HIP FAQ — Hopkins Ideas Platform Frequently Asked Questions

Does my program have to be Jewish?

Nope! We hope that by providing experiences that touch on wellness, identity exploration, social impact, career development, and fun, we can better the experiences of all students in this community and continue to strive to reach our mission and vision.

So how is it Jewish?

The idea is less about doing something “Jewish” and more about creating a welcoming and inclusive space for all students. That being said, as a product of Hillel, Jewish values and staff will guide all that we do. Ultimately, we seek to meet our mission and vision–which are unmistakably Jewish–and this is one path to getting there.

What if I’m already involved in Hillel?

That’s okay! The goal is to strengthen Hillel and Hopkins across the board–whether you already find value in Hillel or have never stepped foot in the building. However, if your idea is best fit for another Hillel endeavor, we may skip the HIP process and put you in touch with the appropriate staff member or club directly.

What kind of new experiences can I design?

That’s entirely up to you! As long as the experience a) addresses one of the five targeted categories (Wellness, Identity Exploration, Social Impact, Career Development, and/or Fun) and b) engages members of the community, then we’re open to new ideas!

How much funding will I receive?

That entirely depends on your program idea, how it develops, and how much money we can allocate or raise. Note that not all ideas may be financially viable–but don’t let that stop you from applying!

What’s the time commitment? When do I need to implement my idea?

Besides implementing the experience, students will meet monthly with the cohort and 1-3 times monthly with a staff mentor, and will gather feedback from with five peers. Students may submit any idea, ranging from just-conceived thoughts to detailed plans, from one-off to recurring events. Students can plan for the Fall, Spring, or both.

What happens if I come up with an idea mid-semester? Is it too late to apply?

Not at all! Students will move freely in and out of the cohort as they begin and conclude their ideas.

What are the requirements?

  1. Students must ultimately create an experience that touches on at least one of the following five categories: wellness, fun, difference-making, identity-exploration, and/or career development.
  2. Ideas do not have to be Jewish, but they must not clash with Hopkins Hillel’s mission, vision, or programmatic policies and guidelines.
  3. Students must workshop their idea with five peers.
  4. Experiences must engage with friends, peers, or members of the community.
  5. Students must meet with the cohort of other current HIP members throughout the planning process, and once after the experience happens.
  6. Students must meet with the staff mentor 1-3x/month throughout the planning process. They must also meet at least once after the conclusion of the experience to debrief (and celebrate!).
  7. Students must fill out the evaluation form after their experience concludes.

What are the steps? How does this all work?

  1. Students will apply with an idea–any idea!
  2. Students will be partnered with a Hillel staff mentor.
  3. Students will meet with their staff mentor for the first time.
  4. Students will develop their idea!
  5. As students develop their idea, they will meet monthly with other HIP participants; meet with their staff mentor 1-3 times a month for guidance; and will workshop their idea with five friends.
  6. After students finalize all planning and logistics, they will implement their idea! If it’s a one-off event, great–you’re done! If it’s recurring, you will continue to implement it as you and your mentor see fit.
  7. After concluding your event, you will debrief once with the HIP monthly cohort and once with your staff mentor, as well as fill out an evaluation.

How is this different than the Hatchery? What’s the quality of this program?

While the Hatchery focuses on nonprofits, startups, and other like-minded ventures, HIP is much more inclusive to any and all student-driven experiences for friends. While the barrier to entry is low, the quality of experiences will be high.

Who are the staff mentors?

The Hillel staff will serve as mentors. Click here for their bios!

How long will HIP run? What’s the end-goal?

Our goal is to improve Hillel and Hopkins by hearing more voices and meeting students’ needs. HIP is a prototype that we’re testing to achieve that goal. If it doesn’t work, we’ll adjust and implement something new!

How do I apply?

Apply here! You will need to provide some short answers and an idea proposal. Applications will be accepted starting in the fall.

What if I have more questions? What do I do if I’m interested?

If you have more questions, please reach out to Rabbi Eric or Sara. If you want to apply, do so here!

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