The anticipation of the High Holy Day season is palpable at Hillel. The aroma of sweet apples and honey cake permeates throughout the house as our staff prepares gift bags for students and faculty who will attend a multitude of holiday-themed educational and communal opportunities.

Among the holiday program offerings, we led a reflection activity, an educational program, and a challah bake session. We also hosted a festive Rosh Hashanah seder, where we sampled a variety of traditional foods that symbolize different aspects of Rosh Hashanah. These “simanim” or symbols include such items as pomegranates, dates, apples, and honey. Moreover, we taught about less well-known traditions and customs that originate from countries throughout the world. Like the Passover feast, this Rosh Hashanah ritual has also become known as a seder (order) because the blessings are recited in a specific order, which varies according to custom and community. We concluded our Rosh Hashanah programming last Friday with a special Rosh Hashanah Shabbat feast.

In addition to the rich programming at Hillel, we support students by helping them find places for those who wish to attend synagogue or enjoy home hospitality and a holiday dinner.

We are especially grateful this year because our students returned to full in-person instruction at all five of our schools, so we can finally go back to campus to engage students as we did before the pandemic. Even though we were able to keep students engaged in Jewish life through virtual platforms in the past two years, we terribly missed the experience of hosting students at Hillel and connecting with them on campus.

We want to express our gratitude to you for your continued support as we continue to devote ourselves to strengthening the connection to Jewish life and Israel for the students served by Hillel of Silicon Valley.

Please consider a gift in honor of the New Year that will impact the lives of Jewish college students now and for years to come.

All of us at Hillel of Silicon Valley wish you and your families a very joyful and healthy New Year!

B'Shalom and Chag Sameach,
Sarita Bronstein
Executive Director