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Gefilte Fish Camp & Back to School

Gefilte Fish Camp!

Incoming freshmen are invited to join us for a full day of fun and getting to know other Jewish Aggies along with Hillel student leadership. Gefilte Fish Camp will take place from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, August 28, followed by our Gig ‘em Week Shabbat and first Shabbat of the semester at 6:30 p.m.! Contact Rabbi Matt (rabbimatt@tamuhillel.org) to register or to tell him the name of an incoming freshman!

Welcome Back to School

Get ready for our welcome-back activities during Gig ‘em Week and beyond!

Welcome Back Brunch – Monday, August 24 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hillel Open House & Popsicles – Wednesday, August 26 – 3-5 p.m.
Gig ‘em Week Shabbat – Friday, August 28 – 6:30 p.m.
Sweet Treats & Meet & Greet at Sweet Eugene’s – Tuesday, September 1 – 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Welcome Back Shabbat – Friday, September 4 – 6:30 p.m.

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Summer at Hillel

Hanging in College Station This Summer? Tell Rabbi Matt

Even though Hillel takes a break during the summer, Rabbi Matt is here for most of the summer with food money burning a hole in his pocket! Call him or message him and he’ll take you to lunch and/or to Bahama Buck’s (his favorite summer locale)!

Summer Services at Hillel

Shavuot Services, Dessert, and Nighttime Learning – Saturday, May 23 – 8-11 p.m.
Shabbat Services & Dinner – Friday, June 12 – 6:30 p.m.
Shabbat Services & Dinner – Friday, June 26 – 6:30 p.m.
Shabbat Services & Dinner – Friday, July 10 – 6:30 p.m.
9th of Av Services – Saturday, July 25 – 9 p.m.
Shabbat Services & Dinner – Friday, August 14 – 6:30 p.m.

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Aggie Israel Fair

On Israel Independence Day, Yom HaAtzmaut, which fell on Thursday, April 23, Texas A&M’s Aggie Students Supporting Israel group hosted our first-ever Aggie Israel Fair in Rudder Plaza. More than 300 students participated in the fair, visiting booths that focus on Israeli agricultural innovations, culture, politics, food, the IDF, Jewish life in Israel, and more.

Upon completion of their virtual learning tour through Israel, student participants received a Israel Fair t-shirt and tasted some delicious falafel and pita. Take a look at the fun in this extensive photo album.

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Texas A&M Student Senate Passes Pro-Israel Resolution

The Texas A&M Student Senate became the fourth university in the country this year and the first in Texas to pass a pro-Israel resolution. The resolution was the inspiration of the Aggie Students Supporting Israel group and was co-sponsored by four student senators. It was brought to the floor during the Wednesday, April 22 senate meeting and after a brief discussion, it was passed unanimously.
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Holocaust Memorial Day at Texas A&M

On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, Hillel sponsored two major events to raise awareness about the Holocaust. The first was a 24-hour reading of names of victims of the Holocaust from 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15 through 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 16. Throughout the night and into the day, dozens of students volunteered to read approximately one hundred thousand names of victims of the Holocaust, an unfortunately small percentage of the six million Jews who were killed in the Shoah.

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AIPAC Policy Conference Update: Rabbi Matt Wins National Award

At the 2015 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington D.C., Hillel at Texas A&M’s executive director, Rabbi Matt Rosenberg, won the “Ally of the Year” award for his work supporting pro-Israel efforts at Texas A&M. Rabbi Matt is one of three campus professionals nationwide to be awarded the Ally of the Year award for 2015. Texas A&M brought seven students and Rabbi Matt to the country’s largest annual gathering of pro-Israel activists held at the Washington Convention Center from March 1-3, 2015.  

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Passover at Hillel

Passover is rapidly approaching! Please join your Aggie Hillel family for two Passover s’darim (seders) on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4. Our Hillel Passover s’darim are free for Jewish students and their immediate families. Members of the Jewish community are asked to pay $36 for those 13 and up, $18 for children.  

The first night seder on Friday, April 3 will take place at Hillel beginning with abbreviated Friday night and Shabbat holiday services at 6:30 p.m. followed by a fun sing-along active Passover seder at 7 p.m. in the multi-purpose room. Please RSVP on our Facebook event so we know how much maztah ball soup and brisket to prepare!  

