Dear Hillel of Silicon Valley supporters,
Hillel to me means many things, but first and foremost it means community. When I first came to Hillel in the Fall of 2013, it was introduced to me by a member of AEPi, the international Jewish fraternity. There was an immediate sense of welcoming when I walked through that door. Everyone was involved in some social interaction, be it talking to someone or just playing a game of pool. Everyone wanted to know everybody else and learn where they’re from. Hillel itself is first and foremost a place for Jewish college students to gather, but it never felt like they excluded those without Jewish roots. It was through their open arms that I began to learn about Jewish culture. The pinnacle of Jewish celebrations, perhaps, is Shabbat. Through Shabbat, students gather every Friday for free food, regardless if you have a place to go. It is the best way, in my opinion, that brings all students of many cultures together to embark on this Jewish tradition. This is why I consider Hillel to mean culture as well. It is through events like these, as well as Hebrew classes and Israel information sessions where you learn prayer, various traditions, language and other important aspects of Jewish society.
Mike, SJSU Alum