Hillel at Baruch College

Hillel at Baruch is the center for Jewish life at CUNY Baruch College. Our mission is to enrich the lives of the Jewish undergraduate and graduate students at Baruch College so they may enrich the Jewish people and the world.
Location: New York City

Description

No description provided.
Hebrew in Harmony

About

Our proposal seeks to combine three essential aspects in our engagement methodology: partnership, technology and creativity - to increase the Jewish self-confidence and literacy of Jewish students and to create bridges between Israel, Jewish Students, particularly those of Russian-speaking decent, and non-Jewish students on campus.

Our Initiative, Hebrew in Harmony, has two main components. The first is an open conversation about the beauty and mystery of the Hebrew language. Partnering with a diversity of Jewish educators, who represent a spectrum of religious traditions, this interactive experience will be dedicated to demonstrating and uncovering the secrets buried deeply within the Hebrew language.

Students will learn about the deeply rooted complexities hidden within the Hebrew language through Gematria - Numerology, a Kabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, and the specific letters. This informal workshop will serve as the kickoff to an innovative series of workshops and sessions dedicated to learning the Hebrew language and Israeli culture, and to thrilling the students with the wonders and secrets of this ancient language and its strong, undeniable connection to Israel.

The second component of 'Hebrew in Harmony' is a contiguous series of workshops that utilize music and lyricism as an access point. This series is part of our efforts to support students across the campus at different points of Hebrew language study and exploration of Israel as a mysterious and wonderful place.

Our goal is to feature popular Israeli musical styles and current, modern and popular Israeli artists to explore the linguistic beauty of modern Hebrew. Part Ulpan, Part music appreciation, Part Cultural discover - these informal workshops will teach Hebrew vocabulary, slang and Israeli culture. As much as possible we’d like to partner with Israeli musicians and artists in order to bring authentic and genuine Israel and Hebrew alive for our students and to explore the roots of Israel's history and the beauty of the Hebrew language through music, lyrics and poetry.

This series of workshop could be scaled to accommodate many campuses and could be adjusted to serve a variety of students and conditions with diverse campuses and conditions.

This series of workshops and Hebrew explorations sessions will reach 100's of students at Baruch College.

Moreover, the project will culminate in an Israel celebration and Festival, celebrating the virtues and beauty of the Hebrew language and Israeli music and culture. This festival will include modern Israeli music, delicious Israeli foods, current artistic expressions, photography, exemplary student galleries of photos and art exhibiting Israel in most innovative ways and short videos that the students have assembled and edited as a result of these workshops and additional trips.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The mission of the program is to engage, educate and inspire a great number of students at Baruch College from the Russian-speaking decent, by introducing Judaism, Israel and Hebrew culture and History in a genuine and interesting way. On a daily basis, we search for new, unique, innovative, inspiring and exciting ways to interact with our students and to ignite their interest and passion for our history, culture and tradition.

Therefore, we intend to create a pathway for our students to recognize the wonders of the Hebrew language shrouded in mystery and exhibited through modern musical expressions.

We believe that the students involved in this project would be positively affected by this program, by the educational aspects of the workshops and by the soulful music of the State of Israel. We strongly attest that as a result of this initiative more of our students would be connected and involved in the Jewish community at Baruch College and in turn would become stronger, more committed members of the overall Jewish community in the future.


Back to Top

Program Description

Our proposal seeks to combine three essential aspects in our engagement methodology: partnership, technology and creativity - to increase the Jewish self-confidence and literacy of Jewish students and to create bridges between Israel, Jewish Students, particularly those of Russian-speaking decent, and non-Jewish students on campus.

Our Initiative, Hebrew in Harmony, has two main components. The first is an open conversation about the beauty and mystery of the Hebrew language. Partnering with a diversity of Jewish educators, who represent a spectrum of religious traditions, this interactive experience will be dedicated to demonstrating and uncovering the secrets buried deeply within the Hebrew language.

Students will learn about the deeply rooted complexities hidden within the Hebrew language through Gematria - Numerology, a Kabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, and the specific letters. This informal workshop will serve as the kickoff to an innovative series of workshops and sessions dedicated to learning the Hebrew language and Israeli culture, and to thrilling the students with the wonders and secrets of this ancient language and its strong, undeniable connection to Israel.

