Hopkins Hillel supports a wide variety of programming around Israel. With three Israel student groups, Hopkins Hillel engages in many important conversations around Israel. The entire campus community looks forward to the Israel Fair every spring, and blessed with a strong International Relations department, we regularly engage our faculty in discussions about Israel.
In the 2012/2013 Academic year, Hopkins Hillel engaged their first Israel Fellow Simona Veinberg. Simona worked with all three Israel groups and created great new initiatives. She helped recruit and follow up with birthright participants. Our Israel fellow also helps students connect to long term study and employment opportunities in Israel for the summer, study abroad and employment.
Taglit birthright Israel is central to our Israel programming at Hopkins. Last year 65 students signed up for the trip, over 10% of the Hopkins Jewish student population. 47 students traveled together to Israel at the beginning of January with Hopkins Hillel staff, and we returned to campus in time for intersession. We use Hillel as our birthright provider, and our trip is coordinated with the other Baltimore Hillels. The Associated, Baltimore’s strong Federation, provides funding so that 8 Israeli soldiers travel with our group the entire time. The “mifgash” with the Israeli soldiers is a true highlight of the trip. We also spend time in Baltimore’s partnership city Ashkelon. The students find the social justice work and the connections to Baltimore to be meaningful and significant.
Since Hopkins students are busy in the summer, Hopkins Hillel only participates in birthright in the Winter. The Hopkins Hillel staff guides students in finding other trips if they prefer to go on birthright in the summer. We strongly encourage Hopkins students to go on birthright with their Hopkins classmates on our winter trip. It gives them the chance to make new Jewish friends at Hopkins, get to know Hillel staff, and understand the strong and supportive Jewish community of Baltimore.