Campus Affairs & Student Engagement

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

Eric Fingerhut visits UIUC Hillel

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Eric Fingerhut

It was a return, of sorts, to a place he has never been.

Eric Fingerhut, the new CEO and President of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, visited the University of Illinois Hillel in Urbana-Champaign on October 10th. Although he may not have been there before, at least not in his current role, Hillel itself certainly has been there – and for longer than anywhere else. Ninety years ago, the campus was where the first Hillel was born. Today, on Fingerhut’s watch, there are more than 500 worldwide.

As he stopped at the UofI’s Margie K. and Louis N. Cohen Center for Jewish Life, as part of a cross-country tour of campuses, Fingerhut greeted participants at a new and innovative Illini student initiative, Hire U. The effort is dedicated to providing professional development to college students through a Jewish lens. Fingerhut told the 50 attendees to find their passion and let that drive their professional career.

Delivering the inaugural presentation at the event was Phyllis Tabachnick, Managing Director at JP Morgan and Co-Chair of The Hillels of Illinois, who spoke about her own professional and personal Jewish journey.

Later, at a reception for Champaign’s Jewish community, two dozen faculty, community members, Hillel staff and students, and representatives of the Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation met with Fingerhut. There he presented a plaque to Erez Cohen, the campus Hillel’s Executive Director, in celebration of Illini Hillel’s 90th anniversary.

Earlier in the day, in Chicago, Fingerhut met with key lay leaders and staff of the Hillels of Illinois and the Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. Discussing his first 50 days in office and reaffirming the importance of the Hillel/JUF partnership, he stressed the significance of instilling a sense of Jewish community – klal yisrael – and a love of Israel into Jewish campus life. He specifically pointed to JUF’s Israel Education Center as a model for Birthright recruitment and follow up, and for educating students about how critical Israel is to their Jewish identity.

Bradley Hillel’s Challah for Hunger

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By Ellie Silver
 
Every Wednesday the Bradley Hillel house is bustling with students scurrying to bake challah for Shabbat. However, this Challah is not just for Shabbat, it is Challah for a cause.
 
Last February the Hillel Board began this creative program. Students and Peorians place orders for the challah and they receive a fresh baked challah for Shabbat. Additionally, by purchasing a challah they are helping to prevent hunger in Peoria. While half of the proceeds from the reasonably priced challot go back to maintaining this beneficial program, the other half is donated to the Peoria Area Food Bank. Placing an order is simple, and a quality challah and the good feeling from doing a mitzvah are guaranteed.

Each week, plain and chocolate chip challot are consistently available. Yet, program director, Jessica Rubens, a junior public relations major, from Lake Zurich, IL, likes to spice things up each month with a unique flavor. "This month features Fall Spice," shared Rubens. "Next month is Lemon Zest with the option of lemon icing on the side."

Rubens truly keeps this philanthropic program running smoothly. "This program has attracted volunteers interested in learning about Jewish culture and customs, which has inspired conversation about Jewish traditions." Explained Rubens. "This is exactly what Peoria and Bradley needed, and the attention that this program has received has allowed Hillel to become more successful in its efforts to give every Jew a chance to engage in Jewish traditions and help the Peoria community."

If you are interested in supporting this program, challot can easily be ordered online at http://bradleyhillel.org/challah.