October 2017 - In This Issue
From Executive Director Scott Selig

Dear ,

UConn Hillel is having a great fall semester and has been busy with holidays, homecoming, and special Shabbat dinner events. Along with great programming we have been working away at raising money to keep these activities going. We just received fantastic news that we are excited to share. The Zachs Family has generously committed $500,000 to UConn Hillel but we need your help.

The first part of this donation is being given via a fundraising challenge match for our annual campaign. All new gifts and all increases on past gifts will be matched dollar for dollar on all donations received by December 15th. As an additional incentive, gifts received before December 1st will be matched with an extra 10%. At the completion of our annual campaign the balance of the committed $500,000 will be used for our Endowment. We will be sending out mailings and emails and making phone calls to help answer questions and explain how you can participate. We are very lucky to have donors like the Zachs Family who are committed to supporting our vision of a world where every Jewish student at UConn is inspired to make an enduring commitment to Jewish life, learning, and Israel.

Henry Zachs adds: "I choose to make UConn Hillel a philanthropic priority because of a deep belief in the value of their program and mission. For me, investing in an organization I love is a tremendously meaningful way to express my pride, gratitude, and appreciation for the lives of students who are following in our footsteps."

Now we need your help to make this annual campaign even more successful! Please support our students by clicking here and stepping up to invest in UConn Hillel.

A Snapshot Into Our Semester
Hookah and Shakshukah in the Sukkah

The semester is off to a great start for our Huskies for Israel! Over 100 students from across campus, both Jewish and non-Jewish, and our esteemed Jewish member of the UConn Police Department (pictured here), joined in the UConn Hillel sukkah for an evening of good food prepared by some dedicated student leaders under the direction of Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to Hillel Rotem Dimri. In addition, students were exposed to the Sukkot tradition of "Ushpizin," with an updated version featuring leaders and other faces of Israel who were "invited" as well that night. 

Up till now, students have engaged in smaller discussions regarding Israel, thanks to weekly Hebrew lessons with Rotem, a map identification activity with StandWithUs, and a screening of the CONAN in Israel special, which sparked a conversation about Israeli-Palestinian relations.


We are happy to announce that UConn Hillel is collaborating with the Israeli educational technology company Proprep. Through this partnership we are able to offer free access to their website, Proprep.comProprep is an online study tool that offers videos and workbooks tailor-made to your courses. Using a course syllabus and experienced professors, Proprep creates on-line lectures and practice problems to help you gain a deeper understanding of the material. The following courses are already customized for UCONN students:

PHYS 1501Q/MATH 1131Q/MATH 1132Q/MATH 2110Q/MATH 1071Q/MATH 1060Q/MATH 1011Q/MATH 2410Q

Rainbow Shabbat

On October 20, 80 members of the UConn campus from both UConn Hillel and the Rainbow Center gathered for a special Shabbat at Hillel featuring guest speaker Scott Fried. Before services, a "ribbon-cutting" ceremony, shown at left, was held for our newly labeled "Gender Neutral" Bathrooms.

After students had a chance to get to know each other at dinner, Scott Fried gave an inspirational talk about his life story as a gay, Jewish, and HIV-positive man. Students left the night with a powerful message about being proud of oneself and not judging others before you actually get to know them. In Scott's words, "you learn the most from an awkward situation."
Husky Mentor Network

Please don't forget that Hillel is partnering with UConn's Career Development Department on the Husky Mentor Network, an online mentoring platform that connects alumni and students for one-on-one career conversations. Let's give the next generation of up-and-comers the advice you wish had heard as a student. Create your advisor profile in two minutes and click the affinity group, UConn Hillel, to be connected to a current UConn Hillel Student.

Why join?
*                An easy way to give back - Share your experience with a flexible commitment.
*                It's impactful - Students value your experience and feedback.
*                Privacy protected - All communication is routed through our system. 

UConn Hillel representation at the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford annual men's philanthropy event, Visions, featuring Director of UConn Athletics David Benedict
(from l- to r-) Nathan Schachter ('19), Jarred Mantis ('17), Scott Selig (Executive Director), Alex Dobensky ('17), Spencer Rabin ('18), Tyler Jackson ('18)
Student Corner
Noa Silverstein
AIPAC-Trained Student Activist
This past summer, I had the honor of being selected to be a Diamond Summer Intern in the AIPAC Political Department in Washington, DC. This experience gave me a sense of pride, accomplishment and a feeling of self-worth. After attending multiple Policy Conferences and Saban College Leadership seminars, I realized that we cannot take Israel for granted.  When I enrolled at UConn, there was no political oriented pro-Israel advocacy group on campus. Through the skills and training I have received from AIPAC, we are in the process of starting HuskyPAC, a pro-Israel activist group, here at UConn. In addition to the annual Connecticut event, I, along with two former interns, were selected to speak on a panel at a regional summit in New Jersey to share our experiences being involved in AIPAC and how we have found success within the organization. At this summit, UConn sent 10 delegates, making us one of the larger delegations attending the conference. On Monday, October 23, I had the honor of addressing a local crowd at the annual Connecticut event in Hartford about how AIPAC has empowered me as a pro-Israel activist. AIPAC has given me the confidence and tools to lead with purpose. I am so excited to bring HuskyPAC to UConn!

