As told to Emma Lichtenstein, writer for the Hillel International Writer's Program.
“I was raised by my mom who is a strong Jewish woman, and her influence helped me become who I am today. She is the reason why I’m so connected to my Judaism. My earliest memories are in temple with her. She made sure I had a Jewish education. I went to Jewish preschool and then to Hebrew school. She also taught me all these stories about influential Jewish women and the matriarchs. She made me feel empowered as a woman and fall even more in love with Judaism.
"When I started college at Nova Southeastern University, I made sure to go to Hillel on the first day of school. By that time, I had lost some of my connection to the Jewish community. In high school, I was in marching band and we had football games every night, which meant I couldn’t go to temple for Shabbat. I was missing the Jewish connection and community that I once had.
"When I met the Hillel director, I felt like I was at home, like immediately. It was crazy! I wanted to get more involved. They were offering a Jewish Learning Fellowship and also an internship position, and I was like, “I'm doing both.” I became more involved with Hillel internships and started creating events.
"On Yom Kippur, the creative juices were flowing and I thought, “The role of women in Judaism is not really spoken about much. There are things we should speak about more and do events about them.” I talked to a group of other young women about my idea and they all agreed. We said, “Yeah, we need to do this,” and that’s how I created Sisters of Hillel on campus!
"Sisters of Hillel is a great way to meet new people, especially since not everyone knows each other at first. The group is for women in college connect and learn more about Judaism together. It’s about having those relationships with other women in the Jewish community. My main goal is for women to feel empowered in the Jewish community.
"Hillel gave me a way to be creative in the community I care about. With Sisters of Hillel, I get to honor my mom and all the other matriarchs of Judaism who are so important to me and the movement. I hope the group will live on for a long time.” — Meghan Phillip, Nova Southeastern University