The second component of 'Hebrew in Harmony' is a contiguous series of workshops that utilize music and lyricism as an access point. This series is part of our efforts to support students across the campus at different points of Hebrew language study and exploration of Israel as a mysterious and wonderful place.

Our goal is to feature popular Israeli musical styles and current, modern and popular Israeli artists to explore the linguistic beauty of modern Hebrew. Part Ulpan, Part music appreciation, Part Cultural discover - these informal workshops will teach Hebrew vocabulary, slang and Israeli culture. As much as possible we’d like to partner with Israeli musicians and artists in order to bring authentic and genuine Israel and Hebrew alive for our students and to explore the roots of Israel's history and the beauty of the Hebrew language through music, lyrics and poetry.

This series of workshop could be scaled to accommodate many campuses and could be adjusted to serve a variety of students and conditions with diverse campuses and conditions.

This series of workshops and Hebrew explorations sessions will reach 100's of students at Baruch College.

Moreover, the project will culminate in an Israel celebration and Festival, celebrating the virtues and beauty of the Hebrew language and Israeli music and culture. This festival will include modern Israeli music, delicious Israeli foods, current artistic expressions, photography, exemplary student galleries of photos and art exhibiting Israel in most innovative ways and short videos that the students have assembled and edited as a result of these workshops and additional trips.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

As a thriving and growing Hillel community and Jewish center on campus, we are equipped with the ability to engage Jewish students at Baruch College. CUNY and Baruch in particular continue to be premier destinations for immigrant students seeking higher education options in NYC. Its affordability and adequate education standards are very attractive to the students of the Russian-speaking community.

We have been exploring ways to engage with this community effectively and build excellent future leaders. Thus, we have created various programs to address the needs of this target population. Most notably, we have created a program to provide employment, networking, vocational skills and career advisory services for these students specifically. We believe that this community often lacks the necessary skills and connections to succeed as easily in the competitive market on par with their counterparts. Thereby, these programs have brought these students effective and competitive opportunities and brought them closer to the Jewish community as well.

There is a great and acute need for Jewish engagement and the discovery and exploration of their Jewish identity within this target audience. The Russian-speaking Jewish students on campus, although often overtly identifying Jewish, seem to be extremely apathetic and ambivalent about their Jewish future. Therefore, we feel the intricate, relevant, urgent and timely need to address the disconnect between the target audience and the overall Jewish community.

Furthermore, we worry that our community of Russian-speaking Jewish students are currently situated at the precipice of adulthood and their decisions will affect and impact the rest of their lives. We have the final, clear and feasible opportunity to effectively change the course of their journey and bring them closer to the Jewish community and clarify, redefine, and explore creatively their Jewish identity.

This could be the final chance for meaningful Jewish engagement before these students enter the competitive and busy world of modernity, with all of its barriers and temptations, and possibly get sucked into the paradigm of disconnect and illusion of the vastness of our world.

Hence, the need for Jewish engagement in the Russian-speaking Jewish community is evermore acute and present and we are tasked to tackle, resolve and innovate around these paramount issues and concerns.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

The proposed initiative has not been implemented on campus. However, we have been innovating around the issues and challenges of engaging this community every semester. We are committed to building this micro-community within the Hillel umbrella. Most importantly, we are committed to fostering the growth of the future leaders of our Jewish community.

We believe strongly that the Russian-speaking Jews have so much to contribute to the Jewish establishment. Our passion, steadfast courage and commitment to our values, our unprecedented loyalty and our hidden, deep connection to the spirituality of our ancestral Jewish roots and traditions make us excellent candidates for outstanding and unbreakable leadership of the 21st century Judaism.

Therefore, we have been investing in a variety of cultural, leadership development, career development and traditional programming, which are geared and designed to engage the students in this community.

We have created a career connections fellowship for students, where students receive resume and cover letter writing skills and assistance, mock-interview preparation, graduate school application guidance, job search skills and assistance and overall guidance in their career paths.

