Our first monthly Jews with Brews event was very successful! All 14 of us met at Downtown Uncorked in Downtown Bryan. We schmoozed over some red wine, hummus, nachos and chocolate cheesecake. It was delicious to say the least!
Everyone mingled among each other, and met new friends. It was neat to see Jewish Aggies come together during the week to get to know one another better. We can’t wait for next month’s event already!
Thanks to Veronica for a fabulous first Jews with Brews event!
by Emily Schneider
Football, friends and food – these three things made for a great success of our community Super Bowl Party with Hillel, Chabad and Zeta Beta Sigma Sorority. We all gathered in the auditorium ready to watch the Broncos and Seahawks compete for the NFL championship title. But it was more than that. Friends were catching each other up on their weekend, others were multitasking between doing homework and watching the game. Either way, it brought a smile to Chabad’s Rabbi Yossi and Hillel’s Rabbi Matt to see everybody come together over something as simple as a football game.
Rabbi Matt drove to Houston the day of the big game to pickup sliced deli meat while Rabbi Yossi and Manya Lazaroff baked sandwich roles and cooked marinated chicken wings. The young women of Zeta Beta Sigma helped decorate the Hillel auditorium with Broncos and Seahawks banners. It was a wonderful get-together for the Jewish students at Texas A&M, and we hope to see you at our next get-together!
On Tuesday, February 18 at 7 p.m. join us at Hillel for a very special event – Israeli Soldiers’ Stories. That evening, hear from two Israeli Defense Force soldiers about their lives and their experience in the IDF. This is an event not to be missed! For more information on StandWithUs’ Israeli Soldiers’ Stories program, visit their website.
For our Aggies who are 21 years old and up (and especially graduate students), we’re starting a new monthly social program called “Jews With Brews.” We’ll meet up at a local watering hole to schmooze among Jews. This Wednesday (Feb. 5) from 8 to 10 p.m. is the first Jews With Brews at Downtown Uncorked at 206 West 26th Street in Bryan. RSVP with Veronica Beskin at email@example.com.
Rabbi Matt’s cycle of Tuesday night learning resumes on Tuesday, January 21. On Tuesday nights from 8-9 p.m., explore a variety of topics within Judaism. Once a month Rabbi Matt will feature a specific aspect of social justice that will include studying the textual sources for that topic. The complete schedule is below and all classes are taught at Hillel, usually in the first floor library:
February 18 – No Class – Israel Soldier Stories at 7 p.m.
February 25 – Purim
March 4-18 – No Class
March 25 – Sickness and Death in the Jewish Tradition
April 1 – The Exodus and the Passover Story
April 8 – Know Your Passover Seder
April 15 – No Class
April 22 – Spring and Summer: Why June isn’t a Popular Wedding Month for Jews – Everything Between Passover and Tisha b’Av
April 29 – Social Justice – Our Planet and the Environment
Come participate in a lively discussion that will expand your leadership skills. On Saturday, February 22 from 10 a.m. to noon, Jonathan Ballesteros will help you to become a better leader. Practice unique tools and concepts that apply to any area of life that is important to you. All students are welcome! Bring a friend. Light meal and drinks are included. Please notify Jonathan B. if you will be attending (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Jonathan holds an MBA in General Management from the University of Texas and a B.S. in Engineering from Texas A&M. He is a member of the Hillel Corporate Board of Directors and is the founder of Panorama World Sailing Adventures. He is also currently a Project Engineering Manager for Arthrocare Corp and lives in Austin.
What does Judaism have to say about sex? Where can we find stories of love in the Bible and the Talmud? Doctoral student Ruth Tsuria will be teaching a class titled “Love and Sex in the Jewish Tradition” every Friday afternoon before Shabbat services at Hillel, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., throughout spring semester 2014. The class is free for students and begins on Friday, January 17, 2014.
The course will begin focusing on the relationship between Adam and Eve, move into the family relationships of Avraham and Sarah and their descendants, and will explore concepts of the mikveh and stories of love in the Talmud. Each class will include open discussion of how Jewish values on love and sex differ from the culture around us. Attendance at each session is not required but you won’t want to miss a single class! Ruth has studied religion in Jerusalem and Copenhagen and is working on her doctorate in the Texas A&M Department of Communication, focusing on digital religion.
The pre-trip nerves had begun. I was thinking of all the unfamiliar people I would meet and places I would see. It was almost kind of frightening. But, the day was here and there was no turning back now; I was Israel-bound!
So for the next 40 hours, I would travel through Los Angeles and London before finally reaching my destination. It was an interesting and long 40 hours of traveling – especially when you’re with 30 new people you’ve just met.
Once we landed safe and sound in the Holy Land, we hopped on what would end up being our bus for the next 10 day and we went along for the ride. Exhausted, yet excited, we were all looking out the windows to see what we had been waiting to see for so long. Our first stop – the coast of Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean Sea, and boy, what a site was that! Unbelievable! I had only heard about the Mediterranean Sea in geography class, and had only learned about Tel Aviv in Sunday School class.
Over the next couple days I would experience so much. From riding camels to watching the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee; from pushing our way through the Shabbat-crazed shuk to hugging one another while standing at the Western Wall – it was all so amazing to say the least. Out of all the things we did, making new friendships and strengthening old ones was my favorite experience. I met some of the kindest and funniest people I’ve ever met, and became so much closer with the people I already knew.
Over the course of the 10 days we were all together, we became extremely close. If one person was having troubles of some kind, whether they weren’t feeling well or were having trouble hiking down the Snake Trail at Masada, we all had each others’ backs. It was incredible to see the love we had all created for each other over this short period of time. I was truly blessed to have been a part of such an outstanding group of kids, and I hope to keep in touch with the great people I met and become even closer with those I already knew. Until next time, Israel!
Our next Aggie Hillel Taglit-Birthright Israel trip will take place in May, right after finals and graduation. Registration begins on February 19 at freeisraeltrip.org. For more information, contact Veronica Beskin at email@example.com.