Brown RISD Hillel Parent Newsletter
Tevet 5773December 2012
In This Issue
In the News
Support Us
Staffing Update
On Campus
Arts & Culture
Religious Life and Learning
Student Engagement
By the Numbers

1,000+...burgers and hot dogs served at the Orientation Barbecue.
8...High Holidays interns who planned and led High Holidays services this year.
1...Brown RISD Hillel Birthright alum awarded a Rhodes Scholarship this year.  
10 ...young alumni who came back for our first-ever Young Alumni Shabbaton.  
In the News

Rabbi Rick Jacobs P'12, P'14, blogged about his experiences leading services for Brown RISD Hillel this year. 


Student President Lex Rofes '13 was featured in the publication New Voices.  His op-ed discussed taking vows and setting intentions in a Jewish manner.  Check it out here.



young alumni 2012 hazon conference
Several Brown alumni engaged in questions around the intersection of Judaism, food, sustainability, and the environment at the 2012 Hazon Food Conference
Support Our Community

As the end of the year approaches and the season of lights and miracles still fresh in our mind, we hope you will consider lighting our way for the rest of the year by making a gift to support the Jewish future at Brown, RISD, and beyond.


If you have already made a donation this year, thank you for your support.  If you haven't, please consider  making a donation to support all of the great opportunities that Brown RISD Hillel provides for Jewish students on College Hill.  


Staffing Update

We recently learned that Mordechai Rackover will be leaving his position as Rabbi at Brown RISD Hillel and Associate University Chaplain for the Jewish Community at Brown University at the end of this school year.  We thank Mordechai for his dedication and creativity and wish him and his family well in their future endeavors! For more information, please click here. 

Brown RISD Hillel
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the victims of the tragedy in Newtown.
May their memory forever be a blessing.

In addition to this latest edition of the Brown RISD Hillel newsletter, we invite you to check out our website, find us on Facebook, or sign up for our Twitter feed to learn more about Jewish life at Brown and RISD.

candle lighting Hanukkah Bash
Candle lighting prior to the annual Hanukkah Bash 
  • We're excited to send 45 students on a Taglit-Birthright Israel trip this December and January. We're planning an alumni gathering in Tel Aviv on December 27th - reply to this email for more details.    
  • J Street U Brown (formerly known as Puzzle Peace) celebrated its campus launch by bringing in three thought-provoking speakers to discuss the Middle East, American politics, and the American Jewish community.
  • Brown Students for Israel brought human rights attorney, author, and award-winning filmmaker Brooke Goldstein and activist Raquel Saraswati to speak about human rights in the Muslim world.   
  • Hebrew lunches are going strong! We have conversational lunches and learner's lunches once a week.  
Brooke Goldstein and students


Leaders from Brown Students for Israel with
activists Brooke Goldstein and Raquel Saraswati 

Arts and Culture
  • Only halfway through the year, the Hillel Gallery Project has already hosted three different exhibits, with no plans to slow down. We are looking forward to co-hosting a spring semester show with the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts with art from Bezalel in Israel. 
  • The Alef Beats performed to a packed Winnick Chapel over Family Weekend, performing a variety of new songs and old favorites, and welcoming their new "Baby Beats" to the group. 
TALC exhibit
One of the pieces of the The Adolescent Student Leadership Council's exhibit in the Hillel Gallery


Tzedek (Social Justice)
  • We launched the Moral Voices: Wrongful Convictions series as part of an exciting Hillel initiative that will focus on a different issue of universal moral importance each year. The spring's keynote address will feature Betty Anne Waters, the inspiration for the 2010 film Conviction
  • For Sacred Foods Shabbat, students prepared a delicious locally-sourced, gluten- and nut-free vegan Shabbat dinner for 150 attendees.
  • Every Thursday, 420 students, staff, and community members pick up shares of locally grown produce in the Hillel Social Hall as part of the Brown Market Shares program. 
Trink Schwartz talk
Trink Schwartz P'15 speaks to students about inequality in the legal system as part of Hillel's Moral Voices program.


Religious Life and Learning
  • Rabbi Rick Jacobs P'12, P'14, the head of the Union for Reform Judaism, led Reform High Holiday services to a standing room only crowd.
  • Provost Mark Schlissel P'15 delivered the keynote address at the Eighth Annual Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum
    Student-Faculty Shabbat Dinner.
  • This Hanukkah was our busiest yet, with lightings and social gatherings every night.  Events included our annual Hanukkah Bash, which featured ten performance groups and a carnival that raised over $200 for the Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund, a Dreidel-palooza for Sandy relief, and more. 
FYSH gingerbread sukkot
Students pose with their creations at the Gingerbread Sukkah event, sponsored by FYSH (First-Year Students at Hillel)

Student Engagement
  • Our annual Orientation Barbecue and Activities Fair brought hundreds of students into the building to enjoy traditional treats and learn about the different opportunities Hillel offers.
  • Sophomore students energized our FYSH (First-Year Students at Hillel) initiative, creating a series of engaging events during Orientation Week and the rest of the semester.  FYSH has officially been turned over to current first-years, who are already putting together plans for next year's Orientation.
Orientation BBQ 12
Students enjoying the garden during the annual Orientation BBQ