Current Hillel Procedures
To the Hillel at Virginia Tech community,
I hope you all are safe and taking care of yourself during this uncertain time. The staff, student leadership board, and our lay leaders board have been in constant contact discussing short and long term impacts of COVID-19 on Hillel at Virginia Tech. Coming to grips with the reality of an unprecedented communal moment has come with particularly painful sacrifices for Sue, our Executive Director, and the rest of the staff that will continue to sink in.
We have engaged over 100 students over video and phone calls, text messages, and the use of social media. We’ve become part of the Zoom university. Hosting our fellowships online, Monday munches, student leadership board meetings, all while still incorporating Jewish traditions and values.
Hillel@Home has provided a major success for not only our Hillel but Hillel’s across the world. This tool will continue to provide a resource where our students can meet and interact with others from all different dimensions. It has provided access to individuals like Natan Sharansky and Amar’e Stoudemire. Individuals who would be hard to recruit to visit our Southwestern Virginia beacon of Jewish life.
This week I am proud to announce that we are bringing new innovative ways to engage individuals for Passover. It’s a choose your own adventure experience as Hillel at Virginia Tech will help match you up with other individuals who are in need of seder based on topic and length. We are redesigning our afikomen hunt in two different ways and plan on hosting a chocolate seder for everyone! These initiatives are not coming from not only the staff but our student leaders. Check out this page to learn more!
Even during their additional week of Spring Break, our student leaders gathered over Zoom to discuss our next steps. They are hard at work, hand in hand with our staff to bring these programs to your house. I am thankful for their grit and positivity as we address bigger questions like how can we still serve our community remotely? What are we doing to make sure everyone feels included? How do we define a Jewish experience online?
This is a turbulent time for everyone across the world and Hillel at Virginia Tech wants our experiences to be an open tent. We are not shying away from others joining us for the experiences we are hosting for students and alumni. Everyone is welcome to participate in any of our programs the remainder of the semester and feel like no stranger to our community.
With all that in mind, Sue, the majority of the staff, and I are available for questions at any time! Please feel free to reach out to us personally or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What We Are Doing
Made plans to continue our learning fellowships and cohort experiences online
Continued vigorous recruitment of our next generation of leadership
Pioneered new interactive digital content co-created by our innovative students
Begun the intensive work of connecting individually with every student we know (that’s almost 2,000!) to offer our support and presence