In early August, four UD students about to start their year-long internship at UD Hillel as part of the Campus Engagement Internship (CEI) program attended training at Hillel International's Engagement Institute conference in St. Louis. There they learned about how they can utilize their peer networks to build community and create experiences to connect uninvolved Jewish students at UD to their Jewish identity.
"At the conference I learned how to foster a connection with other individuals and make them feel included and engaged in all aspects of Jewish life on campus" shares Junior CEI Danielle Eisenman.
The Campus Engagement Internship is designed to dramatically enhance Jewish life on campus. Each year we employ a cohort of students with broad social networks to build relationships with students on the periphery of Jewish life. Interns get to know students personally and begin to understand their interests, passions, and aspirations. From there, they can connect them to opportunities that the students may find meaningful or create new opportunities that would interest them.
Danielle originally thought that her job as an intern would be simple; take Jewish peers out for coffee. However, after attending the conference she learned just how much of an impact she will have as an engagement intern.
Other highlights from their time in St. Louis included hearing President of Hillel International Eric Fingerhut speak and meeting Rachel Sumekh, the founder and brainpower of Swipe Out Hunger. Rachel explained that she was in their shoes at this conference as a student leader not long ago. During her speech, she inspired students to realize their full potentials as Jewish leaders on campus.
Students also stayed until Sunday to experience Shabbat. There were six service options to chose from including a discussion, meditation and a traditional service. All four students chose to experience the meditation service. Danielle was unaware that musical and meditation service options could be offered. "These opportunities opened my eyes to the pluralistic community Hillel offers. Tolerance and acceptance are essential" she said.
UD Hillel is excited to welcome such great leaders to our team this year. Our Engagement Interns are eager to get started making connections, creating new initiatives and making an impact!
Students (from left to right): Jordan Abada, Danielle Eisenman, Liv Rogal, Melanie Sillman