Month: November 2018


Organization of the Month

School: Bowling Green State University Region: CAACURH
Nominee: Hillel Nominator: Nichole Katzenstein and Adrienne Sarbaugh

On-Campus Population: 5800 Chapter Size: 58

Please explain the outstanding contributions of the nominee during the month of nomination

Acceptance. Community. Friends. These are words that describe Hillel, the Jewish student organization at Bowling Green State University. Despite its origin of being a Jewish student group, this chapter of Hillel includes a diverse group of students from different backgrounds and a variety of religions, making the organization’s focus on acceptance within our community. This is why it was not a shock to anyone that after the Pittsburgh tragedy at a Jewish synagogue the group held a vigil for the students. The vigil allowed students to mourn, to be surrounded by friends, and to feel safe in a time when the world felt dangerous.

What Hillel did for its members and the community during the month of November did not stop at the vigil. Throughout the month, Hillel held three Shabbats, dinners on a Friday night that signify the start of the day of rest. Shabbats are always free and open to the community, and members are encouraged to bring friends and even visiting family. The first Shabbat of the month was voting themed in order to discuss the importance of voting and the impact it can have on the community. The second Shabbat was titled Shabbat with your BGSU Mishpacha. Mishpacha is the Hebrew word for Jewish family. At this Shabbat, the president and advisor asked everyone in the room to write and draw on a poster what they love about being Jewish and/or the Jewish faith and culture. The purpose was to have members of Hillel restore their hope and faith after the scary events that had taken place across the country by having them remind themselves what they love about Judaism. The poster was a grand success, and the majority of the attendees wrote or drew two or more additions. The third Shabbat was titled Shabbat 101. This Shabbat was a way to let those, who are not familiar with the tradition, learn about the customs. At this event, the Jewish Culture Chair explained aspects, such as why we light Shabbat candles, the blessing over the wine (or grape juice in our case), and why the Challah bread is covered. In addition to the information on Shabbat, one of the student members made dinner for the organization. The students making dinner is a tradition of Hillel. According to the Hillel Jewish Life Coordinator, cooking dinner allows the students to have more ownership over Shabbat and the organization, making it more significant.

On top of the meaningful vigil and the impressive Shabbat dinners, Hillel held three other noteworthy events during the month of November, consisting of a game night, film night, and ice skating event. Game Night was an evening where students took a study break and played their favorite board games with friends. At Jewish Film Night, Hillel played the classic movie, Yentl, starring Barbara Streisand. The movie highlighted Jewish culture while also starring a prominent Jewish actress. The third event was an ice-skating event that raised money for one of Hillel’s partner charities Give Kids The World, a nonprofit organization where children from the Make a Wish Foundation, who want to go to Disney World, can attend with their family free of charge. The ice-skating event was a fun way for students to support an important cause.

With these impactful and memorable events that Hillel holds, it is no wonder why they were featured in Hillel International for a cultural event done last month. Hillel gives so much to the university and their members and creates a safe place for all students that allows for growth and acceptance, which is why they deserve to be recognized.

Word Count: 600

Date of entry into database: 2018-12-04 20:45:31

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