In addition, we have created programming that serves young women on our campus specifically. We have recognized that the women on our campuses are receiving significantly less assistance and guidance than the men. Most of the speakers that come to present on campus are men. Most of these young female students feel uncomfortable and inadequate in their ability to compete for time and standing even on our campus. This often translates to the workforce and we have been able to realize this reality and create a women's initiative that presents women with more opportunities, brings female educators, speakers and business leaders to speak to our students and allows for more access for these excellent young women.

Everyday that Russian-speaking Jewish students are not connected to the Jewish community, Jewish learning, philanthropy, Jewish friends and colleagues is a day closer to dangerous devolution and diminishment of this great community.

Therefore, the need for programming and deep and personal engagement is urgent and real.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We measure success of our programs in the same manner as we do our overall operations and all of our projects, by a number of qualitative and quantitative measurement criteria and metrics.

We measure the reach of our engagement through attendance and involvement of the students in the programming and services we provide. We also measure the depth and profound outcomes of our work through a variety of surveys, questionnaires, personal interviews and leadership opportunities that the students engage in as a result of our inputs and programming.

We have been growing steadily for the past three years and we believe that our outcomes have been successful to date. We believe though that our programming is evermore urgent at this time and especially for this target audience because of the intricate separation of the community from the Jewish establishment and the possible disengagement from Jewish life all together.

Back to Top

Hebrew in Harmony

About

Our proposal seeks to combine three essential aspects in our engagement methodology: partnership, technology and creativity - to increase the Jewish self-confidence and literacy of Jewish students and to create bridges between Israel, Jewish Students, particularly those of Russian-speaking decent, and non-Jewish students on campus.

Our Initiative, Hebrew in Harmony, has two main components. The first is an open conversation about the beauty and mystery of the Hebrew language. Partnering with a diversity of Jewish educators, who represent a spectrum of religious traditions, this interactive experience will be dedicated to demonstrating and uncovering the secrets buried deeply within the Hebrew language.

Students will learn about the deeply rooted complexities hidden within the Hebrew language through Gematria - Numerology, a Kabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, and the specific letters. This informal workshop will serve as the kickoff to an innovative series of workshops and sessions dedicated to learning the Hebrew language and Israeli culture, and to thrilling the students with the wonders and secrets of this ancient language and its strong, undeniable connection to Israel.

The second component of 'Hebrew in Harmony' is a contiguous series of workshops that utilize music and lyricism as an access point. This series is part of our efforts to support students across the campus at different points of Hebrew language study and exploration of Israel as a mysterious and wonderful place.

Our goal is to feature popular Israeli musical styles and current, modern and popular Israeli artists to explore the linguistic beauty of modern Hebrew. Part Ulpan, Part music appreciation, Part Cultural discover - these informal workshops will teach Hebrew vocabulary, slang and Israeli culture. As much as possible we’d like to partner with Israeli musicians and artists in order to bring authentic and genuine Israel and Hebrew alive for our students and to explore the roots of Israel's history and the beauty of the Hebrew language through music, lyrics and poetry.

This series of workshop could be scaled to accommodate many campuses and could be adjusted to serve a variety of students and conditions with diverse campuses and conditions.

This series of workshops and Hebrew explorations sessions will reach 100's of students at Baruch College.

Moreover, the project will culminate in an Israel celebration and Festival, celebrating the virtues and beauty of the Hebrew language and Israeli music and culture. This festival will include modern Israeli music, delicious Israeli foods, current artistic expressions, photography, exemplary student galleries of photos and art exhibiting Israel in most innovative ways and short videos that the students have assembled and edited as a result of these workshops and additional trips.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The mission of the program is to engage, educate and inspire a great number of students at Baruch College from the Russian-speaking decent, by introducing Judaism, Israel and Hebrew culture and History in a genuine and interesting way. On a daily basis, we search for new, unique, innovative, inspiring and exciting ways to interact with our students and to ignite their interest and passion for our history, culture and tradition.

Therefore, we intend to create a pathway for our students to recognize the wonders of the Hebrew language shrouded in mystery and exhibited through modern musical expressions.

