Brown RISD Hillel Parent Newsletter
Sh'vat 5772January 2012
In This Issue
Taglit-Birthright Israel
Soup for the Brown RISD Jewish Soul
Quick Links
Upcoming Events
Taglit-Birthright Israel
Registration for our first-ever summer Birthright trip to Israel is just around the corner! Beginning February 15, your student has the opportunity to sign up for a June trip with other Brown & RISD students!  For information, contact our Israel Engagement Fellow, Sara Miller.
Send Your Student Challah

What makes Friday so special?  Shabbat challah, of course! Now you can pre-order challah for your student to pick up and enjoy.  Questions? Contact our Engagement Associate, Rachel Eisen

Soup for the Brown RISD Jewish Soul

Is your student feeling under the weather?  Not to worry! Get homemade kosher soup delivered to their home - just fill out this form!  Email Rachel Eisen with questions.


Passover is April 6-14.  Hillel will host seders the first two nights and will provide seder kits to students who want to host their own seders. For more information, email


Relaxing before Shabbat


Israeli dance 1
First session of Rikudei Am, Brown RISD Hillel's new Israeli folk dance group


Enjoying the sun at the Orientation BBQ

Quick Links







Brown RISD Hillel

Photo Credits: Sarah Grossman, Alisa Kotler-Berkowitz, Mordechai Rackover

We are excited to welcome students back to campus this week! Building on an exciting fall semester- including a Dali exhibit, a congressional visit, and our largest Taglit-Birthright Israel group to date - we are confident that spring semester will likewise bring great things to the Jewish community of College Hill.  Below are just a few highlights:

Arts and Culture
  • Three hundred people visited Hillel for opening night of the Hillel Gallery Project's fall exhibit, "Aliyah: The Rebirth of Israel," by Salvador Dali.
  • Two students started an Israeli folk dance group, Rikudei Am, providing students another avenue to connect to Israeli culture. 
  • The Alef Beats and the Yarmulkazi performed at several events (including Parents' Weekend and the annual Hanukkah Bash).


  • We welcomed a variety of interesting speakers to campus to discuss different aspects of Israeli politics and culture, including Massachusetts representative Barney Frank, editor of the Jerusalem post Herb Keinon, British Col. Richard Kemp, and the first Bedouin Israeli diplomat, Ishmael Khaldi.  
  • Earlier this month, we sent 73 students to Israel on Taglit-Birthright - our largest delegation to date!  You can check out their blog posts about their experiences on our website. Take note: registration for our summer trip begins three weeks from today!
Taglit-Birthright Bus 460 near the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee)

Religious Life and Learning

  • Students led major portions of our High Holiday services for the first time in over a decade as part of our High Holiday learning internship.
  • Visiting scholars and Rabbi Rackover taught at weekly Thursday sessions, giving students, faculty, and staff unique perspectives on Judaism.   

Tzedek (Social Justice)

  • Students made Tzedek an important part of their semester, collecting 262 pounds of food for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank during a High Holiday food drive across campus.  Hillel's partnership with the Food Bank continued with proceeds from weekly student-initiated challah sales supporting their efforts.
  • Hillel is now the permanent home of Brown's Sustainable Food Initiative's Market Shares program. Students, faculty, and community members pick up locally grown produce every Thursday from our Social Hall.
  • While winter break usually means rest and relaxation, seven students used their time off to help others and learn about social justice issues on an Alternative Winter Break in New York.

        alef beats 2
The Alef Beats Performing at the Hanukkah Bash


 We also wanted to share some of the upcoming 

programs we're planning- check them out below!

A Few of our Upcoming Events


  • Informal recruitment for our first-ever summer Taglit-Birthright trip to Israel is already underway.  We are looking forward to giving more students this great, free opportunity!
  • The first non-theatrical screening of "Backdoor Channels: The Price of Peace" will be taking place at Brown in February.  

The Arts

  • The Hillel Gallery Project will host a juried show in the spring with a theme of "family histories."
  • Brown RISD Hillel will also be sponsoring a stage performance of the Israeli drama "Apples from the Desert," and a visit from Israeli Arab author Sayed Kashua.

Shabbat and Holidays:

  • Brown RISD Hillel and Tufts Hillel will be working together to host a joint Shabbaton for Brown, RISD, and Tufts students.
  • Just in time for Passover, Murray Spiegal will be coming to campus to speak about "300 Ways to Enhance Your Seder." 

This is just a small sample of the great things we're planning.  Stay tuned for more!


BSI and Barney Frank
Student Leaders with Barney Frank


If you find yourself on campus this semester, we would love for you to stop by and say hello!