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Aggie Jewish Open House Registration Now Open

Registration for the 6th annual Aggie Jewish Open House, to be held February 10-11, 2017 is now open at AggieJewishOpenHouse.com! The event, designed for prospective Jewish students at Texas A&M is a collaboration of Hillel, Chabad, and the three Jewish Greek organizations (Sigma Alpha Mu, Alpha Epsilon Phi, and Alpha Epsilon Pi). Held in conjunction with the campus-wide open house Aggieland Saturday, Aggie Jewish Open House is an opportunity for high school students to spend Shabbat in Aggieland and learn about the warm and close-knit Jewish community at A&M.

Aggie Jewish Open House begins on Friday afternoon as visitors meet their host students at Hillel. That evening, join Hillel or Chabad for Friday night services followed by a huge community Shabbat dinner at Chabad. On Saturday, participate in Aggieland Saturday from 9am-3pm. Saturday evening, meet Jewish student leaders and come together for Havdalah and dinner at Hillel! It’s the perfect Aggie Shabbat and you won’t want to miss it! Register now!

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Texas A&M Hillel Recognized

Hillel at Texas A&M was awarded the “Excellence in Depth” award from Hillel International at the Hillel International Global Assembly in Orlando, Florida on December 5, 2016. The award recognizes our Hillel’s work in engaging students on a consistent and regular basis, thanks to our amazing programs and amazing Jewish Student Life Coordinator Danielle Freedman. Gig ’em Aggies! Whoop!
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Aggies Defeat Longhorns, Again

For the second year in a row, generous Aggie Hillel donors beat tu Hillel in the 24-hour competition between the two Hillels on Giving Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Texas A&M Hillel raised over $11,000 in online donations over the course of the day from 51 generous donors. Additionally, donations made between Giving Tuesday and January 15, 2017 are being matched by a generous donor so it’s not too late to give now!

Giving Tuesday is a global movement to celebrate giving and kick-off the holiday giving season which takes places on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. For the last two years, Texas Hillel and Texas A&M Hillel have competed to see which Hillel can raise the most money on Giving Tuesday. Thank you to all who donated!

Giving Tuesday on November 29th

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Divided by Tradition. United in Giving.

What is #GivingTuesday?

#GivingTuesday is a global movement to celebrate giving and kick-off the holiday giving season. On Tuesday, November 29, you can make a big impact on Jewish Life in Aggieland with a donation to Hillel.

What We’re Doing

For the second year in a row, Hillel at Texas A&M is going head-to-head with t.u. Hillel in the second #HillelShowdown, a 24-hour giving challenge to kick off the giving season. We are competing for total number of donations and total dollars to see which Hillel is most spirited in giving back. We have to keep our 1-0 record against the Longhorns, Ags!

Ways to Get Involved

  • Show your support with other Jewish Aggies by making an online donation to Hillel at Texas A&M on November 29, #GivingTuesday.
  • Thanks to a generous donor, donations will be matched to double the impact of your donation!
  • Share why you are giving to Hillel at Texas A&M on Facebook or Twitter, using #GivingTuesday and #HillelShowdown to show your support for Hillel at Texas A&M.
  • Let friends and family know too so they can get involved!

With your support, we can BTHO t.u. Hillel again! Thanks and Gig’Em!
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Hillel Hosts Holocaust Survivor Max Glauben

by Hope Beitchman, Marketing and Communications Intern

Tuesday night, we had the honor of hosting Holocaust survivor and Aggie Grandfather, Max Galuben. The 88-year-old survivor shared his story and spoke out against genocide to a standing room only crowd in the Memorial Student Center. Glauben has endured many horrors including the Warsaw Ghetto, the Maidanek, Budzyn, Mielec, Wieliczka, and Flossenburg Concentration Camps, and the “Death March to Dachau”.

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Professor Teaches About Synagogue Architecture

On Thursday, October 27th, we were honored to host Dr. Anat Geva and hear her talk about architecture in synagogues around the world. Dr. Geva came to the United States 25 years ago in pursuit of her Ph.D., and now works in the department of architecture at Texas A&M University. She still works as a consultant on projects around Bryan and College Station, but focuses on sacred architecture.

