Blog

Hillel at UCLA Wins Accolades at the Hillel International Global Assembly!

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We are thrilled to announce that Hillel at UCLA received two wonderful honors at this year's Hillel International Global Assembly! The event brings together professional staff from Hillels throughout the country for professional development and networking, culminating with an awards banquet showcasing the best of the best in Jewish life on campus.  

This year, we were honored with the Israel Engagement and Education Award in recognition of our Fact-Finding Mission to Israel for non-Jewish student leaders. We're so grateful to all of the people - students, staff, donors, and lay leaders - who worked so hard to make this happen! 

Additionally, we congratulate Rabbi Aryeh and Sharona Kaplan of our Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus for their honor.  They received the Richard M. Joel Exemplar of Excellence Award, named in honor of former Hillel President Richard M. Joel, which is presented to individuals who emulate Joel's devotion to professionalism, extraordinary faithfulness to Jewish principles, a profound interest in the welfare of friends and colleagues, and a passion for connecting new generations to the joy of Jewish living. Mazel Tov!

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Birthright Israel 2015

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Our students arrive in Israel for our winter Birthright Israel trip!  We wish them a fun and transformative experience!

 

Happy Hanukkah From The Staff!

Happy Hanukkah from the Staff of Hillel at UCLA! We're greeting you from our annual Hanukkah lunch and white elephant exchange.

May your light shine brightly all year!

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Three-Minute Torah: Happy Hanukkah!

We're happy to present Three-Minute Torah from our Director Emeritus, Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, as he shares his wisdom with us this Hanukkah (2015 / 5776). He reflects on how the power of what we experience in the home can extend well beyond the home and positively influence our world.

Have a joyous Hanukkah and a very wonderful New Year!

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Bruins B'Olam: Ariella Maghen

Bruins B'Olam is a blog series about Jewish Bruins around the world on Alternative Break experiences with UCLA Hillel. Alternative Break is a week-long immersive experience with students participating in community service projects with partner organizations. This year, Alternative Spring Break is going to the Dominican Republic on an education service trip; if you would like to join us or have more questions, please contact Samantha Libraty at samantha.uclahillel@gmail.com or Jessica Jacobs atjessica@uclahillel.org.


Ariella-min.jpg“Education is the key to life.” After seeing this quote on a bulletin board at the local school on my first day during the Alternative Spring Break trip to Jamaica, I already felt that I was making a difference in lives of the Jamaican children by taking part in this meaningful experience. Upon entering the school on our first day of community service, we were immediately greeted by the children with smiles and warmth. To see the passion these children had for education and the opportunity to assist the children with their schoolwork, was one of the most fulfilling experiences for me. The time we spent exploring the Jamaican island and immersing ourselves in the Jamaican culture life after volunteering at the local schools was incredible, however the involvement in community service had the greatest impact on me. To me, there is no greater feeling in life than seeing the positive impact of your actions on others.

The Jewish Journal Covers Our Triple Art Opening

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The Jewish Journal covers our recent Triple Art Opening, presented by The Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts and Hillel at UCLA:

"At locations throughout Hillel’s Dortort Center for Creativity in the Arts, guests experience the metaphysical landscapes of Judith Liebe, scenes of Eastern European life from the camera of Yale Strom, and Ann Krasner’s depictions of visionary Jewish artists of Russian descent who changed the world. 

The Triple Art Exhibition is not a theme exhibition, but the common denominator between these very different artists is not difficult to pinpoint, according to Hillel’s artistic director Perla Karney, who, with this exhibition, has displayed the works of 85 professional artists and hung more than 600 pieces of art by students in 12 years.

'All three of them have gone on a Jewish journey as artists,' said Karney, who followed the careers of the three artists and subsequently recruited them to display at Hillel. 'They explore the Jewish identity, which is reflected in their art.'"

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

And come visit our building (M-F 10am-5pm) to see the art on view through December. 