UConn Students at Saban-AIPAC Regional Training Seminar in Newark, NJ
(from l- to r-) Dani Turnbull, Kate Campbell, Nissan  Davidi, Gabi Benzilio, Noa Silverstein, Elizabeth Rice, Jarod Glou, Frank Amaefuna, Sam Rostow, Mikey Kathein

AIPAC Annual Connecticut Event
(from l- to r-) Rachel Rubin (Chief of Staff to the President, UConn), Scott Selig (Executive Director of UConn Hillel), Eric Giesser (AIPAC New England Regional Director), Emma Strumpf (UConn Hillel Student Board President), Akiva Rockland, Rotem Dimri (Jewish Agency Israel Fellow to UConn Hillel), Pastor Chris Edmonds, Noa Silverstein, Nathan Schachter, Mikey Kathein, Nissan Davidi, Rabbi Shlomo Hecht (Chabad at UConn)
Alumni Spotlight
Mitchell Tunkel, Class of 1967
I graduated undergraduate class of 1967 with a B.S. in Marketing, School of B.A. and continued on for an MBA completed in 1968. I went to work for RCA Computer Systems Devision as a systems engineer and, several years later, became a sales representative in Hartford and Fairfield, CT. Following RCAs withdrawal from the computer business, I went to work for Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) and rose through the company in various sales, sales management, marketing, product management and product line management positions. In 1986, I formed my own companies in Nashua, NH (Prose Realty, InnVest Hospitality Corp) for real estate, land development and hotel ownership and management (Holiday Inn and Days Inns), and retired to Florida in 1994. I now travel, cruise on my 55' Chevy Lee Motor Yacht to the Bahamas and FL Keys and enjoy life in my home in Fort Lauderdale with "Admiral" Sue, my partner of 20 years. I am a part time yacht broker and US coast guard captain. I play the French horn in orchestras and bands, and piano at various venues, and have organized and run a community orchestra - The Broward Symphonic Pops, Inc. of which I am president. I have two daughters (Elaine and Hannah Renee) who live in Denver, CO and Santa Cruz, CA and I am proud that they are using their degrees to pursue their professional interests. 

On his time at UConn, "I was a member and treasurer of AEPi fraternity, the American Marketing Association, Jr., President of Hillel and probably a few others I can't remember. Glad to see the sports teams, especially basketball, having done so well."
Leonard Sisitzky, Class of 1950
1924 - 2017
Leonard H. Sisitzky of Boston, MA and Kittery Point, ME, formerly of Windsor, CT, passed away peacefully on October 3, 2017 at age 93. Lenny was born in Springfield, MA and moved to Windsor in 1933. After graduating from high school in 1942, he enlisted in the US Navy, where he was stationed in Guantanamo, Cuba, and later transferred to Boston where he commissioned a Destroyer Escort with the 16th Fleet. Lenny furthered his education at the University of Connecticut, graduating in 1950. Read more here.

If you would like to be featured in our Alumni Spotlight, please contact Scott Selig at  scott@uconnhillel.org.

Are you celebrating an engagement, wedding, baby, or new job? 
Let us know!

UConn Hillel wants to share in your simchas! Let us know about your celebrations and you could be featured as our Mazel of the Month in our monthly newsletter!

Please contact Scott Selig at scott@uconnhillel.org to submit your mazel!
Upcoming Events

Join UConn Hillel for the 7th annual hummus cook-off! The Hummus Experience is a Top Chef style cook off to make the best flavor of hummus teams of 3 or 4 prepare on this night. Hummus and mystery ingredients are provided, and the winners get a years supply of FREE hummus! If you aren't on a team, there are plenty of raffles, prizes, and opportunities to taste test all the hummus.

Alumni, want to make a team? Sign up here!

UConn Hillel will be partnering with the Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, CT to bring students to a performance of The Diary of Anne Frank in recognition of the importance of Holocaust education and discussion.

In preparation for Chanukah, the boys of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity will be cooking latkes all night in Hillel for UConn's Jewish community!
Women of the Wall Shabbat

Join us for Shabbat, featuring special guest Lesley Sachs, Executive Director of Women of the Wall in Israel.
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Phone: 860-429-9007
Fax: 860-429-2344

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