"I usually tell people that I got involved with UD Hillel before my freshman year even began. I moved in to my dorm two days early for Freshman Fest, a Hillel-led program that allows first year students to explore both Jewish and secular life on campus before the rest of the freshman class moves in. I met my best friend on my first day of Freshman Fest, and went to my first Hillel Shabbat that Friday night – a tradition I continued nearly every Friday for the rest of my college career.
My Hillel story from there follows a predictable path. I can list for you the various internships I have held, the many conferences I attended with Hillel, and the countless programs I have planned or implemented. I can talk for hours about my year as President of Hillel Student Life, or about my summer as an intern at Hillel International (really, I can; ask any of my friends). But what Hillel really gave me cannot be put on a resume. Hillel has provided me with a home away from home, ignited a fire in me which burns with passion for Jewish life and Israel education, and instilled in me the confidence required to be a leader and work for what I believe in.
Hillel is my home and my family, my friend group, and my personal and professional role models. Our Executive Director is my “Delaware Mom” (even my parents call her my “other mom”), and the students I met quickly became my circle of friends. But I didn’t want to just be a part of this amazing community; I wanted to give back to the organization that gave me so much. Before my involvement with Hillel, I did not know what it meant to be a Jewish leader or who my professional mentors are. I did not know that my passions could be turned into actions, and I did not know the leadership I was capable of. Hillel gave me a place to learn and grow Jewishly, explore my identity and expand my worldview.
I would not be who I am today were it not for UD Hillel and the incredible people I have met through Hillel. My leadership experiences with Hillel shaped my college experience more than anything else. I cannot imagine college without all of the incredible opportunities Hillel has provided for me. With graduation just around the corner, my biggest hope is that future UD students can find in Hillel what I did. I hope that incoming freshmen find a home here, upperclassmen take advantage of the resources available to us, and all students realize the incredible community that Hillel is."
Class of 2017, University of Delaware