building at dusk
Brown RISD Hillel Parent Newsletter
Tevet 5775
December 2014
In This Issue
Hanukkah Music Video
Support Us
Soup for the Soul
Young Alumni
Awards and Recognition
Jewish Life and Learning
Shabbat and Holidays
Arts and Culture
Tzedek (Social Justice)
Hanukkah Lights Video
The Jabberwocks of Brown University - Chanukah Lights
What happens when a Hillel Engagement Intern teams up with Brown's Jabberwocks to create a special tribute to the festival of lights?

Less than two weeks after its debut, this music video has gone viral, as evidenced by its 9700+ views. This latest collaboration is part of our focus on engaging with the broader campus community and beyond.
Did you know that Brown RISD Hillel raises 100% of its programming and operations budget each year?

As 2014 comes to an end, we ask for your help to fund innovative Jewish programming and support the Jewish community at Brown, RISD, and beyond.


If you've already donated this year, thank you!


If you haven't, please consider 
to Brown RISD Hillel.  

Each and every gift truly makes a difference.


Hanukkah 1st Night
First night Hanukkah lighting
We're Here for Your Children (and Grandchildren)!

We pride ourselves on being your child's Jewish home away from home. From holiday traditions to providing a warm place to curl up with a book, we provide the comforts that make our community feel like a family. 

One such program is Soup for the Brown RISD Soul, which delivers soup to your sick child on or off campus free of charge! For more information, click here.

Calling Young Alumni

Do you know young alumni in New York or Boston? Make sure they join our two Facebook groups for Brown and RISD grads to find out about events happening just for them!


Do you know young alumni that aren't in Boston or New York but want to stay connected? Email Director of Philanthropy Abby Klieman at


Click here for the NYC group and click here for the Boston group.  

Community Lunch attendees

Brown RISD Has Great Showing at Hillel International Global Assembly Awards. Congratulations to All!

* Joseph Meyerhoff Award for Meaningful Jewish Educational Vision - went to Hillel at Princeton University, led by Rabbi Julie Roth '95

* Campus Partner Award - went to Loyola Marymount University Hillel, led by Rabbi Ilana Schachter '05

* Great Place to Work Award - went to Brown RISD Hillel     
Alumni and staff at the Hillel Global Assembly Awards Ceremony
By the Numbers

3...New Hillel staff members who jumped right in this semester.

40...Students registered for Birthright this January.

841...Likes of Brown RISD Hillel Facebook page

2110...Photos on our brand new Flickr page. 
Brown RISD Hillel
Brown RISD Hillel provides an exciting, welcoming, and vibrant space for students at Brown and RISD to gather, explore their Jewish identity, and prepare to take their place as our next generation of Jewish leaders.

All of this activity requires funding, and our increased offerings necessarily require increased expenses. As we celebrate Hanukkah, please consider lighting a candle at Hillel by making a donation before December 31
Note that donors to Brown RISD Hillel can now receive gift credit with Brown University, although not toward the Brown Annual Fund and its associated recognition societies


Interested in learning more about Jewish life on campus? Please visit our website, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Flickr. You can also sign up for our weekly campus e-newsletter here.
First- and second-year students enjoy the first ever "Chai on Life" retreat at Camp JORI in Wakefield, RI.
  • Over winter break, 40 Brown and RISD students and our Israel Engagement Fellow, Elan Cohen, will travel to Israel through our partnership with Taglit-Birthright Israel. Soon after they return, registration will begin for our summer 2015 trip! If you know any current students who might be interested in a free trip to Israel with other students from College Hill, please visit 
  • It was a busy semester for our two Israel groups. Brown Students for Israel (BSI) hosted New York Times and Jerusalem Post journalist Etgar Lefkovits and provided students with Israel Inbox, an interactive newsletter with updates and opinions on Israel and the Middle East sent directly via e-mail.
  • J Street U Brown (JSUB) brought influential speakers to campus including PLO Ambassador Maen Areikat and Rabbi Arik Ascherman of Rabbis for Human Rights in Israel.
  • Brown RISD Hillel, BSI, and JSUB partnered with the Watson Institute for International Studies to bring author and Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit to college Hill. Hillel, BSI, and JSUB also helped bring Consul General of Israel to New England Yehuda Yaakov and David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy to campus.


To watch a recording of Israeli author and columnist Ari Shavit's November lecture, click here.
Jewish Life and Learning
  • Rabbi Michelle Dardashti led 12 students on a "Journey Into Judaism," a weekly opportunity to learn about the basics of Judaism. During High Holy Day services and throughout the semester, Rabbi Dardashti encouraged students to sit down with her for coffee and conversation. Rabbi Dardashti also led a session on the roots of Justice in Judaism in partnership with our Tzedek (social justice) committee. 
  • Hillel offered many opportunities for students to engage with the languages of Israel through Hebrew conversational lunches, beginner Hebrew, and Arabic lessons. 
  • Students will have the chance to travel to Poland this March as part of Professor Adam Teller's course JUDS 0901 - "Brothers Betrayed: Jews and Poles from 1500 until Today." The trip is a highly-subsidized, Hillel-organized opportunity to explore Jewish life in Poland - past, present, and future. 
Student leaders gather at the annual Student Leadership Retreat.
Ice Menorah
The Ice Menorah is lit on Wriston.
  • Our Shabbat lineup this semester exposed students to a diverse set of interesting speakers and topics. Highlights included: 
    • Dean of the College and Professor of History and Judaic Studies at Brown University, Maud Mandel was the featured speaker at the Tenth Annual Rabbi Bernard Mandelbaum Memorial Student-Faculty Shabbat Dinner.
    • Jim Ryczek, executive director of the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, spoke about homelessness in Rhode Island, student activism, and the importance of this work as the winter months approach.   
    • Sacred Foods Shabbat, an annual favorite, featured fresh, locally-grown vegan recipes prepared completely by students.
  • Pizza in the Hut: Sukkot Unheard featured live, acoustic music from Brown and RISD musicians in our very own terrace sukkah in partnership with Brown Unheard.
  • As you can see from our Flickr photo stream, students enjoyed the break from finals offered by our Hanukkah Bash, Hanukkah Community Dinner, and "Miracle on Wriston" ice menorah event in partnership with Chabad of College Hill.
Students enjoy bagels and lox at our Yom Kippur break-fast.
Arts and Culture
  • Brown RISD Hillel Gallery featured great work this semester such as Shmattes, and "Empowering A Generation", a photo Essay by Liza Yeager '17. 
  • Shai Afsai presented a gallery exhibit of photos from his visits to the Igbo Jewish Community of Abuja and, along with director Jeff Lieberman, brought the film "Re-Emerging: The Jews of Nigeria". 
  • The Alef Beats and Yarmulkzi each had numerous performances and appearances at Hillel events and around Brown's campus.
Opening night for "The Igbo Jews of Abuja."
Tzedek (Social Justice)
  • The third year of our Moral Voices series is focusing on Gun Violence. The semester kicked off with an interdisciplinary panel discussion bringing together professionals from organizations of nonviolence, the Providence Department of Public Safety, and the Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence. The culminating event will be a keynote speaker in April.
  • Our Tzedek Committee partnered weekly with Judy's Kindness Kitchen to prepare food for those in need.
  • Recycling and composting continued to be an integral part of Hillel events this semester thanks to our partnership with Brown's Green Events initiative
Students lend a hand at "Judy's Kindness Kitchen."


Engagement Interns
Fall 2014 Engagement Interns gather for their year-end celebration.


Over 500 students gathered for food, music, and an opportunity to learn more about Jewish life at Brown and RISD at our annual Orientation Barbeque.