We believe that the students involved in this project would be positively affected by this program, by the educational aspects of the workshops and by the soulful music of the State of Israel. We strongly attest that as a result of this initiative more of our students would be connected and involved in the Jewish community at Baruch College and in turn would become stronger, more committed members of the overall Jewish community in the future.


Back to Top

Program Description

Our proposal seeks to combine three essential aspects in our engagement methodology: partnership, technology and creativity - to increase the Jewish self-confidence and literacy of Jewish students and to create bridges between Israel, Jewish Students, particularly those of Russian-speaking decent, and non-Jewish students on campus.

Our Initiative, Hebrew in Harmony, has two main components. The first is an open conversation about the beauty and mystery of the Hebrew language. Partnering with a diversity of Jewish educators, who represent a spectrum of religious traditions, this interactive experience will be dedicated to demonstrating and uncovering the secrets buried deeply within the Hebrew language.

Students will learn about the deeply rooted complexities hidden within the Hebrew language through Gematria - Numerology, a Kabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, and the specific letters. This informal workshop will serve as the kickoff to an innovative series of workshops and sessions dedicated to learning the Hebrew language and Israeli culture, and to thrilling the students with the wonders and secrets of this ancient language and its strong, undeniable connection to Israel.

The second component of 'Hebrew in Harmony' is a contiguous series of workshops that utilize music and lyricism as an access point. This series is part of our efforts to support students across the campus at different points of Hebrew language study and exploration of Israel as a mysterious and wonderful place.

Our goal is to feature popular Israeli musical styles and current, modern and popular Israeli artists to explore the linguistic beauty of modern Hebrew. Part Ulpan, Part music appreciation, Part Cultural discover - these informal workshops will teach Hebrew vocabulary, slang and Israeli culture. As much as possible we’d like to partner with Israeli musicians and artists in order to bring authentic and genuine Israel and Hebrew alive for our students and to explore the roots of Israel's history and the beauty of the Hebrew language through music, lyrics and poetry.

This series of workshop could be scaled to accommodate many campuses and could be adjusted to serve a variety of students and conditions with diverse campuses and conditions.

This series of workshops and Hebrew explorations sessions will reach 100's of students at Baruch College.

Moreover, the project will culminate in an Israel celebration and Festival, celebrating the virtues and beauty of the Hebrew language and Israeli music and culture. This festival will include modern Israeli music, delicious Israeli foods, current artistic expressions, photography, exemplary student galleries of photos and art exhibiting Israel in most innovative ways and short videos that the students have assembled and edited as a result of these workshops and additional trips.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

As a thriving and growing Hillel community and Jewish center on campus, we are equipped with the ability to engage Jewish students at Baruch College. CUNY and Baruch in particular continue to be premier destinations for immigrant students seeking higher education options in NYC. Its affordability and adequate education standards are very attractive to the students of the Russian-speaking community.

We have been exploring ways to engage with this community effectively and build excellent future leaders. Thus, we have created various programs to address the needs of this target population. Most notably, we have created a program to provide employment, networking, vocational skills and career advisory services for these students specifically. We believe that this community often lacks the necessary skills and connections to succeed as easily in the competitive market on par with their counterparts. Thereby, these programs have brought these students effective and competitive opportunities and brought them closer to the Jewish community as well.

There is a great and acute need for Jewish engagement and the discovery and exploration of their Jewish identity within this target audience. The Russian-speaking Jewish students on campus, although often overtly identifying Jewish, seem to be extremely apathetic and ambivalent about their Jewish future. Therefore, we feel the intricate, relevant, urgent and timely need to address the disconnect between the target audience and the overall Jewish community.

Furthermore, we worry that our community of Russian-speaking Jewish students are currently situated at the precipice of adulthood and their decisions will affect and impact the rest of their lives. We have the final, clear and feasible opportunity to effectively change the course of their journey and bring them closer to the Jewish community and clarify, redefine, and explore creatively their Jewish identity.

This could be the final chance for meaningful Jewish engagement before these students enter the competitive and busy world of modernity, with all of its barriers and temptations, and possibly get sucked into the paradigm of disconnect and illusion of the vastness of our world.

