USC Hillels Fact Finder Mission Brings Student Leaders to Israel:
We are excited to report that USC Hillel coordinated our first Fact Finder Mission, a trip to Israel for a diverse mix of non-Jewish and Jewish student leaders representing some of the most impressive organizations on campus. This cohort probed into the Israel-Palestinian conflict, including visits to settlements and the Palestinian Authority. The goal of this trip is to build a network of student leaders between the Jewish community and the greater campus community to facilitate ongoing dialogue about Israel. Recognizing that the conversation is complicated, participants engaged in active listening, learned about different perspectives and built lasting relationships that will carry over into their leadership back on campus. We look forward to our next FactFinders trip!
USC Hillel Welcomes Over 100 students for Comedy Shabbat:
On Friday, March 22, the week of Purim, USC Hillel Campus Engagement Intern, Kyra Brown, organized Jews and Jokes: A Comedy Shabbat, which welcomed 5 professional comics to our stage for an evening of laughs. Brown, a senior Media Arts and Practice major from North Andover, Massachusetts, merged her two passions for stand-up comedy and Jewish tradition last semester for the first run of Comedy Shabbat. After a successful show last semester, Kyra was excited to welcome a new group of Jewish comics to our Shabbat Dinner last week including Ian Karmel, head-writer for The Late Late Show with James Corden. USC Hillel students celebrated Shabbat with a beautiful service led by Eitan Snyder, enjoyed a delicious home-cooked meal, and welcomed in Shabbat with deep belly laughs! Comics included Benny Spiewak, Mia Pinchoff, Tema Sall, Brad Silnutzer, and Ian Karmel.
Our response to the violence on campus and in New Zealand:
USC Hillel mourns the loss of 21-year-old Victor McElhaney, a USC student who was shot and killed over spring break. While Victor was not a part of our immediate community, two of Victors best friends and members of Brothers Breaking Bread and the Black Student Association, were traveling through Israel on USC Hillels Fact Finders Mission when this tragedy occurred. Hillel staff and students attended Victors memorial, supporting and comforting Victors many friends. Alav ha-shalom, Victor.
Just as the campus community rallied behind USC Hillel following the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, USC Hillel helped organize and participated in an inter-faith vigil held in commemoration of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. We commend Hillel student leader and member of the Interfaith Council, Brandon Kaufman, who spoke beautifully, offering interfaith support and prayer to the Muslim community. CLICK HERE to read about the vigil.
160 USC Students Will Travel to Israel with USC Hillel this Summer:
USC Hillel continues to boast one of the highest Birthright participation rates in the country. This summer, we will be taking 160 students to Israel to experience the vibrant culture and learn about the history of the Jewish people. USC Hillels Birthright agenda includes but is not
limited to spending Shabbat in Jerusalem, hiking Masada, floating in the dead sea, experiencing life on a kibbutz, exploring the Jewish quarter of Old City, and visiting Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center. One seat remains open, encourage your student to claim it now: www.FreeIsraelTrip.org/USC
USC Jewishs Alumni Association Prepares 300 Meals for the Homeless: In partnership with USCS Alumni Associations Day of SCervice, the Jewish Alumni Association and USC Hillel hosted a volunteer project at Beit TShuvah, a Jewish, faith-based recovery center that focuses on the spiritual healing of addiction. Our day began with meeting current
residents, who shared their stories and struggles, giving us a deeper understanding of the hardships that come with addiction. Volunteers and residence then worked side by side to prepare and package more than 300 bagged lunches for those in our community suffering from homelessness. Thank you to everyone who joined us!