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.

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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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Howdy From the AJC Global Forum

A note from Hope Beitchman, Marketing and Communication Intern: 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!