Blog

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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Bruins B'Olam: Julia Feygelman

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.


Building a porch under the fickle Oklahoma sky isn’t how someone might envision a college sophomore’s spring break, but that’s kind of what mine has looked like and it’s been nothing short of amazing. From learning to use a nail gun, digging through a total of 6 feet of rock-hard ground in 2 days, playing “10 fingers,” laser-tagging, singing songs in the van with the awesome people on this trip, and watching a porch magically prop itself up in front of Mr. Perry’s house, it’s been an eventful and enriching few days. 1468625_10153070242794897_1185519776_n.jpg

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Bruins B'Olam: Yael Glouberman

Yael2.jpgBruins 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.


When I saw the headlines plastered all over the internet and on television last May, I was initially horrified. For a tornado to strike an elementary school and kill seven children in Moore, Oklahoma, was a devastating reality. But as the news cycle repeated itself for weeks, I found myself desensitized, or at the very least unable to bring myself to act. Others would surely respond to the natural disaster, mitigate the damages and relieve me of my social responsibility to help in whatever way I could.

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UC Regents Debate Anti-Semitism Proposals

LA_Times_09-18-15_-_Avi_Oved.jpgLA Times: "On Thursday, UC regents debated a modern-day sequel: how to allow for free speech while protecting students against prejudice....

"UC student regent [and Hillel at UCLA student leader] Abraham “Avi” Oved, who is from an Israeli American family, delivered a passionate and personal statement. He recounted how his mother had read about an assault on a Jewish woman in Europe who had prominently worn a Star of David on a necklace and that she had warned him to be careful about wearing his. Holding up that chain and star at the regents' conference table, Oved said he did the opposite and began to wear it more openly to show his pride of being “a Jewish Israeli American.”

For the full article, please visit the LA Times.  And see below for a statement from our Executive Director, Rabbi Aaron Lerner.



The UC Regents have recently considered various resolutions with regard to intolerance and anti-Semitism on campus. I want to share with you the latest update.

Today, Jewish students from around the state advocated at the Regent's meeting to ensure that Jews are recognized as a protected minority in the UC system. They demanded a robust and specific definition of anti-Semitism, and specifically advocated for one which ensures that anti-Semitism veiled as anti-Zionism is more clearly understood and addressed.

They successfully pushed back against a proposal regarding intolerance which failed to mention the specific acts of hate directed towards Jewish students. And they succeeded.

Instead of accepting the version proposed today, the Regents will be launching an initiative to address root causes of intolerant behavior, including anti-Semitism. Further, the Regents will attempt to suggest appropriate penalties for those who commit acts of intolerance while also protecting First Amendment rights.

We are encouraged by today's developments and look forward to continuing to support our students and the UC Regents as they navigate this process with grace and persistence.

Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

Rabbi Aaron