Despite ongoing unrest in Ukraine, Hillel students and staff there continue to do amazing things. During Passover, eight local Hillels conducted 38 seders that engaged 469 students, 422 elderly Chesed clients, and 1,587 community members.
The Hillel network is also helping connect the students and staff in Ukraine to their peers in Israel. Just before Passover, Hillel at Ben Gurion University
student Dror Marcus initiated a conference call between students at Hillel BGU and staff and students at 6 Hillels in Ukraine: Kiev, Lviv, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk.
The Israeli students asked their Hillel Ukraine peers about the Ukrainian Jewish community, anti-Semitism and current affairs. The Ukrainian participants were curious to know if the Israeli students participated in the support rally that took place in front of the Ukrainian Embassy in Israel, and stated that support from the Jewish community in Israel is tremendously important to them during hardships. Some of the Ukrainian students were even able to communicate in Hebrew.
Nati Sperber, Hillel Israel Associate Director for Content Development, shares, “In this time of crisis and uncertainty surrounding the situation in Ukraine, it was moving to be able to use the global Hillel network to learn more about what's really going on, and if and how it affects the Jewish community there. It was a very poignant and enriching experience for everyone involved, and it all started with one concerned student at Hillel BGU.”