When You Give, We Give

Howdy Friend,
Every Friday night, we serve dozens of students a delicious Shabbat dinner.  Every night, we provide a comfortable place for students to study for their next exam.  Every day, we provide Jewish students with a place to call home away from home and a place to socialize and identify with our faith community.  We give support to our students seeking help for a myriad of issues issues as they transition to adulthood.
You are the Texas A&M community, and you make efforts like these possible every day.
Now, I’m writing to ask you about tomorrow.  There are many students who continually seek our support; there are many Jewish Aggies on campus who need the comfort, care and inspiration only we can provide – and the number increases daily as we expand our services to Jewish students on the Texas A&M campus.

Thanks and Gig ’em,
Rabbi Matt Rosenberg

Rabbi Matt at the White House

Hillel Executive Director Rabbi Matt Rosenberg attended the American Jewish World Service rabbinic institute at the Pearlstone Conference Center in Maryland earlier this week. While there Rabbi Matt was introduced to the brand-new We Believe campaign to reduce domestic violence against women around the world. This national advocacy campaign of the AJWS seeks to ensure that:

  • The U.S. Congress passes the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA).
  • The Obama administration plays a leadership role in an unprecedented international effort to end hate crimes against LGBT people.
  • The U.S. Congress fully funds efforts to empower women and girls in the developing world, including those to end child marriage.

On Wednesday, Rabbi Matt and thirty rabbis meet administration officials at the White House to learn more about how the federal government is addressing the issue of violence against women internationally. After being energized to advocate for global change, in addition to supporting the We Believe campaign, Rabbi Matt plans to teach a course for students at Hillel next semester about social justice in a Jewish context.

Community Hanukkah Celebration a Success

hanukkah5774-crowd-small hanukkah5774-group-small hanukkah5774-winner-small The unified Hillel-Chabad-Congregation Beth Shalom community Hanukkah celebration was a rousing success! More than one hundred students, faculty, and community members joined together in Rudder Plaza with President Loftin for a giant menorah lighting of a 13 foot-tall menorah. President Loftin was given the honor of lighting the shamash, Rabbi Matt chanted the blessings and lit the first light, and was followed by students and faculty in the lighting of the additional lights.

Following the lighting, the community headed to Hillel for a party that included delicious potato latkes, a cookie-decorating contest, a demonstration of olive oil making, and Hanukkah videos being played on the giant screens in the multipurpose room of Hillel. Dr. Jonathan Coopersmith, president of Congregation Beth Shalom, Sarah Brown, president of Zeta Beta Sigma, and Joshua Beitchman, new president of Sigma Alpha Mu, served as judges for the cookie decorating contest and awarded fun prizes in a variety of categories. The event made front page news in The Eagle and was seen throughout Aggieland on KBTX television. Hillel is grateful to the support of Rabbi Yossi and Manya Lazaroff of the Rohr-Chabad Jewish Center at Texas A&M for their support and collaboration in this event. Mark your calendars for next year’s event, to take place during finals week and on the first night of Hanukkah, December 16, 2014!

Aggieland Chanukah Bash on Monday, Dec. 2

Join Congregation Beth Shalom, Chabad and Hillel for an evening of Chanukah celebration at the Aggieland Chanukah Bash on Monday, December 2! Celebrations begins at 5pm at Rudder Plaza on campus, followed by a Chanukah Party at Hillel. Promptly at 6 p.m. the giant menorah lighting will take place in Rudder Plaza. Before the lighting of the giant menorah, there will be activities, donut-eating contests, music, and more. At 6:30 the community will walk or drive to Hillel for the Chanukah party with menorah crafts, latkes, cookie decorating, and an olive oil making workshop. This celebration is fun for the whole family and is the biggest Chanukah party in Aggieland yet!


Religion Panel on Monday the 18th

Join Rabbi Matt and a panel of representatives from world religions in the annual Religion Panel at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 18th in the Robert Gates Ballroom of the MSC. Religion Panel is an event aimed towards bringing together a culturally-diverse community in an open and respectful setting as we learn about the numerous practicing religious groups and cultures throughout our world.

Religion Panel strives to rid the world of prejudice, malice, and turmoil, by dispelling the common misconceptions and labels that are often associated with various religious groups and cultures. Through education, Religion Panel works to replace these mistruths with factual evidence one can then use to build new, unbiased cultural understandings. By increasing our knowledge of the world around us, we can build a community in which we can all coexist in harmony, bolster our own individual faith, and work towards a common good. Religion Panel is sponsored by GENTS.

Spring 2014 Class: Modern Jewish Thought and Philosophy

Consider taking PHIL 489.501/RELS 489.501 this Spring 2014, held MWF 9:10-10:00 and taught by Dr. Claire Katz, Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies.

Course Description:

This course provides an overview to modern Jewish thought and philosophy, which roughly spans Jewish European thinkers from the 18th century to the present. In many ways, the Enlightenment defined modern Jewish philosophy and influenced the direction it took, the questions it asked, and the solutions it developed to those questions. This class is an introductory overview of modern Jewish thought and philosophy, which roughly spans Jewish European thinkers from the 18th century to the 20th century. No single semester course could cover every Jewish thinker from this time period, but this class will give the student a solid introduction to the field. Students can then pursue their own interests within it if they so desire. Major figures will include: Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas. This course will also consider the writings of the Russian philosopher, Lev Shestov, and the German political theorist and philosopher, Hannah Arendt.

Hannah Arendt Movie Screening

Join the College of Liberal Arts and Hillel in a screening of the film Hannah Arendt on Thursday, November 21 at 7 p.m. in Harrington Education Center Classroom (HECC) 209.  The event is free and open to the public; there will be a panel discussion following the move.  Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a Jewish political philosopher who was forced to leave Germany for the United States in 1933. In 1961 she covered Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem for The New Yorker magazine and two years later published Eichmann in Jerusalem.

Camp Shabbat

Join Hillel for a very special Camp Shabbat on Friday, November 22! That night, Greene Family Camp director and talented musician Loui Dobin will be leading our musical 6:30 p.m. Shabbat service.  A friend of Hillel, Loui has been director at Greene Family Camp since 1978.  Come reminisce about your camp experience and relive the best part of Jewish summer camp – Shabbat! Greene Family Camp assistant director Scott Braswell will also be in attendance to talk to interested students about summer employment opportunities at GFC, which is just 90 minutes away from Aggieland in Bruceville!gfc2 



Challa-Ween Shabbat Nov. 1

This Friday, November 1, is our special Challa-Ween Shabbat! Come in costume (or not) at 5:30 p.m. to decorate spooky challah and make your own masks. Once the challahs have baked, come upstairs for services at 6:30 p.m., followed by a Halloween-themed dinner at 7:30! RSVP and join the discussion on our Facebook event page for Challa-Ween.