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Archive for February, 2007

Calling all Jewish Students between the ages of 18-26 who have never been to Israel on a peer group trip. You might be eligible for a Free 10 day trip to Israel through Birthright Israel. The Evergreen Hillel is part of what is called the Soref Initiative, which is dedicated to helping campuses with small Jewish Communities sustain a Hillel. Registration is currently open for all summer trips and if you apply through Hillel and state that you are from The Evergreen State College, the Soref coordinator will be informed. All students from Soref Campuses who apply before the deadline of March 8th 2007 will be accepted , as long as they are eligible. All the necessary information is on the Hillel website. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

The Spitzer Conference was great. I met amazing people from all over the country from campuses that are nothing like ours. As I mentioned before this years theme was sustainability, which is a large topic of discussion on our campus. Growing up in the NW I have begun to take things such as recycling and clean energy for granted. Many of the students at the conference were trying learn about making their campuses greener. I found that much of that information was not relevant to our campus, but I attended many sessions and workshops about leadership and a few on bringing the Darfur Genocide to the forefront of American Jewry and to Campuses across the world.

Sunday night I attended a wonderful performance by Vincent Nsgeniyumva and the Vanga Inanga Cultural Troupe; they are a group of Rwandan musicians and dancers. It was amazing to see their passion for music and life after what they have suffered. (I will be posting pictures of the evening soon.)

Monday was a very long day we had sessions that ran from 9am to 10pm, I enjoyed them none the less. Something that I have noticed about our campus, is that it can be hard to get students active and involved, it was nice to learn that we are not the only place. Almost every person I spoke with mentioned that is a large issue on their campus as well. I was finally able to meet Deb Berger, the woman in charge of helping Evergreen have a Hillel. It is always nice to put a name with a face, she had a few great sessions where we discussed Hillels on smaller campuses. Monday evening I also had a friend come visit me from Virginia (after our sessions were over) and when she tried to drive back home she had a flat tire. We tried to fix the tire, but not without some embarresment, and a few good Samaritans trying to help us. One, was of course was very drunk and could not figure out how to change a tire. But the other man was very nice and helpful, we couldn’t manage to get rid of the drunk man until the tire was completely changed, but it made for a few good laughs and a great story later on down the road.

Tuesday was lobby day. I don’t know how many of you have lobbied in DC, but I was an experience. Although I am from Oregon I was set to lobby to Washington Reps, with other students from the area. While on the Hill we missed an appointment because the building had to be evacuated due to a fire alarm, another one was canceled because of th fire alarm and we ended only meeting the Congressman Jim McDermott’s chief of staff. It was a good meeting but I was a bit disappointed, because I was hoping to be able to meet with more people.

This was my first Hillel conference and I was impressed, a lot of hard work and energy went into the planning. I know that I will take what I have learned with me for years to come. I can’t wait for the next one.

So…I love D.C., having never been here before this trip has been great so far and the conference hasn’t even started. Yesterday was great, we wandered around the Memorials and Museums, and the weather was perfect. I don’t think I could have asked for a more perfect day. I was worried that we wouldn’t have a place to stay, but my friend Sarah from Israel lent us her place, right near Georgetown. Last night we went to dinner with an old college friend of my fathers and it was great, we ate right near the White House and we even saw secret service agents. Jonathan Berkley ended up meeting up with us after dinner and staying with us. For some reason in the middle of the night we decided to go exploring and we wound up at the Lincoln Memorial which is spectacular at night. We also ventured to the Korean War Veteran’s Memorial which was amazing. I even called my grandfather at midnight his time to tell him I was there. He was so happy, it was great. For some reason Randy thought that the Jefferson Memorial was only 10 min away so we started walking. Boy was he wrong, I think it was probably 45 min before we made it and we also missed the last metro back to Georgetown where we were staying.

(P.S. due to computer diffuculties this should have been posted first this Sunday morning, I will be unpdating about the conference later today.)

It’s about time I found something to post about, and this is very exciting. We, Randy and I are on our way to Hillel’s Spitzer Forum in Washington D.C., the conference is on social justice and this years theme is sustainability. I am very excited about the conference and I think is will be a great experience. As of now we are in Denver awaiting our next flight. Thankfully, the morning was uneventful; we were through security in under 10 minutes, and on the plane in no time. We will be in D.C. tonight and I will update more after Shabbat.

From Randy

It is with great pride and excitement that I announce the three delegates to the Spitzer Forum in Washington, D.C! Our very own Co-Coordinator Ellen Hockley, along with two constituents Randy Hunt and Jonathan Berkley will be attending. We wish them luck, fun and hope that they bring us lots of photos!

Sorry to have not posted for a few days. School’s been wicked busy and news has been a little slow.

  • Ladino, Dead?: There’s a movement in Istanbul to revive Ladino, a beautiful Serphardi language that takes inspiration from Hebrew, Old Spanish and some Arabic. Salom, a weekly Jewish newspaper currently publishes a portion of its news in Ladino — advocates of this program hope it will help to keep Ladino alive.
  • Is the BBC too Pro Israel?: Interesting view on how Israeli news sources view American and British news sources. Intersting sidenote, you can’t read the BBC in Hebrew.
  • Brandeis Finds One Millions Jews: Is this a joke? I mean, really. The gays are at least in a closet so it makes sense that we wouldn’t find them. But the Jews? Where could one million Jews have been all these years? Oh well. We’re glad you’re here, guys. Sorry it took you so long.
  • Elie Wiesel Attacked: Famous Holocaust scholar Elie Wiesel was attacked outside his hotel room last week in San Francisco by a Holocaust denier. Police haven’t identified any suspects but, Wiesel is unharmed. Thank God.

“It shows that Hitler did not succeed in destroying the Jewish religion,”Friedenson said by telephone. “It’s not as strong as when I grew up,” he said, adding, “but in the end, we survived.” Read the rest of the article here.

We are planning a Darfur event which we hope to schedule for week 8 of this quarter. Current ideas include a video, take home finger painting, snacks and free Save Darfur informational material. Please let us know (or just leave a comment) if you have an interest in contributing an idea or helping out.

  • Hip Hop Ya Don’t Stop: Hip Hop legend Russell Simmons is teaming up with Marc Schneiner, an Orthodox Rabbi from NYC to produce a film aimed at breaking down negative Muslim stereotypes. This is the second time the duo has collaborated on a film. This latest project will feature the renowned and immortal Beastie Boys. Get excited.
  • Alan “Dersho-what-now” Dershowitz vs Jimmy “Jimbo” Carter: Jimmy Carter, I challenge you to duel. Dershowitz tried to bring the heat on Carter but Jimmy turned him down. Sorry, Alan. Maybe next time.
  • Jews in Cuba: Great article about the Jewish community in Havana. (Just as a matter of personal opinion, The New York Times Travel section has some really great articles.)“When you are few, there is a responsibility to keep traditions…educating the children is the only way to keep the community alive.” True words. If you’re ever in Cuba, be sure to “challah’” at these people. They sound pretty cool.
  • President Bush: A Divider of American Jews?: Great editorial from Haaretz. Has some interesting ideas about Jews and their relationship with voting as it relates to Israel.