On Saturday, April 4 our seder will begin at 8 p.m. at a very special to-be-revealed location not far from Hillel. Don’t miss this very different Passover seder by RSVP-ing on our Facebook event.  

For the non-Jewish community, we will also be hosting a model Passover seder at Hillel on Wednesday, April 8 at 3 p.m. RSVPs are required (please email hillel@tamuhillel.org to RSVP) and the cost is $10 for students and $20 for non-students, payable at the door. Space is limited and available on a first-RSVP, first-served basis.

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Purim Fun at Hillel

One of the largest, most well-attended, and fun events of the year took place last week at Aggie Hillel! Our Hillel Purim Party included a Purim Spiel produced and performed by our student leadership, maroon Hillel groggers, delicious appetizers, and two inflatable play structures (a boxing ring and bungee race). Students enjoyed watching a hilarious “Tipsy Torah” video which told the story of Purim, hearing the story through the play produced by classmates, and then the inflatables were filled and students hung out and enjoyed themselves throughout the evening. Purim 5775 at Hillel was a true success!
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Aggie Jewish Open House

by Emily Schneider, Marketing and Communications Intern 

The weekend of February 20-21, 2015  was spent schmoozing and introducing Jewish prospective Aggies to Aggieland at Aggie Jewish Open House. On Friday night at Hillel, we had lovely musical services led by our Jewish Student Coordinator, Veronica Beskin, and Executive Director, Rabbi Matt Rosenberg. Following services, we joined together to make kiddush and say the blessing of hamotzi over challah. After hamotzi, we made our way over to Chabad for dinner and a fun game of Taboo. It was a first great night of getting to know the prospective students.  

On Saturday, we began the night with brunch cooked by our chef, Marlo, at Hillel. Everyone had a great time getting to chat with one another. Once stomachs were satisfied, we had a Greek life panel, faculty panel, and admissions presentation. All of these presentations were very informational and helpful to the students. After the presentations, we took a campus tour to show students around. It made for a great afternoon! To finish off the night, Chabad and Hillel came together for Havdallah at the Aggie Ring located at the Association of Former Students building. It was a beautiful night.  

We thoroughly enjoyed having the prospective students as our guests this weekend. We hope to see you back in Aggieland soon for our next open house on February 12-13, 2016!

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Student Body President-Elect Joseph Benigno’s Statement on the Jewish Community

Hillel student board president Dan Rosenfield solicitied position papers from the three top candidates for Student Body President. Below is the statement submitted by SBP-elect Joseph Benigno: 

Howdy! 

I am running for Student Body President because I believe in the purpose and power of the Aggie Family. The Aggie Family is a strong and effective community in a large part because of our diversity. We come from different states, religions, races, worldviews and income levels, but together we are all Aggies. I believe this diversity makes the passion we all have for our university even more exceptional. Personally, I could not be a stronger supporter of the Jewish community at Texas A&M and the state of Israel. I was raised in a family that taught me the value and history of the Jewish people. My Polish-Italian immigrant grandfather, my father and my mother have all instilled in me a deep appreciation for Israel and have made me an avid political supporter.  

As the Student Body President, I would do everything in my power to appropriately promote and support the Jewish community on campus. I believe Texas A&M would benefit greatly from the continued growth of the population of Jewish students. I am also strongly in support of the creation of an Israel/Jewish studies program at Texas A&M. There is clearly a need for the university to have such a program to compete with other top tier universities. It came as a great surprise to me when I heard we do not currently offer this program.  

I would also take swift and decisive action against any hints of anti-Semitism on campus, and I would support any student legislation that would lead to better prevention or stronger punishments for any such action. The Aggie Family is about inclusion and respect, and any differential treatment has no place at Texas A&M. Supporting the Jewish community on campus fits perfectly with my goal to preserve the best of our past and promote the best of our future. Together, our Aggie spirit will leave a legacy for future generations. So come with spirit, leave a legacy and Go With Joe! 

Thanks and Gig ‘Em
Joseph Benigno ‘16