What led you to apply for the First Year Recruitment Internship?
"I was looking for an internship this summer, but I also wanted to form a deeper connection to Hillel at UVA following my first year. I wanted to do something that would contribute to the success of the organization"
What are you working on this summer?
"I'm working on identifying and reaching out to as many incoming first-year students as I can, so we can start building community for them. I'm also creating a mentorship program that will help first year students connect with Hillel at UVA when they come to grounds. I've enjoyed creating the Facebook page for the WaJew Class of 2024, and getting to see the names of all of the incoming students as they join."
Does this internship connect to your academic/professional goals?
"My goal is to study business at UVA, and working in a non-profit setting has been beneficial for sure. It's teaching me a lot about communication, time management, and also about incorporating innovation tools and methods into the programs I'm working on."
What's it like having an internship during COVID?
"It's been nice to have a distraction from COVID and have a sense of normalcy in my routine. Sometimes it's difficult and I've definitely gotten distracted from work, but I'm slowly learning how to be efficient from home."
You've been attending Cohort Learning Sessions with staff, what's something you've learned from one of those sessions that resonates with you?
"During our discussion about self-care, I learned about looking at every aspect of my life and evaluating how I practice self care in the different domains. There are so many! Since that session, I've been seeking out more experiences that make me laugh during this weird time, and I've also started leaving my phone behind when I have dinner with my family. It was tough at first but it felt good!"
What's something you've learned or something that has motivated you during this internship?
"I'm excited to see this mentorship program come into play. I'm hoping it'll create an easier transition for first years and also keep upperclassmen more connected to Jewish life."
Lilly is a rising second year student working on first year recruitment planning and strategy that will help prepare the BJC for the upcoming year. In addition to welcoming and engaging with the Class of 2024 WaJews, Lilly's using theories of change and design thinking to create an orientation series and mentorship program for first year students!
In response to cancelled internships and study abroad programs for this summer, the Brody Jewish Center has developed the first-ever Summer Internship Program, offering students the chance to gain relevant work experience in a non-profit setting from the comfort of their own homes!
A combination of project-based assignments, professional development, and Jewish learning, the Summer Internship provides students with a not-so-typical internship experience. This summer, 7 students are working on projects ranging from data-development to prospective student outreach, all with the common goal of helping to improve and prepare the Brody Jewish Center for the upcoming year.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting interviews with each intern, to hear more about the work they're doing, the challenges they're facing, and what they're learning about themselves personally and professionally.
Check back in on the blog and on our instagram to follow the Summer Internship Program!
Over the break, 65 students traveled to Israel with Hillel at UVA for their Birthright experience. The two busses explored the country together, visiting historical sites, learning about Israeli culture, and discovering their connection to Judaism.
Highlights of the trip included a Jeep tour in the north of Israel, an overnight stay in a Bedouin community, and a visit to the Western Wall. We're so excited for students to deepen their connections to Judaism and to one another on Grounds this semester!
Below are photos from the trip from both busses
This year before Lighting of the Lawn, Jewish students worked together to throw the first every "Eight Crazy Lights" party to share the traditions and joys of Chanukah with their peers.
The event team, led by intern Sophie Mariam (21'), wanted to help Jewish students at UVA feel represented during the holidays and to share their traditions with the community. Eight Crazy lights included an indulgent latke bar, sufganiyot, Chanukah sweater decorating, dreidel games, and a preview performance of the renewed Jewish A Capella group Hootzpah. So many students and community members came out to celebrate with the BJC before the Light show and we are proud of our students for pulling off such a wonderful night!
For the second year in a row, the Tikkun Olam Committee participated in Habitat for Humanity's "Rake-a-Thon" to raise money for the organization. More than 25 students- TOC's biggest team yet- gathered together one Saturday morning to form the JLC team! Students spent the day raking (and playing in) leaves while getting to know one another. It was so much fun to watch students meet new people and spend the day listening to music and doing something good for their community together.
Every year Habitat for Humanity awards a "Golden Rake" to the team with the most participants. Co-Tikkun Olam Intern Chloe Suzman ('21) is determined to gather an even bigger team next year to make sure TOC wins the coveted Golden Rake!
Fourth Year Seminar is designed to engage current Fourth year students in meaningful conversations about how to incorporate Judaism into their post-grad lives. Staff and students discuss topics such as where to find a Jewish community, battling loneliness after college, maintaining self care practices, finding love, establishing values, how to negotiate in careers, and much more.
This year's Fourth Year Seminar kicked off with a Jewish Mixology Course using Jewish culture-inspired recipes by Jeffrey Yoskowitz of The Gefilteria. They were such a hit, we thought you'd like to give them a try!
