Apr 282003
Authors: Willow Welter

Hillel, the Jewish student organization on campus, attempts “to explore and celebrate with friends all aspects of Jewish life.”

To accomplish this goal, Vice President Rachel Raizen said Hillel hosts parties, barbecues, holiday services and other events.

“We’re a place students can go to, no matter who they are,” said Raizen, a sophomore psychology major. “We’re here to have fun.”

Apart from hosting events like a giant menorah lighting for Hanukkah, a Seder at Passover and numerous others, Hillel also schedules ongoing conferences, speakers and programs.

Hillel won the Outstanding Organization award at last week’s annual Student Organization Awards and Recognition ceremony.

Raizen, who will become president of Hillel next fall, received the Outstanding Sophomore Leader award, and Josh Gold, another member of Hillel, received the Emerging Leader award.

“(Hillel) is kind of like my family away from my real family,” said Gold, a freshmen social work major who will become vice president of Hillel in the fall.

Two programs that the group normally holds each week are freshman lunches on Wednesdays and leadership team meetings on Mondays.

“The point of the freshman lunches is to get the freshman together to talk,” Raizen said. She said times of these meetings will change next fall, so interested students should call the Hillel office for more information.

Hillel was founded in 1923 and continues to thrive on campuses throughout the world. Hillel International has a global network of over 500 regional centers, campus foundations and Hillel student organizations.

The Jewish group first derived its name from a sage named Hillel, who moved from Babylonia to Palestine in the first century. The famous thinker founded a school of thought where his disciples were known as “Beit Hillel,” or House of Hillel, according to hillel.org.

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