Hence, the need for Jewish engagement in the Russian-speaking Jewish community is evermore acute and present and we are tasked to tackle, resolve and innovate around these paramount issues and concerns.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

The proposed initiative has not been implemented on campus. However, we have been innovating around the issues and challenges of engaging this community every semester. We are committed to building this micro-community within the Hillel umbrella. Most importantly, we are committed to fostering the growth of the future leaders of our Jewish community.

We believe strongly that the Russian-speaking Jews have so much to contribute to the Jewish establishment. Our passion, steadfast courage and commitment to our values, our unprecedented loyalty and our hidden, deep connection to the spirituality of our ancestral Jewish roots and traditions make us excellent candidates for outstanding and unbreakable leadership of the 21st century Judaism.

Therefore, we have been investing in a variety of cultural, leadership development, career development and traditional programming, which are geared and designed to engage the students in this community.

We have created a career connections fellowship for students, where students receive resume and cover letter writing skills and assistance, mock-interview preparation, graduate school application guidance, job search skills and assistance and overall guidance in their career paths.

In addition, we have created programming that serves young women on our campus specifically. We have recognized that the women on our campuses are receiving significantly less assistance and guidance than the men. Most of the speakers that come to present on campus are men. Most of these young female students feel uncomfortable and inadequate in their ability to compete for time and standing even on our campus. This often translates to the workforce and we have been able to realize this reality and create a women's initiative that presents women with more opportunities, brings female educators, speakers and business leaders to speak to our students and allows for more access for these excellent young women.

Everyday that Russian-speaking Jewish students are not connected to the Jewish community, Jewish learning, philanthropy, Jewish friends and colleagues is a day closer to dangerous devolution and diminishment of this great community.

Therefore, the need for programming and deep and personal engagement is urgent and real.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We measure success of our programs in the same manner as we do our overall operations and all of our projects, by a number of qualitative and quantitative measurement criteria and metrics.

We measure the reach of our engagement through attendance and involvement of the students in the programming and services we provide. We also measure the depth and profound outcomes of our work through a variety of surveys, questionnaires, personal interviews and leadership opportunities that the students engage in as a result of our inputs and programming.

We have been growing steadily for the past three years and we believe that our outcomes have been successful to date. We believe though that our programming is evermore urgent at this time and especially for this target audience because of the intricate separation of the community from the Jewish establishment and the possible disengagement from Jewish life all together.

Back to Top

Hebrew in Harmony

About

Our proposal seeks to combine three essential aspects in our engagement methodology: partnership, technology and creativity - to increase the Jewish self-confidence and literacy of Jewish students and to create bridges between Israel, Jewish Students, particularly those of Russian-speaking decent, and non-Jewish students on campus.

Our Initiative, Hebrew in Harmony, has two main components. The first is an open conversation about the beauty and mystery of the Hebrew language. Partnering with a diversity of Jewish educators, who represent a spectrum of religious traditions, this interactive experience will be dedicated to demonstrating and uncovering the secrets buried deeply within the Hebrew language.

Students will learn about the deeply rooted complexities hidden within the Hebrew language through Gematria - Numerology, a Kabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, and the specific letters. This informal workshop will serve as the kickoff to an innovative series of workshops and sessions dedicated to learning the Hebrew language and Israeli culture, and to thrilling the students with the wonders and secrets of this ancient language and its strong, undeniable connection to Israel.

The second component of 'Hebrew in Harmony' is a contiguous series of workshops that utilize music and lyricism as an access point. This series is part of our efforts to support students across the campus at different points of Hebrew language study and exploration of Israel as a mysterious and wonderful place.

Our goal is to feature popular Israeli musical styles and current, modern and popular Israeli artists to explore the linguistic beauty of modern Hebrew. Part Ulpan, Part music appreciation, Part Cultural discover - these informal workshops will teach Hebrew vocabulary, slang and Israeli culture. As much as possible we’d like to partner with Israeli musicians and artists in order to bring authentic and genuine Israel and Hebrew alive for our students and to explore the roots of Israel's history and the beauty of the Hebrew language through music, lyrics and poetry.