Seeded Rye Cocktail:
1 oz whiskey
1 oz caraway syrup
1 squeeze of lemon juice
lemon twist for garnish
(For the syrup)
In a non-stick pan, toast the caraway seeds over medium heat, stirring often, until brown and fragrant, but not burnt. In a small pan or bowl, stir together the boiling water and the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Pour in the toasted caraway seeds. Stir and let steep until cool. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out the seeds, reserving the syrup. Store in fridge.
Place all ingredients except the lemon twist in a rocks glass. Add 1 ice cube and stir, garnishing with lemon twist.
Celery Collins Cocktail
2 oz gin
1 oz celery syrup
5 oz seltzer
(For the syrup)
Stir together boiling water and the sugar until sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat. Add the seeds, stir, cover, and let steep until cool. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer, Pour into a jar and store in the fridge.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber slices, reserving one for garnish. Fill the shaker with ice and pour in the gin, syrup, and lime juice. Shake vigorously until cold. Pour into a glass with ice and top with seltzer, garnish with cucumber.
Sheryl grew up with a strong Jewish foundation, from Hebrew school to high school youth groups, so it was only natural that Hillel at UVA became a large part of her college life.
After getting involved through family friend Daniel Novick (JLC President 2011-2012), Sheryl was an active member of the Hillel at UVA community and even served as the Jewish Leadership Council President from 2014-15.
When asked about the most meaningful experience she had with Hillel at UVA, Sheryl talked about the annual tradition of Shabbat 300. What she loved most about the event was how great it was to organize an event of this scale with other Jewish organizations at UVA. To her, it was a great community effort that she was happy to be involved with over het four years in Charlottesville.
Sheryl's favorite memory of UVA is a full story, and a really great one.
Sheryl met Ben Edgar in a friend's dorm as a first year. When being introduced, their friends mentioned that they were both Jewish, to which Sheryl replied- "My mom would approve of us getting married."
"I proceeded to ask him if he wanted to come with me to Hillel, and he had no idea what it was."
That's where they had their first exchange of numbers. They took a bus to the BJC and the rest was history.
A few years later, Ben planned a surprise proposal in Charlottesville that ended with an engagement party- at the Brody Jewish Center - with some of their closest friends. Their wedding weekend also included a rehearsal dinner in the BJC social hall.
"Hillel has been pretty important in our relationship every step of the way."
Sheryl and Ben live in Arlington with their dog Pumpkin.
Sheryl says that even now she is pretty active in terms of Jewish life, whether that be hosting or attending One Table Shabbat dinners, Moishe House programs, or even events and services at congregations around the area.
We asked Sheryl to share with us something she is proud of. At the end of October this year she completed the Marine Corps Marathon! She never considered herself very athletic, but a few years back some friends encouraged her to start running, and now she's here!
"It was lots of training and I really committed to it and i'm genuinely proud of myself!"
We are grateful to have an alumna like Sheryl in our community who frequently supports our fundraising campaigns, programs, and alumni events!
On Friday evening, over 150 students and community members came together on the South Lawn to enjoy a Shabbat service and dinner while in the beautiful fall weather. Co-Religious Life Intern Sama Crouch led the group in a shabbat service in front of Old Cabell Hall. Before the Shabbat meal, Hillel Advisory Board Chair Zack Szlenzinger reflected on the one year anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life shooting and spoke of the beauty in celebrating Shabbat on the Lawn with pride one year later. Even as the sun went down, students and staff enjoyed conversations and reflection leading into the weekend.
Hi guys! My name is Matt Gillam and I am a rising third year from Long Island, NY studying Leadership & Public Policy in the Batten school. This summer, I am interning at the International Chamber of Commerce’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations as a Public Affairs & Policy Intern. A super long-winded title, I know. Basically, I work to engage private sector partners with the UN to leverage business as a positive force for sustainable development.
Throughout my internship, I have gotten to work in a small office of experts on global development policy, international diplomacy and finance. Our team has wide ranging experience and expertise that is crucial to furthering the United Nations’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or as we call them, SDGs. I have learned so much about the inner workings of the UN, writing policy briefs and talking points, and planning small sessions for C-suite level executives to have productive dialogues about business-led sustainable development. I have also gotten to explore Manhattan – a city I could be looking for a job in just two years from now. Getting to experience professional life here has been important for me as I look down potential career paths.
Hillel has taught me to embrace the wide range of perspectives that people can have, even within the same age and faith. This mindset has served me well at the United Nations, as I have worked with people from across the world- France, the United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, and Brazil are just some of the more recent ones. As I begin to wrap up my internship, I am constantly seeking to be exposed to as many cool things as possible and am absorbing as much advice as possible.
Exploring Manhattan one oat milk latte (see photos) at a time has been an incredible experience, but I cannot wait to get back to Charlottesville in just 12 short days!
The Brody Jewish Center, Hillel at the University of Virginia, is the focal point in a renaissance of Jewish life for the 1,000 Jewish students on Grounds.