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Rabbi Neal Katz Entertains, Educates

In lieu of a traditional Simchat Torah service at Hillel, Rabbi Neal Katz visited Aggieland and gave a special concert to the assembled students and community members on Sunday, October 23. Rabbi Katz, the rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Tyler and a long-time Jewish folk musician brought his guitar and songsheets to take the community on a musical journey through the five books of the Torah. The evening featured original songs by Rabbi Katz, traditional melodies, and even a tune from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. We look forward to his next visit to College Station!
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Hillel Announces High Holy Days Schedule for 2016

High Holy Days in Aggieland begin on October 2 with Rosh HaShannah services at Hillel. This year, Rabbi Matt Rosenberg is honored to welcome Dr. Keith Paull as our guest cantor for Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur services. All High Holy Day services and meals are free for students and no formal RSVP is required. Texas law is very clear about students being able to take time off from class for religious observances without negative consequence! Be sure to contact your professors early in the semester to inform them that you won’t be attending class on Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur. If you need Rabbi Matt to email your professor(s), please don’t hesitate to email him at rabbimatt@tamuhillel.org.

Here is the High Holy Day schedule for 5777 (2016):

Rosh HaShannah

  • Sunday, October 2 – 6:30 p.m. – Erev Rosh HaShannah – services followed by dinner
  • Monday, October 3 – 10 a.m. – Rosh HaShannah First Day – services followed by lunch
  • Tuesday, October 4 – 10 a.m. – Rosh HaShannah Second Day – services followed by lunch
  • Sunday, October 9 – 3 p.m. – Community Tashlich Service at Wolf Pen Creek Park Amphitheater Pond

Yom Kippur

  • Tuesday, October 11 – 5:30 p.m. – Pre-Fast Yom Kippur Dinner
  • Tuesday, October 11 – 6:30 p.m. – Kol Nidre/Erev Yom Kippur Services
  • Wednesday, October 12 – 10 a.m. – Yom Kippur Morning Services
  • Wednesday, October 12 – 6 p.m. – Yom Kippur Concluding Services followed by Yom Kippur Break-Fast Meal at 7:33 p.m.
A recommended donation of $100 per non-student adult is suggested (members of the 12th Mensch Club are entitled to complimentary admission.)

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The Lost and Found “Shalom Y’All Flag”

by Hope Beitchman, Marketing and Communications Intern

A 13′ tall flag that read “Shalom Y’all” that once stood proudly outside of Texas A&M Hillel and was stolen on August 24 and was quickly returned, thanks to the power of social media.

The flag, designed to welcome back Jewish Aggies as the new year approached, was discovered missing on the morning of Wednesday, August 24. A police report was filed over the phone but no one expected the flag to be returned. On Thursday the 25th, Rabbi Matt posted a photo of the flag with a request that it be returned:

The Aggie honor code reads: An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.

Our welcome back banner was stolen from Hillel and we want it back to welcome the community as they return to College Station. We’ll take it back no questions asked, just put it back on its stand. Thanks and Gig ’em!

That Facebook post was shared over 160 times on Facebook and word got out quickly about the flag. One local television station even wanted to broadcast a story about the flag. There was an outpouring of support from individuals and organizations willing to replace the flag. C.C. Creations called Rabbi Matt early Friday with a very generous offer to fully replace the flag.

Then, on Friday the 26th, just a day after the social media post went viral locally, the flag returned, dropped off at the corner of George Bush Drive and Dexter Drive. We are very grateful for the incredible outpouring of community support! Thanks for the love Aggieland!

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Gefilte Fish Camp a Success

Incoming Jewish freshmen at Texas A&M participated in a new Aggie tradition, Gefilte Fish Camp. Held annually by Hillel and Chabad to welcome new Jewish Aggies to the community, the event consisted this year of an afternoon of fun at Lake Bryan.

Coby Moscowitz, a freshman from Michigan, reflected on the experience, “I really enjoyed getting to know other freshmen here at the lake. It was a fun afternoon and the dinner was outstanding!”

Thirteen new Jewish Aggies, from across Texas and around the country, participated in the second annual Gefilte Fish Camp. New freshmen, student leaders, and Chabad and Hillel staff enjoyed an afternoon of getting to know each other by canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding at the tranquil lake.