This series of workshop could be scaled to accommodate many campuses and could be adjusted to serve a variety of students and conditions with diverse campuses and conditions.

This series of workshops and Hebrew explorations sessions will reach 100's of students at Baruch College.

Moreover, the project will culminate in an Israel celebration and Festival, celebrating the virtues and beauty of the Hebrew language and Israeli music and culture. This festival will include modern Israeli music, delicious Israeli foods, current artistic expressions, photography, exemplary student galleries of photos and art exhibiting Israel in most innovative ways and short videos that the students have assembled and edited as a result of these workshops and additional trips.

Back to Top

What is the mission and purpose of this program?

The mission of the program is to engage, educate and inspire a great number of students at Baruch College from the Russian-speaking decent, by introducing Judaism, Israel and Hebrew culture and History in a genuine and interesting way. On a daily basis, we search for new, unique, innovative, inspiring and exciting ways to interact with our students and to ignite their interest and passion for our history, culture and tradition.

Therefore, we intend to create a pathway for our students to recognize the wonders of the Hebrew language shrouded in mystery and exhibited through modern musical expressions.

We believe that the students involved in this project would be positively affected by this program, by the educational aspects of the workshops and by the soulful music of the State of Israel. We strongly attest that as a result of this initiative more of our students would be connected and involved in the Jewish community at Baruch College and in turn would become stronger, more committed members of the overall Jewish community in the future.


Back to Top

Program Description

Our proposal seeks to combine three essential aspects in our engagement methodology: partnership, technology and creativity - to increase the Jewish self-confidence and literacy of Jewish students and to create bridges between Israel, Jewish Students, particularly those of Russian-speaking decent, and non-Jewish students on campus.

Our Initiative, Hebrew in Harmony, has two main components. The first is an open conversation about the beauty and mystery of the Hebrew language. Partnering with a diversity of Jewish educators, who represent a spectrum of religious traditions, this interactive experience will be dedicated to demonstrating and uncovering the secrets buried deeply within the Hebrew language.

Students will learn about the deeply rooted complexities hidden within the Hebrew language through Gematria - Numerology, a Kabbalistic method of interpreting the Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, and the specific letters. This informal workshop will serve as the kickoff to an innovative series of workshops and sessions dedicated to learning the Hebrew language and Israeli culture, and to thrilling the students with the wonders and secrets of this ancient language and its strong, undeniable connection to Israel.

The second component of 'Hebrew in Harmony' is a contiguous series of workshops that utilize music and lyricism as an access point. This series is part of our efforts to support students across the campus at different points of Hebrew language study and exploration of Israel as a mysterious and wonderful place.

Our goal is to feature popular Israeli musical styles and current, modern and popular Israeli artists to explore the linguistic beauty of modern Hebrew. Part Ulpan, Part music appreciation, Part Cultural discover - these informal workshops will teach Hebrew vocabulary, slang and Israeli culture. As much as possible we’d like to partner with Israeli musicians and artists in order to bring authentic and genuine Israel and Hebrew alive for our students and to explore the roots of Israel's history and the beauty of the Hebrew language through music, lyrics and poetry.

This series of workshop could be scaled to accommodate many campuses and could be adjusted to serve a variety of students and conditions with diverse campuses and conditions.

This series of workshops and Hebrew explorations sessions will reach 100's of students at Baruch College.

Moreover, the project will culminate in an Israel celebration and Festival, celebrating the virtues and beauty of the Hebrew language and Israeli music and culture. This festival will include modern Israeli music, delicious Israeli foods, current artistic expressions, photography, exemplary student galleries of photos and art exhibiting Israel in most innovative ways and short videos that the students have assembled and edited as a result of these workshops and additional trips.

Back to Top

Demonstrated Need

As a thriving and growing Hillel community and Jewish center on campus, we are equipped with the ability to engage Jewish students at Baruch College. CUNY and Baruch in particular continue to be premier destinations for immigrant students seeking higher education options in NYC. Its affordability and adequate education standards are very attractive to the students of the Russian-speaking community.

