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The Lost and Found “Shalom Y’All Flag”

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.

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Back to School With Hillel

Hillel has a plethora of welcoming activities planned for the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year! Join us for any or all of these events! We can’t wait to see you!

Move-In Day BBQ

Beat the heat of move-in day as we welcome incoming students and their families on move-in day with kosher hamburgers, hotdogs, and ice cold drinks on Sunday, August 21 from noon to 3 p.m. Drop by anytime!

Hillel Open House

Our signature Gig ‘Em Week event, this public open house on Monday, August 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. will include tours of Hillel and frozen treats!

Gefilte Fish Camp

Our annual welcoming event for all new Jewish Aggies is Gefilte Fish Camp, which takes place on Wednesday, August 24 from 2 to 6:30 p.m. at Lake Bryan. It includes kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and dinner. You must RSVP to Danielle to attend, danielle@tamuhillel.org. Carpooling from Hillel will be provided.

Nosh and Schmooze Reception

Join your Hillel family for appetizers while we all get to know each other during our own version of “happy hour” on Thursday, August 25 from 4 to 5 p.m.

Gig ‘Em Week Shabbat

We start the school year off with our weekly signature event – fun and musical Shabbat services followed by a delicious free dinner on Friday, August 26! Join us every Friday night of the school year at 6:30 p.m. for lively Shabbat services upstairs in the sanctuary followed by dinner at 7:30. If services aren’t your thing, that’s fine; just join us for dinner!

Coffee Talk at Sweet Euguene’s

We head to everyone’s favorite local coffee shop for some schmoozing and great beverages from teas to smoothies (and of course coffee) on Hillel on Monday, August 29 at 7:30 p.m.

Torah Thursdays With Rabbi Matt

Get your Jewish learning on with Rabbi Matt’s weekly informal lunches at Einstein’s Bagels at Sbisa starting on Thursday, September 1 at 11:30 a.m. Join us weekly or whenever you feel like it. No previous Jewish learning is required or expected!

Welcome Back Shabbat

Our Welcome Back Shabbat on the eve of the UCLA game will be legendary! Services on Friday, Sept. 2 at 6:30, dinner at 7:30 and then hang around and walk over to the first Midnight Yell of the year with your Hillel friends!
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Cadets in Israel

Twenty-five Texas A&M cadets in the Corps of Cadets visited Israel in May on the first Corps Israel Excursion. The cadets were joined by Rabbi Matt Rosenberg, Commandant of the Corps of Cadets General Joe Ramirez, and other faculty members for a ten-day trip throughout Israel. This is the first time undergraduates have visited Israel on an official Texas A&M University program.

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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
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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Howdy From the AJC Global Forum

A note from Hope Beitchman: Howdy Aggies! Last week I had the opportunity to go to AJC (American Jewish Committee) Global Forum in Washington D.C. with Danielle, Hillel’s student life coordinator. AJC is widely known for their global Jewish advocacy and at the conference we were able to hear from many speakers that have made the world a better place for the next generation and taught us how to follow in their footsteps.

We heard from politicians, such as a group of mayors who have signed an agreement to make anti-Semitism a crime (an initiative started by AJC), from Vian Dakhill, a member of Iraqi Parliament who has successfully freed her citizens from the clutches of ISIS and was awarded AJC’s Moral Courage Award, and from Senator Ted Cruz, who told us about his plans to combat BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel’s economy) in both the academic and commercial worlds.

We also heard from journalists, such as Soledad Cedro, a Latina journalist who traveled to Israel with Project Interchange and produced an Emmy award-winning, five-part series entitled “Israel, Much More Than a War” to show people the side of Israel that is not portrayed in the media.

Additionally we heard from a panel of students who fought BDS on their own college campuses at San Diego, Barnard, and Northwestern. From them we learned that it should not be considered a crisis, and how to handle the issue if it should occur on our own campus.

From the Global Forum I learned how to become more of an advocate, how to combat anti-Semitism and BDS, and so much more! I look forward to the amazing year we have ahead of us at Hillel! Have a happy and safe rest of your summer!
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Texas A&M Remembers The Holocaust

Texas A&M ended the 2015-2016 school year with a series of events on campus that remembered the Holocaust.

On April 18, Dallas-based Holocaust survivor Rosa Blum spoke to a standing- and sitting- room only audience in the Memorial Student Center. Blum’s visit was sponsored by Hillel and attended by nearly 300 students. Local television news covered Blum’s story of her experience as a young woman in Auschwitz. Blum was born in Romania in 1928 and was transported to Auschwitz in 1944. After the war, she returned to Romania but received a visa for the United States in 1950. She moved to Dallas and worked for decades as a seamstress for Neiman-Marcus. This was Blum’s first visit to College Station.

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A&M Sports Its Largest Delegation at AIPAC Policy Conference

Eleven Aggies, including four student government leaders, attended and participated in the AIPAC Policy Conference held in Washington, D.C. March 20-22. The cohort of students and Hillel staff learned from top U.S. government and Israeli leaders about all aspect of the U.S.-Israel relationship, including top presidential candidates. On the last day of the conference, students spent time lobbying at Congressional and Senate offices. Student leader Dan Rosenfield participated in a panel discussion titled, “How We Will Win on Campus.” We expect to have an even larger contingent of students representing Texas A&M at AIPAC Policy Conference next March 26-28, 2017!
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April is a Big Month for Israel at Texas A&M

Israel has been a major focus at Texas A&M this month, culminating in an Israel Fair on campus on Wednesday, April 13.

On April 5, Yaniv Sagee, Executive Director of the Givat Haviva National Education Campus, the Center for Shared Society and Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, joined Hillel students and staff for brunch prior to meetings with campus officials to further expand the Texas A&M and Israel relationship.

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Aggie Israel Fair a Success

by Hope Beitchman, Marketing and Communications Intern

On April 13th Texas A&M Hillel and Aggie Students Supporting Israel hosted our second annual Israel Fair in Rudder Plaza! With hundreds students in attendance, the event was a huge success!

The event served as a tour through Israeli life, starting by getting a “passport” at the welcome table that would be stamped at each table you attended. When completed you could turn in your stamped passport for giveaways such as t-shirts, phone cases, wristbands, candy and more! The event also featured authentic live music and a photo wall in front of a mock Western Wall. Tables included…