Bruins B'Olam: Elan Kramer

Bruins B'Olam is a blog series about Jewish Bruins around the world on Alternative Break experiences with UCLA Hillel. Alternative Break is a week-long immersive experience with students participating in community service projects with partner organizations. This year, Alternative Spring Break is going to the Dominican Republic on an education service trip; if you would like to join us or have more questions, please contact Jessica Jacobs at jessica@uclahillel.org.


Elan3.jpgI attended ASB in Buenos Aires. We worked with Hillel Buenos Aires to improve quality of life for children living in the city’s many slums. The experience immersed us in the local culture through intensive work with individuals in the slums as well as cultural programming across Buenos Aires.

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Bruins B'Olam: Chloe Krasnoff

Bruins B'Olam is a blog series about Jewish Bruins around the world on Alternative Break experiences with UCLA Hillel. Alternative Break is a week-long immersive experience with students participating in community service projects with partner organizations. This year, Alternative Spring Break is going to the Dominican Republic on an education service trip; if you would like to join us or have more questions, please contact Jessica Jacobs at jessica@uclahillel.org.


Chloe4.jpgI did the ASB trip to Oklahoma last spring break to help rebuild homes destroyed by the tornadoes near Norman, OK. This was a great trip for so many reasons. I got to meet a great group of students, both from UCLA and University of Illinois, make new friends, see a part of the country and way of life I normally would never have the chance of being exposed to, help people in need, spend a week palling around with my boyfriend who convinced me to go on the trip with him, and most importantly, got to learn more about the Jewish faith.

 

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Bruins B'Olam: Leeav Nagola

Bruins B'Olam is a blog series about Jewish Bruins around the world on Alternative Break experiences with UCLA Hillel. Alternative Break is a week-long immersive experience with students participating in community service projects with partner organizations. This year, Alternative Spring Break is going to the Dominican Republic on an education service trip; if you would like to join us or have more questions, please contact Jessica Jacobs at jessica@uclahillel.org.


Leeav.jpgWhat can I say about my experience in Jamaica? I arrived at the airport and walked outside and the world seemed to relax. I felt at peace with myself and everyone that was with me as we began to embark on our journey. Every aspect about Jamaica made me feel at peace, and when we met the host families and the community it was genuinely like going home from school. The love and care Mama J (our host mom!) gave Zak, Noah, and me was more than I could have ever expected. I'll never forget the first thing she said to us when she met us - "My three sons!" and immediately embraced us. Without her the experience would definitely not have been the same, and I don't think Zak, Noah, and I would have become so close.
Starting my journey with the elementary school was absolutely inspiring. I walked into the room full of 4th grade students who were the most wild and unmanageable group I had ever seen. But when we walked in, all of the kids wanted our attention and approval, and they all tried so hard to prove to us that they could do their school work. One kid who (according to the criticism of another student) never does his work, came up to me and lit up when I told him I could help him. There was something magical about being able to see firsthand the effects of our help in the schools, and later a college student from Jamaica spoke to us about what we had done. She mentioned that when she was in 6th grade she got to experience Americans coming to her school, and the attention she got was what inspired her to learn, and continues to fuel her drive for education to this day. She said "you will never see the impact you have made on these kids. You won't know who's lives you have saved. But believe me, you are making a difference." Hearing her perspective was so powerful and added even greater depth to the experience.

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Bruins B'Olam: Noah Lizerbram

Bruins B'Olam is a blog series about Jewish Bruins around the world on Alternative Break experiences with UCLA Hillel. Alternative Break is a week-long immersive experience with students participating in community service projects with partner organizations. This year, Alternative Spring Break is going to the Dominican Republic on an education service trip; if you would like to join us or have more questions, please contact Jessica Jacobs atjessica@uclahillel.org.


10461750_10206603530472181_8084137600956500219_n.jpgBeing someone with a good amount of international volunteering experience, I was extremely surprised by how impactful my ASB trip was. Before traveling to Jamaica with Hillel, I have never felt more welcomed into a new community. Everything from staying in the actual home of a community member to being engaged in weekly town meetings truly made me feel like a real Jamaican. Unlike many voluntourism organizations, the program that ASB chose didn't hide anything about the community from us and helped us to fully understand the local environment.

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