We have been exploring ways to engage with this community effectively and build excellent future leaders. Thus, we have created various programs to address the needs of this target population. Most notably, we have created a program to provide employment, networking, vocational skills and career advisory services for these students specifically. We believe that this community often lacks the necessary skills and connections to succeed as easily in the competitive market on par with their counterparts. Thereby, these programs have brought these students effective and competitive opportunities and brought them closer to the Jewish community as well.

There is a great and acute need for Jewish engagement and the discovery and exploration of their Jewish identity within this target audience. The Russian-speaking Jewish students on campus, although often overtly identifying Jewish, seem to be extremely apathetic and ambivalent about their Jewish future. Therefore, we feel the intricate, relevant, urgent and timely need to address the disconnect between the target audience and the overall Jewish community.

Furthermore, we worry that our community of Russian-speaking Jewish students are currently situated at the precipice of adulthood and their decisions will affect and impact the rest of their lives. We have the final, clear and feasible opportunity to effectively change the course of their journey and bring them closer to the Jewish community and clarify, redefine, and explore creatively their Jewish identity.

This could be the final chance for meaningful Jewish engagement before these students enter the competitive and busy world of modernity, with all of its barriers and temptations, and possibly get sucked into the paradigm of disconnect and illusion of the vastness of our world.

Hence, the need for Jewish engagement in the Russian-speaking Jewish community is evermore acute and present and we are tasked to tackle, resolve and innovate around these paramount issues and concerns.

Back to Top

Program Accomplishments

The proposed initiative has not been implemented on campus. However, we have been innovating around the issues and challenges of engaging this community every semester. We are committed to building this micro-community within the Hillel umbrella. Most importantly, we are committed to fostering the growth of the future leaders of our Jewish community.

We believe strongly that the Russian-speaking Jews have so much to contribute to the Jewish establishment. Our passion, steadfast courage and commitment to our values, our unprecedented loyalty and our hidden, deep connection to the spirituality of our ancestral Jewish roots and traditions make us excellent candidates for outstanding and unbreakable leadership of the 21st century Judaism.

Therefore, we have been investing in a variety of cultural, leadership development, career development and traditional programming, which are geared and designed to engage the students in this community.

We have created a career connections fellowship for students, where students receive resume and cover letter writing skills and assistance, mock-interview preparation, graduate school application guidance, job search skills and assistance and overall guidance in their career paths.

In addition, we have created programming that serves young women on our campus specifically. We have recognized that the women on our campuses are receiving significantly less assistance and guidance than the men. Most of the speakers that come to present on campus are men. Most of these young female students feel uncomfortable and inadequate in their ability to compete for time and standing even on our campus. This often translates to the workforce and we have been able to realize this reality and create a women's initiative that presents women with more opportunities, brings female educators, speakers and business leaders to speak to our students and allows for more access for these excellent young women.

Everyday that Russian-speaking Jewish students are not connected to the Jewish community, Jewish learning, philanthropy, Jewish friends and colleagues is a day closer to dangerous devolution and diminishment of this great community.

Therefore, the need for programming and deep and personal engagement is urgent and real.

Back to Top

How do you measure the success of your program?

We measure success of our programs in the same manner as we do our overall operations and all of our projects, by a number of qualitative and quantitative measurement criteria and metrics.

We measure the reach of our engagement through attendance and involvement of the students in the programming and services we provide. We also measure the depth and profound outcomes of our work through a variety of surveys, questionnaires, personal interviews and leadership opportunities that the students engage in as a result of our inputs and programming.

We have been growing steadily for the past three years and we believe that our outcomes have been successful to date. We believe though that our programming is evermore urgent at this time and especially for this target audience because of the intricate separation of the community from the Jewish establishment and the possible disengagement from Jewish life all together.

Back to Top

×

Are you ready to take your giving circle from idea to reality?

Our Jewish Giving Circle Incubator will help you bring your giving circle to life. Whether you're 23 or 73, interested in social justice or Jewish innovation, and ready to give $50 or $10,000, we want you to join the Incubator. Apply today!

Applications are open until July 31st.

Apply Now
×