Dear Hillel of Silicon Valley supporters,
As both the son of a Jewish mother and a founding member of the Santa Clara University Colony of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, an organization that boasts Jewish heritage, Hillel has provided me with an avenue through which to stay connected to my own heritage while forging new connections throughout the Jewish community. Hillel of Silicon Valley has contributed greatly to my ability to perform my duties as the fraternity’s heritage chair. Working with and getting to know the people at Hillel has been extremely rewarding, both personally and with regards to the strength of our fraternity. For me, Hillel means family. From the moment I first set foot in the Hillel house, to every encounter thereafter, I have always felt comfortable and welcome. Whether I’m there cooking and/or eating Shabbat dinner or for some other reason, the environment, and the people are always inviting. Back home in Tucson, Arizona, I stay in touch with my Jewish heritage by interacting with my mother and grandparents. In my time at Santa Clara, Hillel has acted as surrogate for those people in my life at home. Just yesterday, Shelby from Hillel met me on campus to deliver a Purim gift bag containing Hamantaschen (one of my favorites). Acts of kindness and caring like this truly embody what Hillel has meant to me in the short time that I’ve been so privileged to be a part of it. As far as the fraternity is concerned, Hillel has allowed brothers who knew nothing of ZBT’s Jewish heritage before to gain insight into what exactly that heritage means. Though a majority of the brothers are not Jewish, every brother attests to just how valuable learning about the heritage of the fraternity has been. Hillel has been extremely helpful in giving brothers this knowledge through fun and engaging events. Every brother raves about how much fun Shabbat is and how welcoming and friendly the people who attend are. Even beyond Shabbat dinners, Shelby has worked with me to set up events that are both fun and educational, which are designed to teach brothers about the traditions surrounding Jewish holidays. All the brothers of ZBT greatly appreciate Hillel’s willingness to engage with us and the support provided to us during our journey as a young colony.