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Disappearing Hillels, Invading Students and Killer Videos

Disappearing Hillels, Invading Students and Killer Videos

History is being made! The first woman-written Torah scroll made its worldwide debut on campus last week. The Big Easy is getting ready for the biggest onslaught of Jewish college students in its history. Two Hillels have disappeared from the map and students want to know why. And students at two Israeli universities produced must-watch videos from Israeli universities that feature air-guitaring professors, Albert Einstein, underwater camera work, roller ballet and, yes, more. They’ll make you go Gaga.

History is Written Into Parchment

History was made as a team of female scribes Jewish women created the first Torah ever written by women. The Torah, which took nearly eight years and about $100,000 to create, debuted at a Shabbat service at the University of Washington Hillel.

Look Out New Orleans

New Orleans is no stranger to unruly crowds. Is it ready for over 600 Jewish college students – the largest delegation ever – and thousands of other participants at the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly in New Orleans next month? The students hail from 96 campuses and represent at least 80 Jewish federations.

Jewliciously Yours at Maryland

Jewlicious is a grassroots campaign at University of Maryland that connects Jews from all different denominations and ideologies to get together and celebrate Judaism. It brings a celebratory – dare we say fun – approach Judaism to Jewish students who are interested but don’t know how to get involved in the Jewish community.

Major New Holocaust Education Program to Open at Tufts

Tufts Trustee Emeritus William Cummings and his wife Joyce have donated $1 million to the university in a challenge grant to create a new Holocaust and Genocide Education program. The program will be administered jointly with Tufts Hillel.

Hey, What Happened to My Hillel?

Two Hillels disappeared from the map in recent weeks.

In the United Kingdom, Jewish students at The University of York returned to campus this year to find their Hillel gone and with it, their kosher dining. The University shut down their residential Hillel House last year due to low demand for accommodations for Jewish students. At the same time, the university provides halal, vegetarian and vegan food options.

And in beautiful Iowa City, the Hillel is now known on campus as the “Market-Dubuque Building” and Jewish students are upset. While the signon one side of the building clearly identifies the site as Hillel, another simply states the “Market-Dubuque Building.” Hillel is now lobbying the university to erect a sign that properly recognizes the Hillel facility so that students can, um, find it.

Israeli Students Will Do Anything – Almost – to Get Noticed

A video battle has erupted among Israeli university students to produce the most outrageous videos to promote their universities. Students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem borrowed Glee’s version of the Queen song “Someone to Love” for its amazing trip across campus. Not to be outdone, Netanya Academic College produced its own Lady-Gaga inspired video featuring underwater singers, rappelling and so much more.

(And here’s what happens when a rabbi creates his own version of an Old Spice commercial.)

Meira Kirschbaum is a student in Washington, D.C.

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