, and create a vibrant Jewish life on their campus.

What is one of the big challenges that Hillels Around Chicago faces?
Serving campuses all over the city, often with smaller commuter populations, means that we aren’t your typical Hillel with a building and a set location. Without a physical presence on most of our campuses, it is always a challenge to reach out and be visible. We also often need to be creative in how we use existing spaces on and off campus – in other words: how do we transform this space into our space?

What is unique about Hillels Around Chicago, why is it different from the ordinary Hillel?
Our students are independent, diverse, urban, and active! Hillels Around Chicago serves students from every walk of Jewish life – we have students from every region of the country and beyond. We have conservative Jews and liberal Jews, religious Jews and secular Jews. And we’re all over Chicago; whether we’re doing service work in Uptown, interfaith work in Lincoln Park, Purim Parties on the West Side, or Shabbat services at IIT, we’re immersing ourselves in this amazing city. Our students may have to spend a little extra time on the bus to come together and share their Jewish lives, but it only serves to energize their connection to each other, their people, their city and their world!

What would you want the Jewish community of Chicago to know about the Hillels Around Chicago?
With smaller student populations and less visibility comes inevitable difficulties in funding and support. We are growing, and the need on our campuses far outpaces our resources. Anything at all people can give, be it their time, their interest, their financial support, or even forwarding this article along to friends and family will help raise awareness about our unique and amazing programs. And when you help us reach out to students, you are reaching students. Perhaps because we don’t have a building or multiple staff per campus,  our students are very aware of community support. When you support their voices, you add your voice to theirs, and we begin to truly lay the foundations for the next generation of Jewish adults.
What is special about DePaul Hillel?  Please describe:
Having a physical space on campus, along with being an official part of the Department of University Ministry gives us an institutional presence at DePaul that we do not have on other campuses. This gives us a chance to become truly enmeshed in the community here. We cosponsored the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Prayer Breakfast with the Cultural Center. Being able to partner with other organizations, share our space with them, and share in their events and joys allows not only our students to experience a vibrant Jewish life on campus,  but also allows Jewish life to become a part of University life in general.


Anyone want more sufganiyot?

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What did you do this year for Chanukah? See how our students celebrated the festival of lights:

Russian Hillel:

Russian Hillel organized a special Chanukah project this year. Students learned about the Chanukah holiday while collecting donations to send packages to Israeli soldiers and raise money for the JUF Campus Campaign. Russian Hillel members who are former IDF soldiers shared their experiences of celebrating Chanukah in the Israeli army.  The students enjoyed lighting candles together as they filled up on delicious sufganiyot (jelly filled donuts that are a popular Israeli Chanukah treat).

They also had a Krav Maga seminar where students had the opportunity to learn about the moral code of the IDF and try out the main martial arts style of the Israeli army – Krav Maga. The participants drew a connection between the heroism of the ancient Macabbees and the modern IDF as the protectors of Israel. 


Loyola University:

This year Hillel at Loyola "borrowed" the Build A Bear theme to create "Build a Chanukah!"  In the Chanukah decorated space of Loyola's beautiful Mundelein Center Greenhouse overlooking Lake Michigan, the Loyola Hillel students created a hands-on Chanukah experience for more than 100 students who participated. 

 Irina With Menorah.JPG

To the backdrop of Chanukah music, there were stations to make your own menorah, make your own dreidel, make your own Chanukah candles, decorate your own Chanukah cookies, and make Chanukah cards for Israeli soldiers.  There was also traditional Chanukah food - potato latkes and soufganiyot. 


On December 10th, Oakton Community College Hillel brought  in the festival of lights with a lunchtime party that stretched into the afternoon. Packed to the gills with latkes and sufganyot of various flavors, they played a mix of traditional Jewish tunes and new Israeli artists while students welcomed their friends and faculty to the celebration. Students came to spin dreidels, stuff themselves with food, dance the hora, and hang with friends.  As they packed up at the end of the day, the students were satisfied that their preparation and hard work had paid off; they had fun celebrating this amazing festival.